During my recent attendance at SXSW Interactive, I received an email from Sarah Solomon Bykrit, who works for Fleishman-Hillard out of Dallas. She indicated that she was working on behalf of Chevy, who had identified me as “someone they want to meet while in Austin” based on my Twitter stream and following.
How cool is that?
Sarah invited me to the VIP area for a Cheap Trick/Bodeans concert at Auditorium Shores. My wife and I got a sitter for the evening, and we were excited about seeing Cheap Trick play “live”. Believe me, we were not disappointed. My wife said it was the best concert experience she ever had. I would definitely rank it at or near the top of my own list.
We got there a bit later than we had expected, so we missed most of the Bodeans’ part, and the VIP seating on the left side of the stage was utterly packed, so we wandered back into the crowd. We still had a great view of the show, and we managed to get on the stage seating for the last 10-15 minutes of the encore.
I was astounded at how good those guys sound, especially considering that they range in age from 58-63 years old. Robin Zander’s voice was vintage and well-preserved, and Rick Nielsen (guitarist) is just as crazy as he ever was. Frankly, they seemed to have more energy than most bands half their age. As with the Eagles concert we attended about 15 years ago, it sounded like we were listening to a CD through most of the night.
I had heard a rumor beforehand that they no longer played “The Flame” live, but this was not the case when we saw them. In fact, it felt like they did an extended version! They did pretty much every song that I knew in their repertoire, including “Surrender”, “Dream Police”, “I Want You to Want Me”, “Tonight It’s You”, and the theme song from “That 70’s Show”.
I’m not sure if my iPhone pictures really do the event justice, but I didn’t have an actual camera on hand that night.
The VIP area also had an open bar and free sodas, along with nicer restrooms, which makes sense, I suppose. My wife mentioned that the only thing that could have made it any better was meeting the band, but you can’t always get what you want, huh? Wait…wasn’t there another band that sang about that once?
Overall, it was an awesome and memorable night, and I’m thankful to Sarah and to Chevy for inviting me to attend and for making me feel important. For a big company, they clearly understand the importance of forming relationships.