How do I even begin to describe the perfect day?

Let’s start with a picture . . .

Some big building in downtown Cleveland. My son took this leaning out the window of my Honda Prelude. I think it’s his new desktop image on his Compaq.

May 17, 2008. We were in Cleveland to see the Progressive Nation 2008 tour featuring our favorite band . . .

Dream Theater!

Long time readers with superb memory may recall this was the week from hell. We almost didn’t go. Even after I’d promised him we would. The timing just sucked. But on a whim I logged on at Ticketmaster and selected “Best Available.”

Fourth row!

My throbbing jaw hit my credit card on the way down. Clickety-click and the trip was a go.

I first saw Dream Theater in the early 90s. Back around the time they had their one and only hit. They blew me away. And they’re still around. Now my son digs them. Thinks John Petrucci is the best guitarist in the world. Tries to imitate him on his Ibanez. Sorry. No YouTube of that just yet . . .

Before the show we visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Museums build character right? An educational field trip! Mom falls for it . . .

. . . and he gets “just a little bit” bored. Not very interactive this museum for a kid with a PS2 and a seemingly never-ending free trial for World of Warcraft anyway. But I’m in paradise! The exhibit about Rolling Stone magazine fascinates me. There’s a letter from Mick Jagger seeking props for letting them use his band’s name. And a touching tribute to the godfather of Gonzo journalism. And the 80-foot balloon of the teacher from The Wall that Roger Waters used on his recent tour actually freaked us out a bit. That Roger and his crazy balloons!

Cleveland is breathtaking! Ty took some time to capture the sights before we headed to the Time Warner Cable Ampitheater at Tower City for the show . . .

. . . which we managed to find despite some shitty directions from a couple of clueless security guards. Thanks to the city planners for the big fancy road signs to guide us equally clueless tourists.

As the night settled in the temperatures fell to ball-shrinking depths. Seeing our misty breath as we screamed along with James LaBrie singing Metropolis in the middle of May was disconcerting. No pun intended. We survived however. Just tucked our over-priced concert t-shirts in a bit deeper and pulled our arms inside. A couple of fools looking like disfigured mannequins posing in a store window. Doing the pogo while trying not to tumble into the surrounding sea of humanity.

Dream Theater played an incredible set spanning their twenty-year career . . .

In the Presence of Enemies – Part I
Beyond This Life
Instrumental Medley
As I Am
The Ministry of Lost Souls

Medley: Metropolis – Part I / Learning to Live / The Crimson Sunset

Seeing John Myung play the infamous bass solo in Metropolis stood out as the highlight of my evening. We hung out a bit after the show. Ty hoped to meet the band. He had his ticket stub in hand when he fell asleep. With a weary smile on his face.

Road trip. Venue pizza. Auntie Anne’s pretzels. A do-it-yourself metropolitan tour. A kid’s first concert . . .

. . . and a father’s perfect day.


6 thoughts on “Cleveland

  1. In the category of “it really don’t matter”: the building in the first picture is the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building. Exciting, I know. Hope you enjoyed your time in Cleveland.

  2. If I’d taken the time while we were stopped at the red light to actually look at the building, I might have remembered . . .


    I was too busy looking at the nifty signs.

    Thanks man. You’re alright . . .

  3. Very cool! This post should be a Mastercard commercial. (you know, the whole “priceless” theme.

    I have been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before…I didn’t want to leave. I can’t wait to go to a show with my boys. I still remember trips I took like the one you describe with my dad.

  4. That sounds like a great day. Thanks for posting this.

    Also, you win the commenter of the month award for the comment you left on my blog. I love that quote from the coach from Teen Wolf.

  5. Maggie, dammit June 18, 2008 — 5:07 pm

    ohmygosh he looks like the cat that ate the canary, huh? Or rather the rock star that ate the — wait, never mind. He looks COOL.

  6. wow. was this for father’s day?

    all my husband got were two corney t-shirts- homemade cards from the kids…and of course, priceless, a personalized dance from our 5 year old daughter that she made up just for him- and made him watch several hundred times!

    sounds like an awesome day. Im trying to remember if I’ve ever been to Cleveland- I remember driving through Ohio once on the way to St. Louis with a foster mother…. don’t recall stopping in Ohio.

    We’ll have to make it out there some day- ummm when gas prices go back to sanity.

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