My Journey concert experience

Jordan Lutz, Staff Reporter

Out of all the concerts I’ve been to, Journey’s Eclipse Tour 2011 beat them all by a landslide. Not only was there great music, engaging bands, and awesome songs, but I also got to experience one of the greatest, luckiest things to ever happen to a person: getting pulled up on stage during one of the songs.  Let me explain.

September 17, 20,000 people filled the 1-800-ASK GARY Theater, resulting in a sold out show and many fans to impress. Night Ranger and Foreigner opened and played all their most popular songs which got the audience to really join together and sing along.

Me, being a 16 year old girl amongst a sea of 35 and older adults, must have been easy to spot. At this point in the concert, Journey was into their 5th song, “Faithfully”. My mom and I were standing up while some people around us were taking a break from partying just a little too hard.

All of the sudden, two security guards appeared in front of me and say “How old are you?” and I reply “16”. They look at each other and then ask if I was standing in the spot where my seat was and I said yes.

Without any explanation, they walked away as fast as they had arrived. This led me to believe that I was in some kind of trouble. So, my dad went over to where the security guards were standing and asked them why they just interrogated me. “Oh, we are going to have her come on stage during one of the ending songs to rock out with the band and then she’s going to be able to keep one of the leading guitarist’s guitars,” said one of the security guards.

If someone had just said this to you, how would you feel? Would you feel really excited that your face is going to be on the jumbo tron in front of 20,000 people? Would you have a whole plan in your mind of what you should do when you get on stage? Well, I felt not like this.

All these really bad situations were running threw my head. What if I trip on stage? What if I fall off the stage? What do I do to “rock out”? And the list goes on and on. I was really excited but at the same time I was feeling like I was about to jump off a cliff.

When the time came to go on stage, the security guards went over the plan with me over and over again. Walk up the steps. Rock out with lead guitarist Neal Schon. Stand there and let him put his guitar on you. Walk off. By this point I’m numb and I’m not really thinking about anything. The ending of “Any Way You Want It” was coming up and that was my cue.

I ran on stage and just thought “I don’t know anybody here so I’m just going to wing it”. I went up to the guitarist and played air guitar, threw up the devil horns, and even danced a little. At the end of the song he unplugs the guitar he was just playing and puts it on me. He asks me my name and I yell into the microphone my name and then he announces to the crowd how this lucky fan gets to keep this guitar and then I walk off stage.

Waiting for me at the bottom of the steps were more security guards. One was holding a guitar case and put the guitar I was holding in it. Then another security guard had to escort my parents and I out to our car, just to make sure no one would tackle me for guitar.

By leaving the concert early, I did miss my favorite song “Don’t Stop Believing”, but it was so worth it. How is it that I get picked out of a jam-packed theater to meet one of the most legendary bands of all time? It was a magnificent experience and I hope that one day, you too will be able to enjoy something just as mesmerizing.