My work affords me some pretty awesome stuff, but none better than the ability to be backstage at a concert. I love the experience for several reasons… but probably not the ones you may think. Sure there’s usually food and lots of it, occasionally there’s a bar and more often than not its top shelf, and being in the presence of major music industry powerhouses doesn’t make you ever feel like you’re in the wrong line of work… but, they all are reasons that I thought I’d love backstage access, it turns out none of them matter to me.
In my pre-teen years I was in a constant “performance mode”! A “show” of some type could’ve broken out at any time, unannounced, and no doubt would have been my best work. I was sort of like a young Ryan Seacrest, always at the ready for “something to host” to drop at my feet so I could make a performance out of it. Honestly, every family gathering needs an opening monologue right, every picnic needs a song and dance number and doesn’t every holiday deserve a full on musical event? Doesn’t it? Well in the Petersen family it got the star treatment always, and usually to the chagrin of my relatives.
Basically said from the time I could talk, till the present day, I always been “performing’ and that’s why I love the backstage of a concert. I love the way it all happens, like some well-choreographed construction site that rises and falls in about twenty four hours. I love the look of trusses that hold thousands of pounds and millions of dollars of stage lights. I love the smell of diesel fumes that steam out of the busses that haul the band and stars across the country. I love the stage techs tuning instruments and checking set lists. And I love the smell of dirt that just may have been brought here from Atlanta or Tucson or Topeka because the last show was setup on a fair stage that was outside.
The epic and pristine scenes you see on stage pale to the grimy, unseen, usually foul mouthed (they tell the best dirty jokes) stage hands and security folks that I look forward to shaking hands with at every show I am allowed to do so. If you want to be jealous of my backstage access, I totally understand, but know this… envy me not because I am meeting stars, but because I am finally living my dream.