I don't care how red hot the chili peppers are, I am never going to another show at the Saddledome in my life
First, I have to admit that I am not as fond of the Red Hot Chili Peppers as I used to be. I'm not sure why. I still think Californication and Blood Sugar Sex Magik are great albums, and I liked By the Way, but somehow I just could not get into Stadium Arcadium. I tried listening a few times, but ... nothing. Maybe it's too long, or something.
Still, Jerry was really keen to go, so we got tickets - way the hell up in the nosebleeds (section 307 to be exact). I have never been that high up in the Saddledome before and hope never to be again.
We took the train, as the lot where we used to park is now a construction site. It was a bloody cold and windy day yesterday, but I only wore a light sweater because I thought I would rather freeze at the station for 10 minutes, than schlep a coat around all night. Mistake!
The doors which we normally access through a covered walkway were blocked off and we had to go down the stairs, back outside, and down the street about 2 miles to the end of the lineup, which was the result of people attempting to enter through a grand total of 8 doors. A huge sign warned us that cameras and video equipment were forbidden, as were "studded belts, jewellery, chains and backpacks". What?
We stood outside in that line for almost 40 minutes, then were patted down and had our bags searched. By the time we got inside the building, the Mars Volta were already half-way through their set. We tried to get to our seats, realized that we would be climbing about a mile up some incredibly steep, beer-drenched steps in the complete darkness and said, fuck that, we'll listen in the concourse and get to our seats between sets. And I never miss the opening act!
It was actually really scary in those seats, we were so high up. Of course we couldn't see anything as everyone in front of us was standing, but we were in mortal fear of going ass over teacup with one wrong move and plummeting 3000 feet to the stadium floor below.
The Saddledome was built for hockey games, not concerts, and the acoustics are terrible, especially way up at ceiling level - the sound just ricochets around endlessly.
But the clincher was the smoke. TOBACCO smoke! Now I don't mind pot smoke at a concert; I expect it, and I don't mind the smell as much as tobacco smoke and it doesn't bother my lungs and eyes as much. But for a non-smoking building, there sure were a tonne of people smoking cigarettes and of course all the smoke accumulated at the ceiling.
We didn't stay to the end. Once our lungs started filling with edema, we said what's the point and made our escape. Should have gone to Lorrie Matheson's birthday concert instead.