I guess it’s not too late to write about the year in review. We’re less than a week in 2018, so before any ability to have a razor-sharp mind is dulled by dealing with a soon-to-be 21-year old and a 17-year-old, I want to say Vaya con Dios to 2017.
And I mean that with the most fondest of sentiments.
Throw out that furnace that went kaput in December (DC Cheek has won Best of Forsyth and they proved why) and a $500 vet bill just before Christmas, it was a pretty darn good year.
Wait, I forgot about two sets of wisdom teeth being yanked and one tonsillectomy for the boys. That sure left a dent in the checkbook.
And I guess it didn’t help with that staph infection in my toe offering a not-so-subtle reminder: “Just go ahead and ignore your ol’ now lifelong podnah, Mr. Diabetes, and it’s off with the toe and you can stumble around like you’re auditioning for the next Disney “Pirates” installment.”
Those medical bills made me consider picking up extra cash as an Uber driver. But thanks to Drs. Batko and Rayapudi (what a fun name to say), my toe made the traveling team without surgery. I owe any thought of ever performing the rhumba to those two ladies.
I’ll forever look back on 2017 as the year of living out the words on a Papa Kenny Cagle T-shirt: “I may be old, but I got to see all the good bands.”
My Cajun friend probably doesn’t feel like doing much of anything except moaning and raising hell with doctors and nurses. By the time you read this, ol Boudreau is hopefully home on the mend.
Here’s a quick recap of the year of trying to bring out my inner Deadhead:
Brian Wilson: Read his book “I am Brian Wilson.” After seeing him stumble through a concert, I’m not certain he’s too sure of who he is, where he is, or how he’s getting home. Cross the ex-heart and soul of the Beach Boys as being one I’ll skip next time.
Neil Diamond: Pretty stiff show at Philips Arena in April. His voice is still amazing but he might need a shot of something to help him move. A good show, but like Wilson, ol’ Neil has seen better days. Brisk business at the swag tables where Depends and walk-in tubs were being sold.
Jimmy Buffett: Seeing Bubba in South Florida was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. He used to have more fun than any performer. He sort of phones it in now, not letting the audience in on the joke he is carrying out via banter with his band.
Paul McCartney: Amazing. Engaging. Loves his audience. Loves to perform. Left nothing in the tank. I hope we both are around for a while. I want to take the boys next time.
Garth Brooks I: (Atlanta): Ask anyone. The sound was that bad. He had to have been embarrassed. Greg liked Garth giving a thumbs-up to his Crimson Tide hoodie.
The Eagles: Son, Chris indulged Dad and we saw an unbelievable show. Joe Walsh can still play guitar better than anyone. I love that he stared down his demons. Glenn Frey’s son, Deacon, sounds like his dad, which is pretty darned good. I still have the trumpet intro to Hotel California on my phone. Ask me and I’ll let you watch.
Garth Brooks II: (Nashville) Chris indulged Dad again. How fitting that he sat just short of hating country music. After really hearing and watching Garth’s show, he opined: “This isn’t country. It’s rock music with cowboy hats.”
Simply put, Garth Brooks is the best entertainer I have ever seen. You can tell he loves what he does. How else could he have a three-year tour that wrapped up the night after we saw him and still give his all?
That’s a quick recap of my “The Year of the Concert.” After each show, I read print reviews and was mystified at the writers’ criticism of performers. Who could tell Nick Saban or Kirby Smart what they did wrong this year? How would one tell Robert Duvall he stunk in “Tender Mercies?” Is there a sportswriter who could have told Koufax how to a throw a better curveball?
Last January, I set out to see any act I wanted to and it was a blast checking each one off the list. Despite the bad news we are being bombarded with, things are pretty good. The economy is booming. People who want to work are working. You’d have to try really, really hard to not make money in the stock market.
And how can anyone fathom that tax cuts are a bad thing? Maybe, just maybe, the guy we elected in 2016 knows what he’s doing.
And that’s more music to my ears.
Mike Tasos’ column is published every other Sunday. He’s about done with concerts for now unless he can see Willie, Jerry Jeff, John Prine or Robert Earl Keen. He does, however, have tickets for the PBR event in March. He plans to root for the bulls. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. He is also on Facebook.