Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Concerts 1980-1981

Black Sabbath Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati 1980
Blue Oyster Cult Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati 1980
Air Supply Timberwolf Ampitheatre, Kings Mills 1981

So yeah, total ends of the spectrum in 1980-81.

I caught the Black & Blue tour in the autumn of 1980 with a guy named Wayne. We dated on and off during that school year, and this show was one of the better dates we had. One time we double dated with another couple and went to the Haunted Caves in Lewisburg--only Wayne got lost and we ended up getting to the caves nearly an hour after they had closed for the night.

Wayne was a weird stoner guy, and it didn’t help matters that he looked an awful lot like Powers Boothe in “The Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones.” I always half expected Wayne to hand me a Kool-Aid filled paper cup, and was suspicious enough of him to buy my own sodas at the show, and keep them well away from his potentially spiking fingers.

The show itself is a blur to me now. It was Sabbath’s first outing after Ozzy packed it in for a solo career, which sadly meant I had to endure listening to that warbling hobgoblin Ronnie James Dio and watching him lug a giant cross around on the stage. I actually still like a few cuts from Heaven & Hell, but holy crap I can’t stand Dio, so the album (heh, actually it was an 8-track!!) has been long purged from my collection.

BÖC was much better, as I recall, and when they played “Godzilla” a huge paper-maché monster belched smoke into the crowd. The monster and the sheer wall of sound are my abiding memories of the show. For several days afterwards I heard everything as if listening whilst snorkeling underwater. My ears were clogged with guitar solos, crashing drums, and wee little trolls screeching about the world being filled with kings and queens, who blind your eyes and steal your dreams.

Air Supply was rather forgettable, aside from it being the first time I’d ever seen lasers used at a show. The laser lights were green, and the shapes were rather shaky, but we got the gist of what they were trying to show: the shape of Australia, palm trees, kangaroos, koalas. The band sounded good and I already knew some of the songs because Angie had given me one of their albums for Christmas. It was she who convinced me to go to the show. We spent the day at Kings Island and the evening at the show. The entire concert was cheesy—there were lots of couples holding hands, middle-aged women wearing their Sunday best, and a multitude of acne-riddled teens with bad haircuts clutching newly purchased Air Supply t-shirts to their collective bosoms as they wept and sang along to the sappy love songs.

I was horrified by how totally “un-cool” the whole event was—and worst of all, I too had a bad haircut.

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