Gail and I were supposed to go to the Air Canada Centre last night to see John Mellencamp, but because of the storm, we had to miss it. We had the babysitter lined up, the boys were excited that she was coming over, we had dinner done early, the tickets were in my wallet, everything was ready. We waited as long as we could to make the decision, but the snow kept getting worse and worse as the day went on, and there were some ice pellets and freezing rain mixed in as well. Around 5:30 we made the decision that it was just too risky. If the show was in Hamilton, we probably would have gone, but downtown Toronto is a 45 minute drive with no traffic. With the weather as it was, it would have easily been an hour and a half, if not longer, and getting back after four more hours of snow would have been brutal. So, there’s almost $180 in concert tickets down the drain.
Earlier in the day, I had checked the ACC web site on the off chance that they had cancelled the concert because of the weather (they hadn’t) and was found out that Tom Cochrane and Red Rider were opening the show. I ordered the tickets back in November or something, and had completely forgotten about the opening act, which is surprising, since I was a big Red Rider fan back in the 80’s. They opened for Rush at my second-ever concert at Maple Leaf Gardens back in 1984. I’ve seen Tom Cochrane live a couple of times as well, though I think half his backing band on his “solo” tours were members of Red Rider anyway.
I’ve been a big Mellencamp fan since the early 80’s as well, and last night would have been my fourth time seeing him. He always puts on a great show. I haven’t been all that thrilled with his last couple of albums — the John Mellencamp album had a few good tracks on it (“Your Life Is Now”, “Eden Is Burning”), and Mr. Happy Go Lucky had a few as well (“I Saw You First”, “Just Another Day”), but the rest (including the entire Cuttin’ Heads album) was forgettable. I bought his latest album Freedom’s Road shortly after getting the concert tickets, and I think it’s his best album since
Human Wheels Whenever We Wanted.(Update: I listened to Human Wheels again yesterday, and I think this new album is better.) “Someday”, “The Americans”, “Forgiveness”, and “My Aeroplane” are all really good, and “Our Country”, “Ghost Towns Along The Highway”, and “Freedom’s Road” are all flat-out great tracks.
Seeing how much snow fell last night and how bad the roads still are around here tonight, I don’t regret the decision not to go, but it still sucks. I called the ACC last night just before we made the decision and asked if the concert was cancelled and was told that it was not. I then asked if there was any possibility of a refund since we weren’t going to make it, and he confirmed my suspicions that I was SOL.
If Mellencamp comes back to Toronto (or even better, Hamilton!) on this tour, or even the next one, I’m sure we’ll try to go again. I just hope that it’s sometime between May and September.
Aside: For those of you who are not big Mellencamp fans and are curious (or frightened) about the title of this post, Dance Naked was the name of a 1994 John Mellencamp album.