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September 25, 2010

Restoring Balance

Yesterday I used this blog as my confessional. I had to get that story off my chest because it had been top of my mind since it all happened Wednesday night.

Once I published that post, I had to remind myself that really, all in, my day on Wednesday was incredible (in a good way). It's time I make sure that I don't let the end of the evening cast a pall on rest.

So now that the yucky stuff is off my mind, let's talk about the good part.

The event I attended on Wednesday night was one of the largest and most overwhelmingly fun corporate events I've ever seen.

And let me say this, I once worked for a company that rented out AT&T ballpark for the company Christmas party, ok? So I've seen some huge corporate sponsored events!

They got nothing on this.

The event, as mentioned, was a "customer appreciation party" and it was held out on Treasure Island.

For those not familiar with the Bay Area, Treasure Island is a man made island, created for the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939.

Treasure Island sits at about the halfway mark of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. To get to the island you take an exit off the bridge.

I was included as an extra special guest of one of the main sponsors of the event, so I got a hard to obtain ticket that got me to the island an hour before everyone else.

It was, literally, a carnival. But everything was free. Since we were among the first on the island, there were also no lines.

Imagine going to a carnival and NOT waiting for the ferris wheel! Or not standing in line for cotton candy! I walked up said "yes please" and they put a corn dog, French fries and a big bag of cotton candy in my hands.

And it was a GOOD corndog. Have you any idea how long it has been since I had a really good corndog?

Prior to the corndog (thankfully) I was coerced into riding one of those Drop Zone rides. The kind where there is a central tower and you strap in to the seats, then it takes you up to the top and drops your ass back down?

Yeah. I hated it.

I screamed a single curse word in one long note the entire journey downward.

The gentleman working the ride said, as he let me off the ride, "I like you, you say what's in your heart."

Vowing no more rides, I switched to playing all of the carnival games. You could play as many times as you wanted over and over.

And STILL I couldn't manage to win anything. *sigh*

Then, after a while the good food came out. Tables of fancy and delicious treats of all kinds. We ate our fill and partook of the free flowing beverages as well.

Then, around 7:00, the music began, and by music, I mean full on concerts held at two different stages, one indoors, one outside.

We started with English Beat. Ok, I'm a child of the 80's, I knew some of their stuff and they were pretty good.

Next up was Berlin. I'm a huge fan of Terri Nunn. She is a goddess, so I was pretty happy to see Berlin live, though I'd seen them play before. They put on a great show. Ms. Nunn knows how to work the crowd and had everyone enchanted.

Now that the music was really going, it was time to start making some choices. They had acts going on both stages and you had to pick which show to attend.

The main acts of the night were the Black Eyed Peas on the outside stage and Don Henley inside.

I talked it over with my group including my boss and several coworkers. They all wanted to see Black Eyed Peas. Look, I don't mind the Peas...but we're talking Don Henley here.

One other woman in the group said she wanted to see Henley too, so we walked away to choruses of "you guys are so OLD."

No matter. I'll cut to the chase. Don Henley put on one of the best shows I've ever seen. Like...top ten concerts of my life (<--I should do a blog post on that).

Let me tell you right now...Don Henley is 63 years old. I once heard Billy Joel talking about how, as he aged, he couldn't hit the high notes anymore.

Don wasn't having that problem. Think about the song "I Can't Tell You Why" and all the high parts. He sang 'em. Every one. Nary a crack in his voice.

It wasn't just that he sang all the songs that I knew, it was that one, his backup band was amazingly tight, and two, he had a certain way of capturing the audience every step of the way. Captivating is a good word to describe.

This guy is a genius. I went in saying "yeah, I like Don Henley pretty good" and came out swearing my allegiance and praising him to the ends of the earth.

A. Mazing.

After that was a choice between Steve Miller Band and Montgomery Gentry. Although I would have liked to have seen Montgomery Gentry, it was midnight by that time and I had an early morning meeting. So I chose home over the last acts of the night.

As mentioned, I spent the better part of an hour in line waiting for the shuttle bus, so I may as well have stayed.

No matter.

When I did finally get home and lay down in my bed, my ears were ringing and the refrains of "Desperado" were still singing in my head.

And I gave thanks that I got to live such a good day in my life (shuttle bus incidents not withstanding).

Ms Terri Nunn onstage (on the screen) taken with my iPhone

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All content of Oh Fair New Mexico by Karen Fayeth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.