March 25, 2016. For most readers of this blog, that day kicked off Duran Duran’s 2016 North American tour supporting Paper Gods. For me, it was an unforgettable day for a different reason.
I am fortunate enough to have great tickets to three of the July shows for the Paper Gods (see you in Toronto, Boston, and Camden). So when Duran announced the Niagara Falls shows — just 1 week after I spent all that money on the July shows, mind you — I had a tough choice to make. Niagara Falls is only 1.5 hours from home, the shortest travel time to any Duran shows for me to date. Not to mention, the shows were on a weekend and kicking off the 2016 tour. That never happens for me!
But as much as I wished I could go to the Niagara Falls shows on March 25-26, I knew the right thing to do (financially) was to pass on them. I already spent too much money on the July shows. My best Duranie friend was going to one of the shows, and I’ll admit it was tough to stay excited for her. But of course I wished her good ticket karma on the presale and hoped to hear some great stories.
Then, on Wednesday evening, March 23, I came across a post on Instagram from Prince announcing two shows in Toronto on Friday, March 25. Concert tickets went on sale the next morning. Holy sh!t. I knew that he usually announced shows only a day or two before the performances, and that was part of the reason why I followed him on Instagram and Twitter. But I never expected one this close to home. And by “this close” I mean 3 hours away. When I saw the ticket prices, I nearly fainted. These tickets were more expensive than almost any ticket I’ve bought for a Duran show. But hey, odds were low that I’d even get a ticket, so if I got one I’ll figure out the rest. And if it didn’t work out, I could still try to get a last-minute to Duran’s show that same night or the next night in Niagara Falls.
I’ve had good ticket karma for the last 6 months so I hoped it would hold out for just one more show. When I got to work Thursday morning, I promptly blocked off my calendar for 10:00 so that nothing would interrupt this chance (c’mon, you’ve done it too). In my 9:30-10:00 meeting, I exhausted my telepathic power to make the meeting end early. When it finally broke up around 10:04, I busted out of the room and went right to my desk to log in and try for a ticket. And then I got it: 4th row, just off to the left. (By now Ticketmaster must know I prefer John’s side.) I think I blacked out a little after I clicked “Purchase”.
My logical brain was saying “You chose NOT to see the opening night of Duran Duran’s tour but you spent nearly three times that amount on concert tickets for Prince? What happened to saving money and spending wisely?” But my heart was saying, “Life is Too Short, Buy the Ticket!” As much as I love the boys, I knew I needed to take this opportunity and see Prince.
I’ve seen this photo making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter, and it was my mantra when deciding to go to three Duran shows this summer. Trust me, I’m not well off financially. And I wish we all had enough money and the luxury of seeing every concert we want to see. But sometimes you need to realize what you want out of life and do what you need to in order to make it happen.
So as I drove along interstate 190 on my way to Toronto on March 25, I could see Fallsview Casino and Niagara Falls off to my left and I wished the boys a good show. It was a little heartbreaking to know they were this close and I wasn’t going to see them, but knew in my heart I had made the right choice. I reminded myself that on this day, I needed to keep heading north and see one the last artists on my concert bucket list. Little did I know that it would be the 2nd to last show he’d perform.
Today I mourn with the world at the loss of this gifted virtuoso. And I call myself fortunate to have been able to see him just a month before he passed away. You may think that my recollection is glowing only in hindsight; trust me, as soon as Prince walked out on stage, I knew I had no regrets in my decision to buy the concert tickets. It was an amazing, impressive, and entertaining performance that I’ll never forget.