Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

You can tell when I really want something to go well – I have nightmares about it all going hideously wrong beforehand. Like this one...


“Weird Al” is the only musician about whom I can honestly say that I have all their CDs… and tonight he was going to perform a special one-off concert in Auckland to launch his 2007 world-tour.

I was determined to arrive at the St James Theatre on Queen Street early – after all, it might be open seating. I really didn’t want to be struggling to see at the back, and barely able to make anything out from behind everyone else. I was early, heck, I was one of the first.

(I get strategic like this about getting good airline and coach seats too)

Entering the auditorium I made a beeline for the front-row, and, unable to decide exactly which seat was dead centre, picked the best one I could as the others surrounding it were filling-up quickly.

I sat down, my trusty rucksack in hand. There was some time to go until kick-off, and the stage looked bare and empty, waiting for people to finish getting ready to bring it all to life.

Apart from festivals like Greenbelt and Parachute, I hadn’t really been to a rock concert before. I didn’t know what the norm was. Weird Al might only be playing 20 minutes with the rest of the evening filled-up by supporting bands, for all I knew. The only act we could see now however was technicians and the like crawling around the stage.

Then, from the back, a whole 45 minutes before the show was about to start, Weird Al himself suddenly walked out across the stage!

… Weird … Al!!!

Seeing the already assembling audience, he turned to approach us and, as he was wearing one of those radio headsets that stage-hands and stage-managers wear to communicate with each other, he began acting like he was leading a keep-fit session, doing exercises and authoritatively commanding everyone to follow.

Of course, the delightied audience joined in, and within seconds he had us all on our feet mucking about taking part. The evening was fun already. His impromptu improvisation over, he quickly popped down to the front to thank us for coming, bizarrely wearing a shoe on his head as though normal. Flip, Al was a lot nearer than I’d anticipated, and I was in the front row!

Suddenly he was actually shaking the hand of the guy in the seat next to me on my left (where I had nearly sat), and, turning to me, suddenly I was shaking his hand too!

Indicating the shoe he was wearing on his head, I joked “That suits you – it’s your colour!”

He chuckled, and moved on, briefly shaking a few other lucky early-comers’ hands before retreating back beyond the stage again to get ready for the show, now about a mere 44 minutes away.

This was an extremely good start to the evening. My deft time-management had got me a fantastic seat, AND I’d shaken the man himself’s hand, AND I’d cracked a joke and made “Weird Al” Yankovic laugh! The icing on the cake would be if, after the show, I could somehow get my picture taken with him to put on this blog. I’d come prepared with my trusty camera in my rucksack, and just as sitcom law clearly dictates must happen, now was the exact moment at which I remembered that I had run out of film before coming here and forgotten to bring another roll with me.

Stuff. I still had plenty of time to nip out and buy a film, but it meant giving-up my seat. Unless… if I left my coat or something here on the seat, the chances of anyone stealing my seat would be low, and of anyone stealing my old bag even less. I had about 43 minutes. What could possibly go wrong?

I got lost exitting the building.

Yes, you read that right. Forget OSH’s safety regs about how exits must be clearly signed so that patrons can get out quickly in an emergency, as I kept finding myself heading down blankish corridors and through doors, I wasn’t that sure that I could even find my way back to my section of the auditorium okay. It was all getting a bit like a nightmare I had once that I was showing a film that I’d made, but for several convoluted reasons couldn’t get the projector to work.

Outside, the streets were behaving in the same manner. All I wanted to do was find a simple convenience store to buy a camera film, and probably some snacks too, but such a normally common shop was proving increasingly hard to find among Queen Street’s maze-like back-roads.

And then it hit me – after I had bought the camera film, and the snacks, I would have to get back into the theatre through the main entrance… with my ticket. In one of those big dramatic cinematic zoom-ins I suddenly realised that I had left my ticket back in my bag… on my seat in the theatre.

My perfect dream evening going to see my favourite singer was all turning into some kind of crazy… spinning… awful… nightmare…


You can tell when I really want something to go well – I have nightmares about it all going hideously wrong beforehand.

But when I woke up from this nightmare, back in my bed in Howick, back in February with a few weeks still to go until March 10th when the real concert was going to happen, I actually felt on top of the world.

Sure, I’d just had a fairly horrendous, fairly vivid dream about screwing-up going to see one of my heroes, but I was on a high for days afterwards.

You see, I had met Weird Al. I had shaken his hand. And, I had made him laugh.

So, I wondered, without getting my hopes up, when the day of the concert actually did come around, could the positive part of my dream actually come true?

Click here for "Weird Al" And Me part 1 of 5.
Click here for "Weird Al" And Me part 3 of 5.
Click here for "Weird Al" And Me part 4 of 5.
Click here for "Weird Al" And Me part 5 of 5.

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2 comment(s):

At 3:03 am, Blogger KlownKrusty said...

What?! It was all a dream?! Eurgh! This blog sure went downhill since you stopped showing Itchy & Scratchy.

At 5:00 am, Blogger Steve Goble said...

Sorry you feel that way Krusty, but for some reason the network asked us to take Itchy & Scratchy off and replace them with world-famous Hollywood guest-stars. :)


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