Saint Paul, Minnesota

Xcel Energy Center

October 25, 2017

[Laurette Maillet]

Review by Laurette Maillet

St Paul.  25th October.  I get up 5.15 a.m. Call UBER on my tablet. Pack
everything. Say goodbye to the dog (the only one up in the house). Close
the door. Wait for the bus to St Paul. I contacted my CS host, Niqui, but
I had no answer. I then contact another CS host. Better be safe! At the
last moment Niqui said the pation door will be unlocked for me to leave my
suitcase there, at her home.  The bus arrives on time at the union depot.
Splendid building. I walk all the way to Arlington street. It takes me
more than 2 hours as passerby keep on misguiding me. I leave my luggage
and walk back to dowtown, towards the Xcel Energy Center. I rest my poor
feet and get some energy drink. By 6 p.m. I am by the venue. Funny
youngters are holding a huge portrait of Bobby. They say if I go to a bar,
down the street, put my name on a piece of paper , I may win a BD show
ticket for tonight. Woha! I never knew if I won! 2 ladies are giving away
cereal bars. They happily drop many in my bag. They are sugar free,
protein free, GMO free ... for a while I thought they were food free! But
though they taste like shit.....this is filling up my stomach. I start my
request for a ticket at the main door by 6.15 p.m. Scalpers are aggressive
and other poor fellows search  for cheap tickets as well.  Fans arrive
by bunch of 20/25.  They are not friendly. I would say even harsh and
rude. Wave after wave folks pass me with no word or consideration. I feel
'invisible'.  Sue spends some time chatting with me and this is a great
relief.  I was almost giving up!  8.15 p.m. Absolutely no luck. I
believe 8000 people passed by me.   The speakers are still shouting the
regulations : strict search of body and bag, no recording material, no smoking of regular cigarettes or ecigarettes....smoking
permitted out only at gate3. What?? Oh my! Memories pop up in my mind. The
time when Bob had an intermission and I could sneak in by the smoking
area. I rapidly move to gate3. Fans are smoking out  for Mavis show is
over. I join the smokers, though I never smoked a cigarette in my life! By
chance I have with me my ticket from Ames. They all look the same those
Ticketmaster ticket.  I pass the security metal detector,  present from
far my ticket in my hand, the Lady asks if I have the stamp on my wrist.
She gives me the answer. I pretend lifting my sleeve and say" yes. I have
the stamp". I am IN. Finding a spot will be no problem here. I stay on the
balcony and try to move as close as possible to the stage as Stu strums
his tune. I sneak inside the first door on the left on the stage, stand up
by the rail(a rail is going all around the balcony,  on the top of the
sport arena). Bob is finishing "Things have changed" , gets into "It ain't
me Babe" when a stupid usher asks me where I am seated. She wants to see
my ticket, as if being where I am could disturb anyone??!! I have to leave
to avoid any trouble,  I can't take the risk of being thrown out! I try
the second door, then the third door...stupid ushers! The 4 th one is less
strict. I sneak behind a group of intoxicated young follows. I will stand
up on my poor bloated feet the entire show. I relax just before "Summer
days": take my coat off, put my bag down and dance the Irish dance. The
young guy next to me is a Fan. We have a good time. I drum on the rail
with my fingers, following Little Georgie's moves. I appreciate plainly
each one of the song, thinking I could be out in the cold by now. I must
have a good Star to guide me, talking to my brain! The Arena is packed. I
wondering how many know what Bob is playing. Not the intoxicated youngters
who applaude at the wrong timing, long time before Bob ends "Why try to
change me now? " or "Melancholy mood ". "Highway 61" has a good reception
as well as "Thunder on the mountain ". "Autumn leaves" is getting to a
smooth end and I am ready for "Long and wasted years ". But Bob stays at
the piano and I recognize the first notes of " Ballad of a thin man ". 
Woha! So did Bob decide to finish early and go spend some time with his
family on his farm? Nope. He comes back for "Blowing in the wind ".  And
finalise with "That lucky old sun ". Beautifull surprise!  I am glad I
didn't give up my search.  Thanks so much for Su company. I wait for the
"school of sardines" to move out. I look for ticket stubs, for me and my
good friend Stefano. I run into Bill Pagel who says he had a ticket for
me, 8th row down the floor. Oh well! Shit! He said he texted me but I
never opened my telephone just to call HIM TWICE with no answer!! Things
happen in season, for a reason. ... said to me Mr R. once upon a time!
Time now to panic again for I have no idea if the door of the CS host will
be open.  I call with no answer. I walk fast.  By 11.45 p.m. I am at the
door and see some lights.  Jamie opens, shows me around, offers me a
soda, guides me to my room. I crash on the bed and fall in a deep sleep.
What a day! Night , night Bobby!  See you in Chicago if my good star
follows me there.


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