M2K. Jeff bought the tickets well in advance.
We had them in our hands way before either of our jobs created a mandatory on-call 1999 New Year’s Eve melt-down emergency plan.
We thought about it. Keeping our jobs was a necessity. Rationally, we ultimately decided if the world was gonna melt down, if all communication was gonna cease, no one would be able to contact us anyway, so, we might as well be where we’d be enjoying the end of the world as we knew it.
The dilemma was, my parents were still in Michigan and my Dad was hoping for a New Year’s Eve gathering. After being in the hospital so long, and worried about his mortality, it was important to him. I asked Jeff to talk to my father. Weenie that I am I didn’t want to break his heart, but I didn’t want to disappoint Jeff, either.
It wouldn’t be the last time I faced this battle. Jeff faced a few of his own.
We ended up at the Silverdome, M2K Tour tickets in hand, ready to rock no matter what. Of course, I worried. Not about the ‘what if work calls” factor, but about what would happen if there truly was a Y2K. I packed granola bars and potato chips and water, made sure we had cash, blankets and pillows, extra socks and a first-aid kit. Just in case, we were going to be stuck in Pontiac when it all went south.
Jeff was excited about Nugent. I was focused on Metallica, of course. The coolest bonus was that it would be the first time either of us had seen Kid Rock.
From side seats more toward the stage than not, 2nd tier up, the view was great.
We saw everything that happened on that stage from Kid Rock & entourage to crazy indoor pyrotechnics. Ted Nugent came out riding a real, freaking live buffalo. We were on our feet right until the final culmination entrance of Metallica.
Truthfully, we didn’t see everything.
I saw everything.
It was 50,000 jammed in people and flame-shooter, super-hot, thickly smoky, and weirdly muggy. There was lots of yelling and cheering and noise and everything that comes along with crowded drunkedness.
I should mention neither one of us had any alcohol. We were Mt. Dew’ing it not only to keep us going at the show, but for the ride home, as well. Amped for sure.
I’ll tell you something else important – I’ve only been to one concert in my life that was louder, and I’m pretty sure they had the audience mic’d to make it seem that way.
Anyway, in the midst of all that, Jeff sat down for a minute to cool down.
And promptly fell asleep…seriously.
Right. In. The. Middle. Of. Metallica.
I woke him up in time to see the televised Times Square Ball drop. I wasn’t the only one holding my breath, either. 50K humans got pretty quiet for what had two minutes ago been a really rowdy crowd.
The countdown began with the usual methodical chant – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
At exactly midnight – nothing happened.
The lights didn’t go out, and the world didn’t end, which made the entire audience participation finale all the more outrageous, since we sincerely were celebrating non-destruction and the best New Year’s Eve Kiss, ever.
By the way, it took a good two hours to get out of the post-show chaos and unto the highway. Someone was glad I’d insisted on being prepared, enjoying our snacks on the way home.
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