PNC Arts Center: Rock Legends Chicago & The Doobie Brothers

Chicago played for more than 2 hours!

Last evening my husband Mike and I attended a concert at the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. We hadn’t been to a concert there since, I kid you not, college. Guess what? PNC Arts Center hasn’t changed a bit: It’s still a roof-covered concert hall with the sides open to the weather.

Thank goodness we could (now) afford to purchase one of the 7,000 actual seats, under the roof to protect us from the drizzle, and we also purchased an additional $39.99 VIP parking pass. I felt like a queen as I walked the mere half mile uphill to the main gate. And while I stood in the security line with thousands of other people, many with lawn chairs in hand? I didn’t need to double over to catch my breath. We were thatclose.

Last night’s concert experience was so different from back in the day when we lugged our lawn chairs and carefully hidden booze 1.25 miles up the hill to the main entrance and then chose a spot on the “lawn,” a bajillion acres of grass hard-packed dirt on which we sat cheek to jowl with more than 10,000 strangers, in the name of listening to our fave musical act.

The Doobie Brothers hits are part of my teen memories.

The bands didn’t disappoint. The Doobie Brothers played a tight 45-minute set that highlighted all the band’s greatest hits. Then Chicago hit the stage for more than two hours of horn-laced, guitar music. And the percussion guys? Rock music of the very best kind. Epic! The audience, including yours truly, sang along, frequently swigging from our cap-free water bottles. Yes, things have changed since we visited PNC (AKA The Garden State Arts Center) the very first time.

We got home at midnight this morning. And I couldn’t fall asleep. The buzzing in my ears was too loud. And song threads kept circling in my brain. And memories of high school antics attached to some of the lyrics made for a restless night.

This is me today.


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