When Feng and I went to see The Rolling Stones in 2005 in Ottawa—our first concert together—we joked that it may be our last chance to catch them live.
The joke was on us. Eight years later The Rolling Stones are still on the road with their 50 & Counting Tour and we couldn’t resist going to see them, again. Back in 2005, we had crappy tickets and the band played at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa, an outdoor stadium that isn’t great for concerts.
We bought the special $85 tickets—a bargain. However, these lower-priced tickets came with strings attached: the seat locations would only be revealed when we pick up the tickets the night of the show, and once we had the tickets in hand, we had to be escorted inside—no refunds, no exchange.
This meant we could land great seats or end up with 300-level obstructed view seats.
We took a chance.
We traveled to Toronto (more on that later!), showed up at the Air Canada Centre around 7 p.m. and queued with other overexcited fans to pick up the $85 tickets. The staff picked an envelope from a huge pile, opened it and announced “…and you’ve got… great seats!”
Oh boy did we get great seats! We landed the sought-after “Tongue Pit” tickets, just meters away from the scene. Retail value? $600.
We felt like we had won the lottery.
We made our way to the pit and truly realized how close we were to the stage, even closer than we were when we saw U2 in Sydney. It was amazing. I could count the wrinkles on Mike Jagger’s face, and be the first one to notice each time Keith Richards lit up a cigarette.
This was my first concert since Bryan Adams, last year, when I was five-month pregnant with Mark. Trust me, this time I was happy I wasn’t pregnant—being in the pit for three hours is exhausting, and the band put up quite a show!
I couldn’t help wondering what Mike Jagger was on… he had so much energy it felt unreal!
The show ended shortly before midnight and we wandered downtown Toronto, looking for a bite to eat before giving up and getting a pizza we ate on our bed, at the hotel.
You can see the complete set of pictures on Flickr: The Rolling Stones.
Get Off Of My Cloud; It’s Only Rock ‘N’Roll (But I Like It); Paint It Black; Gimme Shelter; Worried About You; Rocks off; Emotional Rescue; Doom and Gloom; One More Shot; Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’ (with Mick Taylor); Honky Tonk Women; You Got The Silver (Keith on lead vocals); Before They Make Me Run (Keith on lead vocals); Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor); Miss You; Start Me Up; Tumbling Dice; Brown Sugar; Sympathy For The Devil
You Can’t Always Get What You Want (with Cawthra Park Secondary School’s Chamber Choir)^Jumpin’ Jack Flash; (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (with Mick Taylor)