Historic Tower Theater

Historic Tower Theater

Pam called with an opportunity late this week.

Did I want to go see the Amy Grant Christmas show at the Tower Theater this weekend?”  According to the web site, her country singer husband (another favorite of Pam’s), Vince Gill, would be there too.  “Sure, why not!” I responded and thus we had a special event planned for Saturday evening on the other side of Philadelphia, a theater we had heard great things about, but never experienced yet.  We decided to drive over early enough to enjoy a dinner before the show and pick up the tickets at “Will Call” in time to beat the crowds.

Well, the drive over was interesting as we found ourselves in detours around Market Street construction and driving under the “El” (that’s elevated trains) – a section of Philadelphia that looked right out of some dangerous cop/bad guy chase scene movie.  It was NOT a comfortable drive!  Lucky for us Pam had her new blackberry phone device that includes a talking GPS which kept announcing “rerouting” again and again as we navigated around those construction zones into darker and darker alleys – but it kept inching us closer to the destination in Upper Darby, just on the border of Philadelphia.  Finally we arrived in what can best be described as “American downtown” as we used to know it before the large shopping malls – brightly lit main street, no parking spaces open (much double parking) with on-street parking and big stores all along the drag.  Once parked (in a back street parking garage that was brightly labeled “Free Parking” with a few lawn chaired “attendants” accepting our $10 to get into the area), fast food was the only option.

Back out on the bright main street we walked in the brisk cold (wishing we had brought gloves), got our tickets and decided on a Popeyes chicken shop as the best bet for a quick and safe meal.  Let it just be said that that too was an experience left undescribed, certainly not what I had envisioned as a dinner before the concert, but we were fed and back into the Tower Theater and ready to enjoy the show.

Amy Grant had an 8-piece accompaniment and today was both her birthday (according to the loud fans – actually its the 25th, but close enough for the merriment of that venue) and the final show of the “Retirement Tour” which featured her songs all pre- 1988.  So much for the Christmas Tour show, but it wasn’t a disappointment, just a real good rock concert (read that “loud” with fans in the aisles and the crowd forced to stand up for many of the numbers as the front rows stood up, forcing those behind them – if you wanted to see anything – to stand up also, like a wave moving from the front to the back). Here’s a fuzzy shot from Pam’s blackberry to see what it was like to “be there”  . . .

Amy Grant in concert

Amy Grant in concert

But it was good for my knees which usually get pretty stiff from just sitting, the exercise helping to flex them frequently.  No Vince Gill.  No Christmas songs.  Just a good concert, like a rock concert fan wise and loudness wise, with some sing-alongs to old Amy Grant classics/favorites like El Shaddai

All in all, a great experience with a Saturday date night with Amy (and Pam).

My philosophy: When offered an opportunity, take it – you may never pass this way again. And this weekend just reinforced that point.  “Thanks Pam, for the opportunity and experience!

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