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Tampa, FL



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What A Trip

Written by Torri Jun 10, 2008 at 12:25 PM
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July 3, 1998

Ah, what a trip it was...the Tampa show was actually one of the shows I had planned on going to since the tour was announced...wanted to meet my on-line buddy, Lily...and she was throwing a get-together on Thursday night...so I talked with my friends who were planning on driving to Florida from Virginia to see Stevie with me...we had already decided to drive separately since I had to be back for work Sunday night and they wanted to do the tourist thing...Tracey, Curtis, and Jeff would meet me at my hotel Friday morning...I said goodbye to Dave...took off about 5 a.m. Thursday and drove...and it was a beautiful drive...until we came to a standstill 5 miles before entering Georgia...nothing like sitting in the hot sun for 2 hours...I began to realize that I'd never be able to do the sweatlodge thing :) ...then since I95 was closed, I was detoured...took me about 3 hours longer than I had planned...and by the time, I got to Tampa, I was too late for Lily's party and frankly, just ready to crash...so I did...and hoped I'd find her later...

My friends, Tracy, Jeff, and Curtis knocked on my door about 8 Friday morning...was so happy that they made it...and we decided to spend the day at Busch Gardens riding rollercoasters...they have 2 that make you feel like you are flying...on one of these, someone's baseball cap flew off and I can't tell you the pride I had when I reached up...while going down the first big hill...and snagged it! Ah, that jock instinct...it was a fine moment :) ...

So we went back to the hotel to get ready for the concert...Tracey and Jeff were going to the concert with me...they aren't exactly Stevie fans but they know me...so they are aware...and were excited about going...I had talked with Lily earlier...and tried to reach her again before the show without success...on the drive to the Ice Palace...I tried to explain to my friends that this time, I was hoping to actually say thank you to Stevie...and exchange energies...and they understood, asked when in the concert they should be prepared to lose me...and could they join...I laughed...and said...of course...but you must realize some of us have waited years for this... ;)

So we get to the arena about 6:45 and go to the box office...I ask for their 3 best available...and yes, my good Stevie karma was still working...we got 3rd row on the right! Too cool! So we go in and check out our seats...ah, life is good...and then go get something to eat...and roam...we pass 2 young women dressed in their Stevie honor garb...and Jeff asks me...does it bother you...I laugh and say, no, are you kidding...I love it...and they may be the two friends from the story list that I am looking for...we see them again right before Boz comes on...flirting and getting their pictures taken with Frank...Tracey and Jeff didn't think they knew any of Boz's songs...but after every one, they would turn and smile...and say...yep, know that one...enjoyed the set a lot...

Then the break...and I see the 2 girls again and decide now is a good time to say hello...so I walk over and ask...are you Summer and Angela...and they say yes...we talk excitedly (I had talked with Summer on the phone about a month previously)...they had been to the Orlando show...and were worried that they wouldn't get up front...I tell them, don't worry...we WILL (I have two friends and Jes was an inspiration at Nissan)...and Summer wanted to know if I was planning on standing throughout the show...I say, this is the only time I am ever really moved to dance...when Stevie is singing...so probably...and I also ask if they have seen Lily and her friend...they had...so I figured I'd try to find them later...and the show begins...I keep expecting not to be as excited...but it never happens...

Chris reads...Stevie hugs him...and Outside the Rain/Dreams begins...I'm up and dancing...luckily, I was on the aisle and knew I wasn't hindering anyone's view...ah, the freedom...and the joy...most of our section was seated for most of the show...so you can imagine how thrilled I was...then Stevie says...'well, in the midst of everything that's going on in your state with your fires, welcome!'...'maybe if we think really hard on it, we can just like make them stop'...I loved it! She welcomed everyone and explained about the box set and that she is doing the songs that she likes to do...and maybe there is a message...Enchanted...this song...'I hope you make it'...gets me every time...and the 'girls' harmonies never fail to impress me...then GDW...and I, of course...thought of Mo and Barbara...and did the spider fingers along with Stevie...and felt my smile getting wider...Stevie seems to enjoy doing this song...and the crowd loved it...

Gold and Braid...ah, Hayley, I do want to see your face during this song...I'm singing along...and look back and Summer and Angela are up, dancing and we smile and motion to each other...I so love sharing these shows with other die-hards...by this time...my friends are looking at me like they've never seen me have a good time...and are worried that I am losing it...I just smile at them...and keep dancing...Jeff is itching to get up and join me...and comments to me that he can see Dave's point...in appreciating Sharon :) ...about this time, I'm grateful that the Ice Palace is an indoor venue and it's not hot...then they set up the stage for the campfire set...no Stop Draggin' My Heart Around...Stevie comes out...and says...'so, with my new found voice that I speak to you with, I've picked 3 songs out of all my work of all those years to play for you because I wanted to do some songs of mine that let you know a little more about me and if I actually sing them to you, you might understand them better so...here's 3 of them...the first of my trilogy is a song I wrote when Lindsey and I got to Hollywood...these songs are about Hollywood...and it was hard and difficult...but I really love to sing and I thought well, maybe the singing will get me through and it did...in the long run that's what I love to do the most and that is what made all the bad parts ok...so this song is called After the Glitter Fades'...I love that she talks and tells us stories...and even after how many shows...it always sounds spontaneous...and this song...the...for me, it's the only life that I've ever known...part...has been an anthem most of my life...and every time I hear it...I am grateful for my life and my love...

Next...Stevie says...'thank you...so the second one of my songs...the day Lindsey and I went to take the BN pictures... for the photo session for the cover...the infamous cover...it occurred to me, you know, that women had been moving to Hollywood and doing things they didn't really want to do for many, many years...like Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, and Marlena Deitrich and...so after this photo session, I went home and I wrote this song...and it's called Garbo'...this song...oh, wow...I have to say that I never was crazy about the demo...but this version just blows me away...and Stevie thanks everyone...'for allowing this crazy old woman to like do this...it's such a pleasure...you have no idea'...and I'm smiling with her...and thinking....oh, Stevie, the pleasure is ours, too...thank YOU!

Then...'so the 3rd song in my trilogy, I wrote when I was 17...and I must have known something was coming...because something was...obviously...but I knew there would be a price for it...and I mean, I knew this at 17...so, I wrote this song and it's called...You Never Promised Me A Rose Garden'...she hesitated just slightly before she said the title of the song and you could see her taking the time to get it right...it was very cute...and what an incredibly beautiful song...and I am once again grateful for the path of my life...Stevie has always inspired me to find my dreams...and I thought of Keith, my new Stevie soulmate...and how blessed I am...and smiled...

Sleeping Angel...since sleep is how I make my living...and knowing all the angels on the Ledge...well, this song has taken on new meaning for me recently...and isn't that the beauty of Stevie's music...you can always find something that fits your life...and touches your soul...yes, I'm learning all the time... :)

And just about the time that I'm reveling in how sappy I am...Stevie says 'thank you very much, everyone...that is officially the end of the acoustic part...be back'...and she goes offstage...I realize that Summer and Angela are standing next to me...the woman in the row behind me had been up and dancing most of the show...and she made room for them...and smiled at us...good vibes all around...

Stand Back...this gets everyone on their feet...including Jeff and Tracey...and I see Angela take off for the stage...Summer and I look at each other...and follow...we end up just to the right of Stevie..with just our heads peeking over the stage...but we smile...we are in the front row...woohoo...and I turn and there's Jeff and Tracey right behind me...cool...and I yet again...think of Keith...keeper...and continue dancing with my old and new friends...and Stevie... she wails on this song...and the crowd loves it...

Stevie goes offstage briefly...and the lights dim...and Rhiannon...wow...I'm so close...and must say that I really enjoy watching the interaction of this band...they seem to be having such a great time together...and they are all very interesting people to watch...although Stevie gets most of my attention... the fact that I even notice them at all says something about their charisma...then Stevie says...'so after that, I would like to introduce you to my incredible band'...and does...

Then Whole Lotta Trouble...this song has never been one of my favorites...but that is changing...it's very sensual done live...and the harmonies...yep, I like it alot now...then Landslide...Stevie is having Frank find someone to dedicate it, too...and a young woman somehow got up on the stage...she got maybe 2 steps towards Stevie...and 2 security guards picked her up and carried her off...Summer and I looked at each other...and I admit to having the image still in my head... of her feet still walking as they carried her off...and then I lost myself in Landslide and remembered myself at 16...and thought...there but by the grace of Landslide go I...you knew there was a reason I wanted to be the keeper...there you go...it's my sanity song...

Twisted...this is such a feel good song...Summer and I are singing along and trying not to get crushed...as the drum solo starts...we patiently wait and continue to grin...and then Edge of Seventeen...ok, we're front row...excited...will we get to connect with Stevie...and as she starts making her way from the left of the stage...and she gets closer to where we are...the crowd starts to move forward so they can get closer and touch her...and there was a moment...that we were being crushed against the stage...and then in that instant...it was as it everyone felt it...and instinctively moved back...I'm smiling up...and watching Stevie...and I see all these hands reach for her...and I waited...with my hand up and that goofy smile...and she reached down...took my hand and looked at me...I said...thank you...and she smiled...looked at me a moment longer and went on to the next person...very powerful :) I turned and Tracey looked at me...and smiled...she understood...and then Jeff grabbed me...and said...I touched her...and he was smiling...Angela and Summer began talking to each other...as did many of the happy folks around us...thank you, Stevie for all of that energy!...and Stevie finishes the song...and then says how she probably won't get to do another show like this until she's 65 and does her next box set...and then she says...'I want you to know this has been so much fun for me...so much fun to share it with you and to share it with you right now while these fires are going on...and I hope that maybe we brought a little bit of love in to your life and I hope the fires stop...think hard...I love you all...take care of yourselves for me'...and she went offstage...

While we waited for the encore, Angela, Summer and I put our gifts for Stevie on the stage...and then I Need to Know...and we continued to dance...and I just love the...take your violet and blue mornings with you...and Has Anyone Ever Written...I'll remember...and Stevie ends it with...when they ask her...and they do ask her NOW...and as she finishes the song...I hear someone yelling...Ooh My Love...and smile...and Stevie tells us to stay well so we can do this again...

We start to leave...but not before we see that the security guard has picked up our gifts and told us that he will get them back to the dressing room...and I turn around...and see Lily...we scream...hug...and then we make our way out of the arena to the bar across the street...where we spent the rest of the night...talking Stevie and life...nothing like die-hards (Summer, you are way too cool!)...and great friends who understand...Tracey, Jeff, and I headed back to the hotel...and said our good-byes...

I left early the next morning...driving through the smoke at times...and encountered an awesome force of nature...a lightening storm...I was listening to some Stevie live...Twisted...and it lasted for just that song...isn't that weird?...ahh, the power...

So back home...to real life...work...and rest...before the journey continues...Dave and I are heading out later for our Midwest Stevie trip...still enchanted...and smiling...and hoping to meet some Ledgies there...and Maureen? :) Hope you all enjoyed listening to my adventure...I know I always enjoy other's stories...and hey, it does help me remember and relive it...talk with you later...
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