Retro Nerds

Retro Nerds Drummer – Jeff Graham

Anne and I attended our first rock concert, since when? I think that it was Billy Joel in the Checkerdome, in the eighties. It might have been The Arena by then, but he remembered it as the Checkerdome. He also recalled its awful acoustics. Last night’s concert was part of the Maplewood Summer Concert Series, held in Ryan Hummert Park. The band was The Retro Nerds, an 80s tribute band. While they did their sound checks, we lounged on the lawn and picnicked.

First act highlights included Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean and Thriller. I ain’t the one… There was a news splash this week that an Eagle’s greatest hit album had surpassed Michael’s Thriller album, as the all time best-selling record. Excuse me! Isn’t it stacking the deck to combine five years of work into one compilation and then call it the best-selling album. The Eagle’s actual best-selling album is Hotel California, which still trails Thriller. Sorry for the rant, but I don’t think that Retro Nerds played any of the Eagle’s biggest hits.

Other notable songs (i.e. tunes that I recognized) were Whip It by Devo, Van Halen’s Jump and Journey’s Someday Love Will Find You. If you want to see Retro Nerds they will be opening at Comic-Con in Chicago tomorrow. Other sentimental favorites include Safety Dance by Men Without Hats. Footloose by Kenny Loggins and Wild Cherry’s Play That Funky Music.

Several times during the concert the lead vocalist (Jason Nelson) referred to the day as Friday, as if it was already the weekend, but maybe for a touring rock band, Friday is their Monday. At the time, I just laughed it off as another retired guy joke, not having to go to work tomorrow. It was with a dawning realization that we awoke on Thursday morning that it was not the weekend yet.

During intermission, one of Anne’s kiddo’s made several drivebys. Anne also rescued the beanie hat of one of the band members that had gotten caught in a low tree branch. Not to be too much the fashionista, but you can only rock white shorts and a red satin tank top, while holding the guitar. Much of their repertoire I didn’t recognize, but I attribute that to listening to too much Raffi in the late 80s. Their finale was Fight for Your Right to Party by the Beastie Boys and their encore was Jumping by INXS. It was a fun concert and a perfect night.

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