Elliott’s birthday is coming up and one of the main things he wanted was to be able to go to the AC/DC concert at MetLife stadium. Daniela and I worked extra hard to have a lot of paintings at our recent conventions so we could come up with enough extra money to get tickets for the show. Daniela gracefully opted out of coming with us so we could afford the better seats and to make it kind of a father and son thing like we did last year at the KISS concert (in which we did the same thing by working harder to get enough money for decent seats). A couple of days before the show, I sent out this retweet from @LouBrutus: “Yes, there are terrible things going on in the world. However, AC/DC is back on the road, so life is still worth living. @ACDC #ACDC” and not long after my retweet, I was contacted on twitter by Verizon Wireless and they gifted me 4 free tickets to the Verizon Suite along with a free parking pass. This was a first for me so I wasn’t even sure if it was real. Plus I didn’t know much about the Verizon Suite so I kept our original tickets but also told my friend Dave and his stepson Gavin that I’ll have 2 extra “suite tickets” for them to meet up with us at since they were also already going to be at the show.
So we get to the show on Wednesday afternoon around 4:30ish and I used my free parking pass which was e-mailed to me by the folks at Verizon. Then Elliott and I tailgated hardcore style with our bottled waters and granola bars:
After we walked around for a bit and had our waters and granola bars, we went to the box office and got our original tickets along with our gifted suite tickets and hung out with a really nice guy who said he took the train by himself from South Carolina to see the show, which is awesome. Now that’s dedication! He went on about how his dad used to take him to shows when he was a kid and now he takes his dad to shows, which I’m hoping Elliott will do for me when I’m older. We sat in the shade on the concrete in front of the stadium until 6:00 when they started to let people in the gates, and we went to the Verizon Suite first since we were so curious as to what kind of seats we were selected for, and boy were we in for a pleasant surprise!
We were immediately greeted by the very kind staff when we walked in through the double doors to the suite and they had me check my name in, then gave us free AC/DC hats (which were going for $30 each at the merch booths and I had already just bought one for Elliott) and introduced us to the area with open bar of beer and wine, free food buffet, dinner, snacks, desserts, unlimited water, lemonade, and more. I couldn’t believe it. There was at least 3 phone charging stations, couches, clean private bathrooms, and the view from the private balcony section spanned over most of the stadium. We grabbed some tater tots and chips with cheese along with water and lemonade and Elliott hugged me and said “Thanks so much, daddy. This is going to be the best night, ever.” He actually did that a few times as we toured around the suite in awe of how immaculate it looked to us. We spoke to the lady who runs the Verizon Suite program that we got our tickets from and she was SO nice. It was just awesome. And then my friend Dave arrived and we were psyched to let him in the doors and give him his tickets, then show him around so we could experience the initial walk-around all over again. Dave took these shots of us on the balcony. As you can see, we are having all this fun and the show didn’t even start, yet. My facial expression in these photos are an accurate depiction of how I was feeling at the time:
And now for the best part, the show. AC/DC is such an incredible band. They sounded and played perfectly. They opened the set with “Rock or Bust” and then went right into “Shoot to Thrill” which is one of my favorite AC/DC songs. Their massive sound and the excitement of the band felt like it was larger than life. The band then went into “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be” and halfway through the song, we all ran down to section 139 where our initial paid seats were to experience the next batch of songs up close. And the nice dude who we hung with outside before the gates opened was rocking out around 8 seats away from us. We gave each other the rock and roll mid-song handshake as Elliott and I made our way to our seats. Next song up was another huge favorite of mine, “Back in Black” and from there on the rest of the show was almost like a surreal blast of rock and roll heaven (actually it could have been hell, I don’t care what it was, it was awesome) and “Dirty Deeds” along with “Thunderstruck” were more highlights in their set. Here’s a couple photos from section 139, row 10, seats 27 & 28:
After losing our minds in the music for a while in section 139, we headed back up to the Verizon Suite right before “You Shook Me All Night Long” to watch the rest of the set from there. The crowd up in the suite was having a blast just as much as the people down in our other seats, but then again it felt like anywhere you go in the whole stadium, everyone is WAY into the show. What an experience. This is why we go to as many shows as we could. I’ll take it over a vacation or cruise any day. Here’s a shot of the show from back on the suit balcony:
I know it’s not the greatest photo ever but I was so into the show at that point that I didn’t really care enough to get another good i-phone shot and I’m more or less putting this here for my own viewing. Nice!
As we got to the last few songs in the set, Angus performed his electrifying guitar solo after “Let There Be Rock”.
How is he still so good and filled with all of that energy? I mean, I’m not surprised but the whole band was just so filled with high-voltage enthusiasm throughout all 20 of the songs that it makes me happy to see that they still genuinely love doing what they do. This is why I call them rock gods. How does Brian Johnson still sing like that and sound so great? It’s because he’s a rock god. Anyway, the encore was “Highway to Hell” and “For Those About to Rock” and those two songs, along with the lights, the explosions, and the roar of the crowd were all something that Elliott and I will never forget, and it’s something that you can’t experience anywhere outside of a good show.
And when we left the suite, we were each given a gift bag with Beats by Dre headphones, Verizon portable phone chargers, $25 Visa gift cards, and more. WTF?!?? Thank you so much to AC/DC for sticking around for so long and kicking so much ass, and giving us some of the best rock music ever made. And thank you to the awesome folks at Verizon for selecting us to enjoy their Verizon Suite experience that far exceeded our expectations which also added so much more to Elliott’s pre-birthday concert experience. And since you made it this far into my blog post here, I salute you.