At this point I’m thinking I should just change the focus of this little romance book blog into a blog chronicling my adventures following Todd Kerns around the planet. Reason being, I just got back from a road trip to Calgary, Alberta Canada to watch TK reunite with his old band, Age Of Electric (AOE) and all I can say is … it was epic!
So, here’s how it started. About a week or so after I bought tickets to catch another SMKC show coming up in September, Todd posted (completely out of the blue) that AOE would be reuniting for one night only in August while he had a break in his touring schedule with SMKC.
I immediately got on Expedia and Cheap Tickets, looking for air fair, but the cheapest I could find were upwards of $800 per person. Having just solidified all of the Romance Writers of America travel expenses that were coming up in July, I knew that price tag was way too steep for the hubs and me to swing right now. But, I wanted to see this concert in the worst way, so I did the only thing I knew how to do … I resorted to sweet-talking the hubs. And let me tell you, there is no shame in my game whatsoever! I pleaded, I pouted, and pretty much bargained my way into an almost impossible road trip from Xenia, OH all the way to Calgary!
I know what you’re thinking, and believe me, you’re not the only one. Just about everyone in our family thought I was crazy for seriously wanting to DRIVE so far for a concert — and they definitely thought the hubby was insane for indulging me — but I didn’t give a crap. Todd was performing with his old band (a band I’d only experienced through YouTube and CDs) for the first time in 17 years, and I was going to be there! After all, according to Google, it was only about a 29 hour drive, and with three drivers (we had enlisted the help of my step-son — the former semi-truck driver — to assist with the heavy lifting. What? I told you there was NO shame to my game!), we would be there in no time!
I was SO excited when we set out on Thursday morning at 4:30am, and I had the first driving shift. Looooonnnng story short, 36 hours later, we arrived at our destination. 36 hours in a car with my husband and my son, listening to them talk about cars and sports and other boring topics of discussion because we could only listen to music when I was driving. Thank God for Nalini Singh (Ah, here comes the romance book reference!) for helping me hang on to my sanity. I escaped into her Psy-changeling world and drowned the boys out during those times.
But, we made it, in just a day and a half. Mission accomplished! And we had the entire afternoon and evening to rest up for the concert the next night. We got in line early and snagged a spot right against the stage, I mean we were hugging it, and directly in front of the center mic, which meant Todd would be flipping his beautiful hair right in front of me!
Zuckerbaby, the opening band, was pretty awesome, and their lead guitarist, Reed Shimozowa, proved that he is one very underrated musician. Got the night off to a rousing start, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. But the main event was well worth the wait, and well worth the drive.
When Age Of Electric finally took the stage, Todd gave me the shock of my life (thus far) when he pointed right at me and then reached down to shake my hand. Whether it was actual facial recognition from the last time I saw him in Chicago with SMKC, or he was simply amused to see me there in my red and black DAMMIT shirt (the only one in the crowd from what I could see), I don’t know, but from that point on, it didn’t matter what the rest of the show was like, it was already the greatest night EVER!!!
Luckily for everyone else though, the show was actually amazing. AOE sounded fantastic, like they had been playing together all this time without a 17 year hiatus. It was so great to see the incomparable John Kerns on bass, live and in person. No one plays bass quite like him, that’s for sure! The Dahle brothers looked and sounded awesome. Todd was his usual playful, engaging self, shining in the role of frontman as he always does. The band played all of their hits, including my two personal AOE favorites, “Untitled” and “Unity or Grenadine.” Ryan Dahle KILLED IT on the guitar on the former while TK sang the latter to utter perfection. Beautiful!
It was a magical experience for me, no doubt about it. But I have to admit, one of the best parts of the whole trip was on the way home when both my guys said they had a blast and they were glad we had done it.
Time spent on the road: approximately 60 hours.
Money saved by driving instead of flying: about $900.
Family bonding time and shaking Dammit’s hand: Priceless.