My parents would occasionally take me to see concerts once we moved to Charlotte. In retrospect, they picked some really good ones. Tina Turner on the Private Dancer tour, with Bryan Adams opening. Hall & Oates, with General Public opening. Billy Joel on the Innocent Man tour. Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond. Lionel Richie, on the Dancing On The Ceiling tour, All of these shows were at the Charlotte Coliseum. The Oak Ridge Boys and a whole host of acts at Carowinds. The WSOC country music reunion with the Desert Rose Band, Ronnie Milsap and others.
The Monkees, on my 14th birthday in 1986. I could have gone with my family to see Whitney Houston in 1987, but I passed on that one. Even then, it wasn't my thing. However, I did see Kenny Rogers headlining at the Coliseum in 1985.
I honestly don't know if my dad or I took photos of the show. But I still remember it all. The in-the-round set-up. We arrived during the Righteous Brothers' opening set, who were playing to an somewhat not interested room, despite having a boatload of hits. Larry Gatlin being high as heck with the Gatlin Brothers. If any of you remember the story he told about his mashed thumb, and how he mashed said thumb. Uh, yeah, way freaking high.
Then there was Kenny. The white suit, which seemed to light from within when the spotlights hit it. The grown women shrieking when he walked towards him. How we slowly moved and acknowledged everyone around the stage. Even then, it seemed that Kenny was tired of doing the show this way. But the fans loved it. It's interesting now to look back and realize how undefinable Kenny was throughout his career. Rock, then country. Balladry, pop, you name it. Kenny Rogers did transcend all of those genres. Regardless of what you were into, people came to see and hear Kenny Rogers. He really was, and is a genre unto himself. Especially when he stepped out on stage.
Safe travels, Gambler, from the kid in section 211.
March 21, 2020