Shortly after leaving for Oklahoma City and the Nightwish concert with more than an hour to spare, we discovered that the turnpike was backed up for six miles, with no way to get off the goddamn thing. And when I say backed up, I mean that we were creeping along at about three miles an hour for most of it. It briefly opened up halfway through, and we burned it up until we hit another choke point and finally passed the road crew laying hot asphalt.
By that time, we were not just wishing that the people responsible would die, we were wishing that they would die slowly, painfully, in front of their children, and that it would hit YouTube.
I was becoming so enraged that I required enough antilycanthropic serum to make my tongue go numb. No lie. I was deeply glad it was bat_cheva
and not me or Sargon who was driving, because I think either of us would have pulled some kind of kamikaze stunt right through the fence on the freeway shoulder and into the trees beyond.
So we got away from the construction, finally, and we realized that we were going to be late. Like, half an hour to an hour late.
"We will never make it," said Sargon.
"Stop saying that," I said.
"I DON'T UNDERSTAND THESE SLOW FUCKERS WHO DRIVE THE SPEED LIMIT IN THE PASSING LANE." bat_cheva
said,* and there was promptly a hollow thud
as her lead foot hit the floor.
We went about eighty-five most of the way, except for one brief stop to get food, which was made up for by the experience of passing a semi rig in a minivan going about a hundred. No lie.
We were not going to miss the Nightwish signing. This possibility simply did not exist in our continuum, and somehow bat_cheva
made the lost time reappear by hauling ass like a Formula One driver carrying medicine to the home for blind orphan puppies with bee stings. It was, indeed, driving like a bat_cheva
out of hell.
We got there in the nick of time. The signing was almost over. We were the last ones in line but for two extremely teenage girls and their mom. Close.
The guy ahead of us was, like, 17, and had written the band a letter. It had something Finnish written on it. He had been listening to Nightwish since he was "like, six years old." Thank you, anonymous Okie boy. I need practice feeling old. No, really.
I thanked the band for coming way the hell out here. Seriously, the venue was this . . . this cross between a roller skating rink and a honkytonk bar, with wood floors they use for line dancing most nights. It was really big, but the parking lot was gravel, with empty lots all the way around it and on the other side of the road. Empty lots with, like, yucca plants and shit. Serious boonies. I can only hope that they didn't feel it was too far beneath them. Dear god, the impressions people passing through must have of my state.
Anyway, I got to say hello to Marco, which was all I really wanted, and bat_cheva
and I expressed our admiration for Tarot. And that was pretty much all there was time for.
The opening act was a band called Volbeat, a Southern Rock band. From Denmark. That was about as strange as you are imagining. Not my thing.
While we were waiting for them to finish up and for Nightwish to get set up, we ran into nilesta
and co. You know, the peoples who adopted Jack. Jack is apparently doing really well, which is great to hear. It was good to see them, really good.
Nightwish finally came on, and opened with Seven Days to the Wolves. The show was pretty good. Anette was okay. Not bad, but not consistent, and you could hear her bouncing off the limits of what her voice can do. She does not have Tarja's range. I don't dislike her, but I don't think she has enough charisma to make up for the fact that she hasn't got the chops to sing live for a band with as diverse and difficult a repertoire as Nightwish. She did well in the studio for Dark Passion Play, but live she just can't hack it. I have seen other videos. It's not that she's bad, it's just that she's not extraoridnary, and this isn't any ordinary band, this is Nightwish
Marco, who has been in this business for something like twenty-five years, was fucking astounding, and spot-on the entire time. They did The Islander, which sounded amazing.
The band performed Ghost Love Score as an encore, which surprised me (and made me really happy, since I adore that song). Then they astounded me completely and did Wish I Had an Angel for a second encore, which had both bat_cheva
and I freaking out
. Marco's all sexy growly during that song.
I, of course, howled my motherfucking head off
** the entire time. The whole concert. Then double-time during the encores. All that practice in the car apparently paid off. My throat seems okay. Felt really good. Really, really good.
Overall, it was a damn good show on Nightwish's part. Kamelot were better, but fuck, there's no dishonor in that. Kamelot are a class act the likes of which I have never seen.
So I have a signed Nightwish poster, and two Tarot CDs signed by Marco, and a tee shirt.
Major props go to bat_cheva
, who carried the day. Really and truly, without her stunt-car driving, we would not have made it in time to do the signing, and I would have been murderous with rage. She also put up with my high-volume howling the whole night. Mostly, I doubt anyone could hear it. That music was LOUD.
It's way late, so I must go to sleep now. And I do it completely satisfied, which is rare enough that I feel I should take note.
It was a good night.* If it had been a speech balloon it would have had the wiggly, uneven lines around it, like Agatha in Girl Genius when she gets her rant on.
** I do not scream at concerts, because I am almost 32. I am not a man or drunk, so I can't pull off the drunken "WOOOOO!" So I pretty much have to howl.