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Blinding lights, deafening sound, $11 beer — what’s not to love?

September 2, 2018

I sure had a great time at the recent concert held at the Portneuf Health Trust Amphitheatre featuring Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, and The Cult. Just wish the ringing in my ears would go away.

You would think loud music shouldn’t bother a guy who is only 69 years young. Heck, I can recall attending a Grateful Dead concert in Omaha when I was a kid and standing right next to the speakers for hours suffering no ill effects, well, aside from the fact that my hair was sticking straight up at the show’s completion.

But that was no big deal. I mean, at least I had some hair to stick up back then.

It’s sort of a mystery to me why music at concerts has to be so loud nowadays.

Only theory I can come up with is that young people are already hard of hearing due to listening to music 24/7with those tiny earbuds.

And I imagine most classic rock musicians who have been touring for 35 years are stone-deaf by now, which explains why they keep shouting at the audience, “We can’t hear you, Pocatello!”

I’m not sure the music performed by the three bands last week can even be called classic rock, coming out of the 80s and 90s like it is. The official cutoff time to qualify for that label is unclear.

Now when Lynyrd Skynyrd performed here two years ago that music was definitely classic rock. In fact, based on the white-haired guys I saw playing on stage when viewing the band members with my binoculars, I would go a step further and say, rather than classic rock, that was more like Jurassic Rock!

But I’m not knocking them. I honestly find such older rock performers inspirational. Whereas I can hardly stand up straight after sitting on the ground for an hour while watching the show, those guys are up there singing, jamming, and even occasionally shuffling a couple of feet across the stage without falling.

Speaking of sitting on the grass, the folks running the Portneuf Amphitheatre seem to be obsessed with making sure that concert attendees are aware that CHAIRS WITH LEGS ARE NOT ALLOWED (website’s caps). The Amphitheatre website repeats this rule four times!

How can you even have a chair without legs? Once you remove a chair’s legs is it technically any longer a chair? Wouldn’t sitting on a chair without legs be the same thing as sitting on the ground?

Regardless, being the conscientious fellow that I am, I actually tried to follow the rule. I cut the legs off one of my wooden kitchen chairs and carried it to the show.

I have to say that sitting on it did not work out so well as every time I turned around the chair fell over. Why? Because it didn’t have legs!

Plus, since I was the only person on the grass sitting in a chair without legs people kept coming by to take my picture. It’s probably all over the Internet with the caption “Look at this idiot!”

When it comes right down to it, none of this chair stuff really matters since most people at the rock concerts I’ve been to stand the entire show anyway which makes it hard for us guys in the back to see anything.

Even though viewing is better up front, I really have a hard time understanding why people pay the highest ticket price for a spot near the stage so they can stand for four hours squashed up next to some screaming sweaty dude wearing an AC/DC tank top and holding his arms up in the air the entire time.

For some reason empty plastic water bottles are also banned at the Amphitheatre. I’m not sure why water bottles would be considered dangerous. Besides, they’re forcing thirsty people to purchase and drink beer which actually could be very dangerous.

Take me, for instance. First of all I have to stand in line for 40 minutes which makes me angry. Then when I finally get to the guy who is selling the beer he charges $11 for a can which nearly gives me a conniption!

It’s totally dark outside and I’m walking back to my chair, which is already difficult to spot—SINCE IT HAS NO LEGS—when suddenly a bright spotlight, apparently part of the band’s light show, hits me smack dab in the eyes and now I can’t see jack. There I am, stumbling around, totally blind, tripping over people lying on the grass, spilling beer on them, so by the time I reach my destination the can is empty!

That causes me to use the kind of language that I haven’t used since, well, since that guy charged me $11 for the beer. So back I go to get in line again. I’m telling you such mental and physical stress is way more dangerous for a guy my age than getting hit over the head with an empty plastic water bottle.

All in all, it was a great show, and I hope there is another one soon. Meanwhile, I’ve got to saw the legs off my other three kitchen chairs—so we’ll have a matching set.

Mike Murphy of Pocatello is an award-winning columnist whose articles are syndicated by Senior Wire. He recently published a book titled “Tortoise Crossing — Expect Long Delays,” which is a collection of 100 of his favorite columns. It is available on Amazon.com.

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