It started out normally, for the end of the school year. We had field day, I got hot and sticky along with the kids, a couple of them called me "Mommy"(the highest compliment), and one of my students asked me if I wanted to have kids (to which I replied, "Why, do you want me to adopt you?" ) Normal, everyday school stuff.
But then I ran home, hosed off, and went out on a school night(oooh). My sister and I traded text messages for half an hour while I waited for their BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train to get to the Coliseum. She wanted the play by play of my people watching (who's there? there r deadheads here. what else? some middle age, some young, some that didn't age well) Sorry-that last comment is a direct offshoot from a girl's school education! Actually, the people watching was fun. It really illustrated how music can be a great equalizer. There were people of all ages, ethnicities, shapes, and sizes. The Deadheads came in their tie-dye and people bought their kids. It was nice to see.
We finally got in and sat down just as the first opening band started up. They were o.k., but we pretty much tuned them out, apart from clapping at the end of each song (ditto for the second opening act). Before long, my sister and I were playing with our phones again in order to amuse ourselves (we just got new ones). She taught me how to take pictures and then took mine. I really hate pictures of myself. I have one of her, but I'd be dead meat if I put a picture of her sticking her tongue out online! (Besides, Mom would be mortified).
Finally, after sunset, a light show started on stage and the sounds of Message in a Bottle blasted through the air above the applause. It was a different experience than when I was 17 (as it should be). Songs had new arrangements to compensate for the changes age makes in vocal ability; but I think it was also a reflection of how they have grown and changed as musicians over the years. What had once been raw and frenetic is now a little smoother and jazzier. Nonetheless, I was mesmerized. Sting looked great and Stuart Copeland did an amazing job (making me pout, once again, because my mother made me take flute instead of drums).
My only complaint is aimed at the section I was seated in: "People, we had great seats, why were you in them?! Dontcha know that you're supposed to dance at concerts? Instead you sat like bumps on a log, feeding your faces, and drinking beer!" I wanted to tell them to save that for an A's game and get off their duffs and dance. Every section to the left and right of us was up and dancing, but my section was the only one sitting still. So we sat there, dancing in our seats, because we didn't want to block the view of the little kid behind us (but all bets were off during the encores).
My sister and I are in agreement that this concert was better than the one we went to twenty-four years ago. Then: they were on the verge of breaking up, they were sick of each other, and they played for only about an hour. Now: they played for two hours and gave us two encores. To me, they still have it -- photographic evidence here and here (wouldn't you want to be doing that at 65?) Disregard the review, it's baloney.
All in all, it was a very good night, indeed.