Last week, one of Edz' managers gave her two tickets to go see the Veterans Day Concert for Valor on the National Mall. She texted me frantically around lunch time to let me know that we had to arrive before 5:30 PM for the 7:00 PM concert.
I left work early and met her at 4:00 PM at the Starbucks in front of the Federal Center SW Metro station. With our two blue tickets in hand, we walked towards the entrance on 4th street. I've been to three presidential inaugurations and two July 4th fireworks on the National Mall. There's always the public section that is usually about half a mile away from the stage. With tickets you can get closer, but often not that close. When I was at Obama's first Inauguration I was in the standing only section. When he was sworn in the second time I was closer and actually had a chair (and thanks to Kilili for both tickets!).
I thought of those experiences as we walked towards the entrance. Where would we end up?
After going through security we followed the signs to the blue ticket section. We were led to the area right behind the bleachers, then around the bleachers, and then right down to the front of the stage. At 4 PM there were lots of people spread out on blankets. We walked around them to go right up to the front, about six bodies from the stage. Then we stood in place for three hours as we waited for the concert to start.
Metallica was the best act of the night. You haven't lived until you've seen them live. Rihanna and Eminem were also amazing. Dave Grohl rocked. About half the crowd didn't understand Bruce Springsteen was protesting. I'd never heard Zac Brown, Black Keys, or Carrie Underwood sing before, and probably won't make an attempt to again. And I still can't name a song Jennifer Hudson sings, although I've heard the name.
I posted a few of the photos I took to Facebook. Here are a few of my favorites: