I woke up with a start the next morning.
Had it all been a dream?
No, I slowly realized as the room came to life around me. No. It was real.
And that was only day one.
*This is part 2 of a 5 part series. Missed part one, Cincinnati? Click here to go back.
No overnight Greyhounds this time! In a luxurious twist, we all piled in to N’s car to make the trek up to Michigan.
The next show was not in Detroit itself, but in a small suburb called Mt Clemens. My friends had a hotel reservation for the night, but I was going on to Chicago as I had a separate show the next day.
There were 3 shows happening in Chicago. One, a private radio show; the other two, general admission shows at a theatre in north Chicago. We all had tickets to the first night, but I was leaving for home afterwards. My friends, however, were seeing the second show too.
“I wish I was staying for the second night in Chicago,” I sighed, to no-one in particular.
A chorus of “you should!” and “I wish you could too!” responded. K, who was in the back seat with me, said conspiratorially, “You could always call in sick…”
Not gonna lie, I considered it. We spent quite a while plotting out what I could say or do that would keep me in Chicago for a couple extra days, but also keep me employed. I needed my job, and I was trying to get promoted. Was Lindsey really worth jeopardizing that?
We arrived in cold, rainy Mt Clemens a few hours later. Their hotel appeared to be right off the highway and easy to spot, but the only hotel we could see was closed for renovations. We drove around a while longer, in search of this hotel, before eventually deciding to head back the way we came. Oddly, the closed hotel was the correct brand, and seeing cars in the parking lot, they decided to go in and see what was going on.
Turns out, thankfully, the hotel was only half closed. One wing was open to accommodate guests, while they renovated the other half. My friends checked in and then we headed to the venue.
This show was general admission, which I was incredibly excited for because as long as we were willing to wait outside, we would get fantastic seats. Waiting outside, however, meant braving the elements: in this case, freezing cold and pouring rain.
Anyone that knows me, knows I hate rain. I often remind Mr Coyote that I don’t go out in inclement weather; I melt!
But Lindsey is worth it, so I sucked it up. N got a perfect parking spot on the street right in front of the venue, so we took turns hopping back into the refuge of the nice warm car. Mt Clemens was a rough, unfortunate town, and everything nearby the venue was closed and boarded up, with the exception of a random biker bar (we didn’t fit in…). That parking spot really saved our frozen butts.
After what seemed like an eternity, the doors opened. We were very near the front of the line, but I was trying not to get my hopes up. We paraded quickly down into the theatre, and made our way closer and closer towards the front until…
We made it.
Well, to stay close together as it filled up fast, two of my friends were in front of me and two of us were in second row.
From 15th row the night before to first and second?! It was surreal.
Lindsey Buckingham shows are meant to be seen from the front, truly. He puts on one hell of a show, and interacts so much with those who are lucky enough to stand at his feet.
Near the end, during Go Your Own Way, he traditionally lets the fans “play” (read: frantically paw at) his guitar. I can’t recall if this was a thing before this solo tour, honestly, but it was a much anticipated part of each show and this time, I was really down there! I had a shot at the guitar!!
Once the energy started to ramp up and the faster songs kicked into high gear, it became a bit of a free-for-all. Rows of open folding chairs became piles of closed tripping hazards, and the audience pushed forward, all vying for the coveted spot.
The coveted spot my friends and I miraculously occupied.
Lindsey came our way, and my friends got to play. He moved towards me, looked me right in the eye with his gorgeous baby blues, leaned down, guitar dangling tantalizingly close. I reached up, in total disbelief, stretching my fingers towards the strings…
And Lindsey stood straight up, his height yanking the guitar out of my reach.
I gasped. “Hey!” I cried, laughing.
He grinned mischievously, shaking his head. Laughing, he pranced away across the stage, taking that dang guitar with him.
I was in shock, but how could I be upset? Lindsey was messing with me, somehow someway. He stood centre stage at the end of the song, soaking in the applause. He looked my way at one point and I gave him my best, “what the heck?!” gesture. He just shook his head and mouthed, two more!
Two more. This was show 3 of 5, and he knew it. Two more shows.
He was withholding his guitar til my final show. Challenge accepted, I thought. I’ll be front row from now on!
We all spilled out into the street to find it had blessedly stopped raining. Because why not, we went behind the venue to wait by the vehicle again, and once again, I found myself face to face with Lindsey.
I think I was the only one of our little group still awaiting an autograph, as I believe T had gotten one the night before along with N and K. Lindsey had quickly been ushered into the car, but he was signing things through the open window. I got into the loose line that had formed, and quickly made my way forward.
With only one person in front of me now, I fumbled for the CD cover I intended to get signed. And waited.
And waited. This person had a stack of albums.
Someone inside the vehicle said Lindsey had to wrap it up. “Last one,” he told the person in front of me.
The person walked away, leaving me alone. Lindsey looked at me, seemed to almost consider just signing it, then said, apologetically, “Next time?”
“Of course!” I replied, both out of understanding and stunned realization that he truly did remember that I was the multiple show girl.
“Thanks,” he replied, as the window rolled up and the SUV started to move. I went to step back…and found that I couldn’t. A crowd was behind me.
And that’s how Lindsey’s SUV ran over my right foot. *facepalm*
Truthfully it was mostly the toe of my boot, with just enough foot to say I felt it. But yeah. Smooth. Just gonna casually stand here as you pull away and pretend I don’t have tread marks on my boot now…
We got back into N’s car to drive to the downtown bus terminal, and I felt on top of the world.
Just to restore equilibrium to the universe, I tripped and fell getting out of N’s car, spilling backpack contents all over the sidewalk. It didn’t matter, not one bit.
I went into the station to wait for the overnight to Chicago, blissed out on a Lindsey high, positive that although I certainly didn’t expect things to go downhill, it also simply couldn’t get any better.
Chicago would prove me so, so wrong.
To be continued…