Possible Obstructed View

Saturday night, we had tickets to see Night Ranger/Foreigner/Journey at Shoreline. These tickets were rather expensive, especially considering that they were Section 202 and the top of the ticket warned of a possible obstructed view.

We had a pretty decent lunch at Fletch’s Chicago Dogs in San Mateo. I had a tasty Italian Beef sandwich that was pretty authentic presentation and taste-wise based on the Portillo’s sandwich I had in Chicago. It was a bit dryer than Portillo’s though. My wife had the turkeyburger sliders. Hers tasted good too, but I can’t compare because I’ve never had sliders in Chicago.

We secured a decent parking space in the A/B Lot at Shoreline and watched cops warn people against tailgating while bootleg tee shirt sellers roamed the parking lot freely. We had a bit of time to kill before doors and just relaxed and listened to 80’s on 8 in our car for a short while. A bunch of younger people dressed as a hair metal band started running through the parking lot yelling for Brenda. It was random but silly.

Eventually we headed with the rest of the cattle herd through the fenced off way to the front entrance of Shoreline. The folks in front of us had a bunch of cups of alcohol in their hands that ended up confiscated before they went in. We got in with no incident.

We stopped off at the merch booth and bought an autographed copy of Journey’s latest CD “Eclipse” and a copy of their 2CD/1DVD set “Revelation”. On the way to our seats, there were several radio station tents. The Bone, KFOX and KBAY all had booths. KFOX had a text to win seat upgrade contest, where you could text as many times as you would like for a chance to win front row tickets for the show.

We got to our Section 202, indeed obstructed by a Shoreline video camera operator, seats and text until each of us had 175 messages for the month.

Night Ranger came on a little before 7 and played a set of songs that mixed their own material, which I hadn’t heard much of, plus a cover of Damn Yankees’ “High Enough” and a little bit of Eagles mixed in. We had seen one third of the guitar section of the band with Trans Siberian Orchestra last winter. Night Ranger were impressive. Each of them sang vocals. The drummer handled lead on “Sister Christian,” the band’s biggest hit. Each guitarist sang and the keyboard player did as well. I was happy we got there early enough to catch their set.

Between sets, my wife got the confirmation text from KFOX. She had won the seat upgrade!

My reaction to this was – HOLY SHITBALLS!

So we raced back to the KFOX tent and secured our tickets. I must have thanked the two KFOX people a million times and then we headed to our new seats just as Foreigner were starting to play.

Our seats were stage left. Front row. Section 101 AA1 and AA2. There was a rail. Then there was us. It was overwhelming.

Foreigner also played a great set. I enjoyed it a lot more than I did when we saw them in 2000 at Atlanta’s Music Midtown Festival. I liked that they were also a bit of an over-the-top band, just as Night Ranger before them, and Journey after. They played their big hits and some newer material as well, closing out their set with an encore of “Jukebox Hero”.

Journey, the reason we went to the show to begin with, were awesome. Arnel Pineda can belt it out and is really a tiny Filipino ball of energy. He was leaping into the air and running around throughout the whole show. The band added guitar jams, keyboard jams and a drum jam in between songs as the rest of the band took breathers. It was good filler and a throwback to when the rhythm section were originally with Santana and later Golden Gate Rhythm Section.

They played all of their hits. I can’t think of one right now that was missing. There may have been some missing, but I definitely couldn’t tell. It was awesome to see them from a seat that was basically directly in front of the band but a little bit lower.

Our front row seats were still obstructed view. We were still blocked by a video cameraman. He was a nice video cameraman though. At the end of the night, I asked him if he could grab Arnel’s setlist for me and he did. Yay for cool souvenir! We had missed out on two drumsticks and a few guitar picks that the little girl behind us ended up with. Someday in the future, she’ll cherish those mementos.

Overall it was an awesome night where an unexpected surprise seat upgrade made it all the more better.

Some photos are now up at Flickr and I’m sure since those all came from my Droid 2, my wife will add more from hers later today.

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