This night is gonna last forever.

I’ll tell you what would be some story

And what would set me free

Is if the same thing happened to everybody

That just happened to me

Eagles, “Nightingale”

I’ve been to many memorable shows. Many that mean the world to me.

But this was in a class of its own.

Against all odds, tonight I went home. And by that I mean, I was in an audience again. I am in Buffalo, NY, and I just got back from seeing the Eagles. Their “Hotel California” tour, where they play the whole amazing album start to finish, then a couple hours of all kinds of other beloved hits.

I truly believed I’d never see this world again, after years of border closures, restrictions, cancellations, you name it, the pandemic has impacted it. I even started to make a kind of uneasy peace with it; I have a good life, and after a failed trip in December 2021 (taken away by the return of quarantine hotels and other scary measures), I figured I needed to try to move on into a post-groupie mindset.

But then in January, the Eagles announced their tour, and I jumped on the Buffalo stop, having no idea if it would work or not but needing to try.

It all seemed too good to be true, but i plodded along anyway, making plans and fulfilling bucket list errands on sheer faith that it wouldn’t fall through again.

Here’s one such bucket list item: I have wanted this tattoo, in this spot so when I raise my hand in the audience during this lyric it becomes visible, since 2005! Tonight it came ‘home.’

There were numerous Covid outbreaks around me in recent weeks; I had to drive in a snowstorm to get here, which is something I NEVER do; an evacuation alarm went off in my hotel while I was eating lunch and trying to get ready today; for so many reasons I refused to believe this show would actually happen until I was in my seat and the lights went down.

And when I was in my seat, and the lights did go down?

I sobbed.

I realized during the pandemic that I’ve forgotten to be grateful for every moment of these incredible things I get to do. To savour them and pay attention and commit it to memory, be part of the experience, because it’s not something to be taken for granted. Every show, every song, every little interaction is so precious.

So tonight, I made sure to remind myself constantly to be grateful. Calling to mind my conversation with Don Henley in 2016, gratitude is so important and I have that in spades tonight. I took a million pictures to which I’ll soon turn this platform over, to cement it to memory (I usually don’t, because I know it bugs Don, but I needed to—sorry!). Every time he looked my way during a lyric, which happened quite a few times (!!!!!!!) I said a mental thank you.

I’d give anything for another go around (particularly my right leg—my bad knee is not handling the driving and dancing well, I’d happily give it up for one more show right now!), but if there isn’t one, I do not want to regret a single moment or feel like I didn’t give it the respect it deserved.

I honestly never thought I’d be there again. And I was. And that is the greatest gift imaginable.

(Disclaimer: I know the pandemic rages on. I know that this is a risky thing I did tonight, and I’m not done with the risks yet as I’m continuing on—Lindsey Buckingham is also on tour! I’m fully vaxxed and boosted, double masked, shower when I get home, Lysol everything within an inch of its life… I respect the virus and I pray I don’t encounter it. But I am also in a high risk job, and I am at risk every day. I wanted, needed, to take some risk for me. When I get home, I will be isolating from Mr. Coyote for a week. I will continue to mask at work & everywhere else so my risks don’t impact my community. It will sound silly to some, but I needed this, this was a homecoming to me. And I am immensely grateful and humbled that I was able to take this chance and come on this trip.)

And now, pictures! So many pictures!

Coyote shirt for my return to coyoteing!
My mom made this beautiful mask so I could still wear my usual red lipstick to my show. “Raven hair, and ruby lips…” I had the second part down! (Side note: I remember now why I don’t wear mascara and eyeliner to shows. I bawled and it didn’t make it!)
To start the show, this man (old school hotel porter) comes out and puts the record on. The theatrics of the Hotel California set were pretty cool!
Welcome to the Hotel California!
“You’re afraid it’s all been wasted time…”
This lovely lady turns the record over, and the second side begins. I wanted her dress!
“The Last Resort” featured a full orchestra and choir! I had chills. It was so incredibly beautiful.
“Oh no, pretty mama, what you gonna do in those shoes?”
Joe and Steuart, being the amazing guitarists that they are!
“I can tell you my love for you will still be strong, after the boys of summer have gone…”
Don and Joe—love to see Don smile! So glad I caught it!
“Ohhhh, sweet darlin’, you’ve got the best of my love…”
The end screen. I lingered at my seat for a long, long time looking at this.

This show will stay in my mind forever. They didn’t do a ton of talking—Don specifically said they wouldn’t talk much so they could just play, because “that’s what we’re here to see”—but I love the talking, the stories, unscripted moments, that’s what I’m there for! I didn’t meet anyone. I got sung to a bit, but not a ton, and it was something I would’ve characterized as “just a regular show” before.

But this was no regular show. This was a gift, and I’ll never forget it.

Thank you, concert gods, for getting me this far, and I hope I can stay well and continue on to my other “homecoming” shows—a Lindsey audience tomorrow night in Kent, OH, plus 3 more after that!

Thank you, Don, for everything, everything.

Thank you, Joe, for getting me through 2020 with your radio show and VetsAid—the only times I got to feel like my fangirl self in the darkest of times.

Thank you to everyone involved in putting this show on tonight, and this incredible hotel for shuttling me there and getting me there on time, somehow, in insane traffic!

And thank you to anyone who’s reading this. I hope you all have the opportunity to go ‘home’ again sometime, or do something you thought was lost. It doesn’t have to be risky; just, whatever you love, do it. And remember to feel all of it.

And now I have to try to sleep, somehow, when all I want to do is live in this night forever. Because tomorrow, God willing, the dream continues!

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