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July 25th, 2009
Harbor Park Norfolk, VA
The bad part of this concert was the "general admission". This was a triple billed concert, with John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson playing with Bob Dylan, even if their names aren't on the tickets (SHAME ON YOU TICKETMASTER). I actually went there to see John Mellencamp... The concert was a bust for me. We got there early and got close to the stage (like two rows of people before us and we were centered). However, there were some huge guys in front of me (one in particular Mr. White haired, white golf shirt 6'4" wide man...) who would not move the entire Willie Nelson concert (who played first). I saw Willie coming onto the stage briefly and never saw him NOR his band again (save one guy on the very end). There was a wall of people in front of me so tall; I could not see even between their shoulders. NOTHING AT ALL. And it was standing room only with people very close; there was no place for me to go... and after a while, I sat on the ground (might as well rest my back, legs and feet) and people saw and felt bad. But the guys still would not move. Then they kept telling me to cut in front of people which I would not do as it's rude and during the concert, several people already did that, pushing us back to another row back. At the end of the concert, my husband got mad and asked the guy to move and he said NO (I am 4'10" and he is 6'4" approx so like I'd hinder his sight?) so I could see... and the reason was because on the last song, his son was playing the maracas or something (I couldn't see but something like that). So some girl pushed me up front and some other guy got pissed and said "I've been standing her since the beginning and got this spot" (Like I didn't? We got there the exact same time!). Nobody would move for one song so I could see. I bet if I was young with huge boobs hanging out they might! People are just so rude nowadays. Anyway, after the people tried to help by pushing me up front and people getting mad, I cried a bit (it also got extremely tight and I couldn't breathe well) and I begged my husband to leave and move back. Although it was my wish to get up front to see John.... and you would not believe what happened next! We moved away and just after we did, those two guys blocking my way left and went back stage! When they did, they passed right by us and did not utter a word! No apology... nothing! HOW RUDE. I understand it's general admission and its not their fault I am short, but geez, how about seeing my distress (looking at his back or the ground the entire concert) and giving me a break for one song? It's not like my height would disturb them!
As for the music; would be nice if I could tell you if Willie Nelson was good. Two guys in the back of us kept being very loud; so much so I know all about where they went last weekend and what they did and who was there... but as for Willie's songs, I didn't hear half of them. So literally I heard and saw nothing and paid for it not only with my ticket price (which we paid more than most) but also with my aches and pains. Why did I have to be up front? I Have an eye disease and could not see well to begin with. Nobody cares. Nobody may have known, but they'd not have cared anyway....
My husband did get photos. Willie I can see finally (the few that did come out) and he looks quite old. We only stayed for ONE Bob Dylan song and heard a second one half way on our way out and I've never been too huge a fan (no feelings really about him one way or another but I think he's overblown). We got a couple photos below, but by that time we were quite far away... so no close ups sorry. As for John Mellencamp; he did not disappoint. He was great! He sounded good, interacted with the audience well, moved around a lot and played a few of his old songs and the new ones I did enjoy very much. He was definitely worth the price alone; alas I was quite far away and at the side, so I could not see well and the photos are mediocre. Scott snuck back closer to the stage to try to get another photo or two so you be the judge of how those came out. Technically photos were not allowed but there were people with cameras (happens every time).
Prices were high of course. A bottle of water was 4.50 as was a can of soda. Yeah, it was the same size can you get in a 12 or 24 pack. Hot dogs were cheap by comparison of 3.50 and hamburger and fries were only 6.00 I think. It was unbelievably hot too; in the high 90's with 90% humidity. That was before the body heat. It was over 100 easily in both temperature and humidity I think. It was nuts. I did get sunburned but after we left the packed in sardine area, it got a lot cooler so that was good. But still standing room only and still I could not see... HORRIBLE experience.
This venue was a little strict but with so many people it was like every other person got caught with something they had to leave behind. SOOOOO I would strongly recommend if you can live without a camera, do or if you bring one, be prepared to leave and have to walk back to your car to put it away (and that could be far). Also, on general admission, they did not allow chairs nor blankets, though again, we got away with that as well. However, another lady told me they physically took her brand new one bought just hours before... and placed it in the "rafters" and said if it was still there by the time she came out she could have it back! INSANE. She could've gone back to the car or left the venue, but you paid that much and also you take the time to leave and come back, there might be a thousand people ahead of you and you'll be so far back you might as well stayed in the car! So she didn't have much choice. So don't bring these things if you can avoid it. No food/drinks are allowed either and they take bottle caps off bottles...so you can't throw them at the stage. In addition, you'll pay 5 dollars I think it was, to park. You'd think this venue it'd be free like at the baseball games, but it was not. It's always about more money. At a concert like this bring cash for water as you'll dehydrate fast and parking money as well as be prepared to stand for hours. I'd rather look less fashionable than suffer! Don't bring purses (mine was heavy and burdensome and in people's way) and have a plan in case you can't see.
I forgot to mention that before the three bands came out, there was another band which was totally unique. They reminded me of a cross between a jug band and the Manhattan Transfer if you remember them at all, but still another side to them that was totally unique. I thought the music was corny at first but then I enjoyed it a lot. It was really great! The lead singer at one point came out with the big drum with the horns and whistles and other things on it. Anyway, I think they were enjoyable and entertaining to watch. I could not find out their individual names (two of them are mentioned on their site but the others weren't that I saw, so in honor of the other members, I passed listing the two names). If you know their names, please email and I'll fix it here so they can get the credit they are due.
See photos below.
Left to Right: 1) The band and the man to the left blocking the image was the man blocking my view through this band the Willie Nelson's performance 2) A better shot of the band
My Willie Nelson Page
My John Mellencamp Page
My Bob Dylan Page
Live Nation Concert Promotions
My The Wiyos page
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