Pup offered us tickets to the Keith Urban concert for the Saddledome on Saturday night.
Bob: Who's Keith Urban?
Me: Nicole Kidman's husband.
Bob: What kind of music does he play?
Me: I dunno. So we googled Keith Urban.
We listened on Youtube to Somebody Like You
Bob swaying back and forth: I like that song.
Me: Yeah, me too.
We try another one. Long Hot Summer
Us: Sure Pup we will take the tickets.
We take the train to the Saddledome. All the crazies are out: foul-mouthed liquored teens, wrangler wearing seniors, and fun-seekers. The train's heating system isn't working and it must be over 40C.
Once we exit the train the crowd pushes us along to the Saddledome past the midway and food caravans. "Scorpion pizza" "Deep fried snicker bars" are two that catch my eye. Why people? What's wrong with cotton candy and fiddlesticks?
There's a new ride - well to me anyway - that is a sphere shot out of rocket simulator that looks pretty terrifying. We don't stop. It is was hot on the train, we've just landed in purgatory.
The back up band warming up the crowd sounds like Jim Croce. I can't stop checking out the crowd. Stampede clothing has come along way from snap plaid shirts and cowgirl skirts. I see a lot of short denim shorts, lace tops and cowboy hats. The whole stadium buzzes with electric expectation. In the mosh pit, many have neon coloured posters pledging their love to Keith.
When he makes it onstage with his band, the whole place goes wild. He has a light strobe show synced to his music. From the big screens (we are in the nosebleed section), we see how much he smiles as he sings. He's easy on the eyes but he is also very likeable.
At one point he puts the house lights up and reads the posters. One girl is chosen to come onstage. She is getting married next week.
KU: What have you been doing at the Stampede?
KU: You couldn't find anything else to do here?
He invites her mothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and anyone else with her upstage and they take a selfie.
At another point, he comes down off the stage to the opposite end of the auditorium and plays to the crowd. He gives his guitar to a girl who can't sop jumping up and down from Keith Urban frenzy.
He invites a couple up to dance onstage to another of his songs. They must be professional. Their acrobatic flips are just too polished but their dancing makes the crowd go wild.
At one point, the whole auditorium looks like fireflies lighting up the room. Bob and I remember earlier concerts where Bic lighters did that trick.
After the encores and people exit, KU is still signing autographs and mingling with his fans. He's accessible and clearly enjoying himself. The guy in front of me says: "That guy is so real."
Bob and I were on our feet dancing and clapping. We had no idea what the lyrics were. It didn't matter. It was just plain fun.
After the show, we didn't linger for bug food nor heart hardening treats. The crowd on the trains were more subdued. They were heading home before the real madness of Stampede started.
I hum these lyrics as I get ready for bed:
That you're always in my heart,
You're always on my mind
But when it all becomes too much,
You're never far behind
And there's no one that comes close to you
Could ever take your place
Cause only you can love me this way
Going to that concert beats whatever is on Netflix. I need to get out more. There's a whole world to discover.