The star dust has settled. At this point all the reviews and banter about the Kansas City Rolling Stones concert seem like old, old news. So of course, I’m chiming in now.
But this isn’t an untimely concert review. It’s really about the weirdness of time itself.
I’m not a bucket list-y person who’s in a rush to “do things.” The only bucket I have is filled with procrastination. However, through the years I’ve often said to my husband, “There aren’t many bands I want to see live, but the Rolling Stones, oh man.”
Concert-wise, our rule has always been to buy tickets for headliners we really, really like, and even then we don’t always get around to the purchase. Next time, next time.
So, given my one dream and the many events we’ve missed, we splurged on the Stones. Without rationalizing much, we mumbled something to each other like “Happy Anniversary, whatevs, let’s go.” This landed me on the computer the day, the hour, the minute, the second ticket sales opened. The task turned out to be way more excruciating than trying to get free A group boarding passes on Southwest Airlines, but worth it.
We landed floor seats in that coveted wedge between the stage and Mick Jagger’s “strutway.” What a dream. I realized this should have happened decades ago, when I wore bell bottoms and carried textbooks. But for one reason or another, tour after tour, the Stones kept slipping through my fingers like grains of sand. I never saw them when I was a “young person.”
So on that magical Saturday night, there I was, wedged in the wedge, standing between my husband and some burly Harley Davidson guy. Mick and his bandmates appeared from nowhere blasting “Start Me Up.” This is far from a sappy ballad, but by the first few notes, I was sort of crying. (Shhh.)
I think the song snuck up on my emotions and took me on a few instant time-warpy trips.
Back in college, before 3 percent Lycra was infused in jeans and everything else, I attended a banquet where I danced to that very tune with a fellow student. Halfway through, this spirited guy jumped in the air, Jagger style. He split his unforgiving 100 percent cotton pants. What a fun night.
Then, years later when my youngest was almost 11, his entire grade performed a musical salute to rock music. Lo and behold, my little guy landed the part of Mick. A mere eight years ago YouTube was young and search engines weren’t as generous, but we found some online clips to inspire the correct Jagger swagger. When my son ran out on stage, he nailed it to the crowd’s audible delight. He lipsynched “Start Me Up.”
Little did I know, through the years, I would witness Jagger sing that same song not very far from my own eyeballs. Hence, the waterworks.
As the concert went on, I stood amazed. Jagger mentioned how his band first played the song “Kansas City” the year I was a toddler. How could that be? There he was, up there on stage, a great grandfather, just as athletic and energetic as he was the decade I rolled my eyes at the concept of pet rocks. I kept watching his agile moves and thought; “Now THAT would make me throw out my back. That, too. And yes, ouch, definitely that.” It gave me pause that I was evaluating this rock icon’s motions through the lens of a Doan’s commercial.
At one point, Burly Harley Guy muttered to me about Jagger, “He gives me hope.”
Same here. I decided right there: No more over-the-counter anti-inflammatory thoughts. I’ve been exercising to Stones music since.
But the biggest takeaway lesson I learned from Great Grandpappy Mick is to focus on what makes me happy. Loving what you’re doing — and a little Lycra — can make your life timeless.
Freelancer Denise Snodell writes every other week.