How far is too far to travel for a concert?
How far would you go to see a concert?
An hour? Two? A plane flight? No more than a mile? Your cul-de-sac?
I know a Bruce Springsteen fanatic who’s seen the Boss more than 100 times, flying to France and Australia and places in between. I asked my friend where the heck he got the money to pay for those trips and concert tickets. He hemmed and hawed and said he’d tell me later. Never has.
I would never see anyone 100 times, and there are bands I like so much I would kneel and kiss the hems of their garments. But four concerts has been my limit, and there are only three bands that I’ve seen that many times: Queen, UFO and Blue Rodeo.
I bring this up because there are two bands this week that, if they were in Chattanooga, I’d go see in a heartbeat — Reckless Kelly and Turnpike Troubadours. But Reckless Kelly plays Atlanta, and Turnpike Troubadours are in Birmingham. The Troubadours have played Chattanooga in the past, including Riverbend 2013, but I hadn’t discovered them at that time. I can’t remember Reckless Kelly ever playing here in the nine years that I’ve lived in Chattanooga.
So the question is: Both cities are two hours down, two hours back. Do I want to devote that much time for 90-minute shows? Even I can do the math showing that 90 minutes is less than four hours.
But a great concert can make the drive well worth the time. The drive will fade quickly in the memory; the concert won’t. And there’s a l ways t he chance that the shows will j ust be OK instead of outstanding. First-world problem, right? I’m not decrepit and broken down physically — or at least not much. Driving down and back wouldn’t turn me into a useless blob of protoplasm.
Truth is, though, two hours down and back is the extent of my concert-driving treks even when I was in my teens and 20s. I made those journeys on multiple occasions.
But growing up in Atlanta and spending most of my adult life in Birmingham made things easy since I didn’t usually have to travel to see a concert. Pretty much everyone comes to one of those cities eventually, especially Atlanta
Chattanooga doesn’t get nearly as many shows but is nicely located when it comes to concerts. Atlanta, Birmingham and Nashville are two hours one way and, if you can’t find a concert by a band you like in one of those cities, either the band has broken up or you aren’t looking hard enough. But again, it comes down to the ratio of 4 hours vs. 90 minutes. Of good vs. meh.
Yeah, I know. Do I serve cheese with my whine?