You Should Have Been There: 3 Doors Down Concert

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. It was a really hot, humid, Tuesday morning, but there had to be more to this day then it’s just plain hot outside. I got dressed to go for my morning walk with my brother. On the walk my brother started to ask me what kind of music I like. I told him 3 Doors Down for one of my answers. He replied with, “I got some tickets for one of their concerts in Santa Rosa. Wanna Go?” I raced my brother back to the house, but I lose due to my overweight self. I sat at home playing games just waiting for the clock to strike 3:00 pm, which is when we were going to leave for the concert.  My mother came home sick from work so she couldn’t go with us so I called my other brother to see if he wanted to go. Like scavengers, my brothers love to take anything they can get their little grubby hands on. So he said, “Yes I’ll go,” but I didn’t have a ride nor my other brother.  So I begged my mother for the car keys, like a fat kid begging on his knees for cake. It seemed I had to do the truffle shuffle to get the damn keys. When the clock struck 3 I was out that door like a marathon runner. Keys in hand, I got in my mother’s grey Toyota Camry, but only to turn the radio on and have Barbra Streisand blaring through the speakers. She is no one important to me so I put my Led Zeppelin CD in and turned it up a little. It was a long hot, hour-long, drive down to the Luther Burbank Center, but I suffered through it . Parking was one of the easiest things on this trip so far, but I guess walking to our seats was easier.


The smell in the air at Luther Burbank Center was like smelling a seriously bad case of old people care homes. The air was cool inside, but it didn’t help any of the smells roaming around the main room. I felt like I was the only young person there — the only teenager in the building. There were people sitting and drinking just waiting for the band to start playing something. At first I couldn’t picture people in their 40’s to 60’s walking and yelling half drunk, but now I can’t get the images out of my head — old folks looking like loud zombies. Drunk old white people cheering for 3 Doors Down to come out was hysterical. I could see and smell the sweat coming off all the drunk people next to me. Also the sound of menopause people complaining of how hot to cold it is in the center near me. The colored spot lights came on the stage, just testing, but they only increased the crowd’s desire to see the band.  


When I got there the band was already set up and was back stage. When they finally came onstage, the crowd went crazy, like a horde of zombies freshly risen from the grave. Brad Arnold, who is the lead singer of 3 Doors Down, has had the same look since he first started to sing in the band back in 1996. He and Chris Henderson (lead guitar), Chet Roberts (guitar), Greg Upchurch (drums), and Justin Biltonen (bass) all showed the crowd heart and soul with sweat rocking out. They played so hard their face showed every emotion they felt in their music. I sat four rows back from the stage and I could see every individual drop of sweat on the Band’s faces. Brad danced around the stage like a 5 year old girl would if she was listening to Disney’s Frozen song. Throughout the 3 Doors Down concert, they played every song that they loved and took some requests from the crowd. My brother–out of every middle-aged person there–was picked to name a song he wanted to listen to. Out of all their songs he chose, Here I Am Without You. That one song was a big hit in 2002 when it came out in the album Way From The Sun. One of the most iconic albums they released.

With a mighty roar, like lions on the hunt, as the band played the last and final song of the night, the crowd went wild. The band was throwing hats, guitar picks, and shirts at the crowd. People pushed and shoved just to get just one of these items. After Brad Arnold quieted the crowd down, he let us know this was one of the most extraordinary places they had played on their tour so far. He told us to drive home safe and we love you all.

I walked with my brother to my car to go home, but I saw the band walking to their large RV bus looking thing to rest up for the next destination. In my head I was like you should run over there to say, “what’s up” and “I loved the show,” but I didn’t and lost my opportunity to do so. While walking, I found 50 bucks on the ground right by my car. This made me even happier knowing I had found gas money and some also enough to buy dinner for my brother and I.  The concert gods were smiling on me!

As my brother and I drove to Ukiah at 12’o clock in the morning, I have never felt so crappy driving in my life, and trying to stay awake listening to Beethoven. Don’t get me wrong I had every intention to just pull over to just take a nap, but when you’re listening to Beethoven while he is rocking out on that piano, you just keep going. I screamed at the music to rock out with Beethoven, but my musical joy came to a stop when my brother woke up in the passenger seat yelling at me to shut the hell up. When I finally got home I had to hike up the stairs in my house to my room, but then I touched the pillow on my bed I was out like a light.   

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