Regarding The Rapid Decline Of Western Civilization, As It Applies To Arena Rock

It should be stated right off the bat that I had a pretty good time last night.

Thanks for asking.

The Crasher Squirrel refuses to stop believin'.
The Crasher Squirrel refuses to stop believin’.

For those of you who weren’t aware of my itinerary for last night, I’ll let you in on that little nugget of information.  When it comes down to it, you’re going to need this information in order to proceed with this dispatch of verbal brilliance.  The alternative is to go out and watch iguanas fart on YouTube.

Last night, I took my daughter to see Night Ranger, Foreigner (kinda), and Journey (ditto).  We sat waaaaaaaay up in the nosebleed section of the AT&T Center where the height requirement for sitting in those seats comfortably involves a case of achondroplasia.  Even still, one meeting those requirements would still fill pretty cramped.

Having a narrow waistline helps too.  Considering that San Antonio has landed itself on assorted lists over the years which characterize it as a fat city, it’s quite ironic that the home of the Spurs has made it’s cheapest seat friendly to the Mini-Me versions of it’s fans.

So here’s a quick breakdown of the concert from the eyes and ears of yours truly.

Night Ranger rocked.  It’s unfortunate I never really seized the opportunity to see them way back when in a venue where they were the headliner.  Given they were the first of three, they only played for 30 minutes.

Foreigner rocked too, as long as you’re working under the premise that it wasn’t Foreigner as much as it was a Foreigner cover band.  I saw the original gang back in 85.  The singer knew how to work the audience, and his voice sounded just like that of former Foreigner front man, Lou Gramm.  Since Foreigner’s current front man wasn’t plucked out of the Philippines by way of YouTube, his story hasn’t generated all of the hub-bub created by the story behind Journey’s reincarnation.

The primary disappointment is that the group’s lone original member, Mick Jones, was not there.  Another guitarist had been brought in to stand in for him.  One has to wonder where Jones is.  I have my guesses based on my limited knowledge of the man, however I won’t expound on them here.  I’ll just leave it at the fact that everyone has their demons.  ‘Nuff said.

As for Journey, they rocked too.  The new guy sounds just like the old guy, who sounded just like the old guy before that.  He was able to work the crowd as well.  Seeing Journey in 83 Frontiers tour was the first major concert I ever attended.  Looking back on that event compared to this one, I’m hard pressed to make a determination which one was better.  The 28 year gap between performances has changed my outlook on things.

I did take an issue or two with the show though.  Consider the following.

Night Ranger has Sister Christian.

Foreigner has I Want To Know What Love Is.

Journey has Don’t Stop Believin’.

These particular songs were literal monsters for their respective bands.  If you see any of these bands in concert without hearing any of those songs, get your money back.  It’s as easy as that.  They have to be played.

Naturally, each of these songs were played last night.  Each time the audience sang along, word for word.  Yet each time one of these monsters was played, I didn’t see one lighter go up into the air.


Those songs are the paradigm of arena rock.  Back in the days when those songs were written and first played, the audience held up the lighters shortly after blazing up a fatty.

Oh yeah.  For what it’s worth, I didn’t smell any dope at that concert either.

So let’s summarize, shall we?

Night Ranger only played for 30 minutes.

The band who played a bunch of Foreigner songs rocked.

Although their replacements were good, Steve Perry and Mick Jones weren’t there.

It’s safe to assume that a lot of the songs played last night were written under the influence of dope, but there was no dope there.

There were no lighters during the power ballads, just cell phones.

What’s this world come to?



Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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