I loved being 17. I spent that summer going to rock concerts around Iowa, hanging out at the park and spending time with my friends.
As I’ve matured, I sometimes wished I could return to the age, if only for one day. The memories of my last summer before the reality of life set in (marriage, kids and a job) made me long for that freedom once more.
Last night I got my wish, sort of. For five hours I was 17 again, no cares, no worries, and had more fun than I’d had in a really long time.
Arriving an hour and a half early to the ‘80s Classic Rock concert at Kirkwood Community College (part of the Freedom Festival in Cedar Rapids), my friends and I sat in almost-front row seats to the ‘80s rock group, Loverboy, and the almost-as-awesome warm-up band, Arch Allies. In this case, “almost” was just as good as the real thing.
Both bands encouraged audience participation, though the guitar player from Arch Allies greeted the crowd with, “How you doing Cedar Falls?” There were a few in the audience who took offense, but he quickly apologized and explained that they played there last night.
All was forgiven when they belted out songs by Styx, REO and Journey. The lead singer, who was from Buenos Aires, Argentina, donned various wigs and costumes that were eerily similar to lead singers of respective groups, but it was his likeness to Steve Perry of Journey, in both image and voice, that stole the show.
After a short intermission, Loverboy took the stage and immediately began playing the hits they’re known for. “Working for the Weekend” and “Turn Me Loose” were my personal favorites, though many in the audience cheered and danced to other favorites.
After the last song, the band exited the stage, saying they had to go, but with a little encouragement, came back onstage to play a new tune, “I Should have Known a Little Bit Better.”
It was a great night and ended with a spectacular fireworks show. Though my throat was a little sore from yelling (something that came back instinctively, like riding a bike) I left feeling as though I’d been given a great gift; the chance to be 17 again.