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Buy Me Some Peanuts and Crackerjack

Karen Petersen - US

When this tour was first announced and I seen all the dates in the midwest I could barely contain myself as so many were within driving distance and close to home, I couldn't believe my luck. I told my youngest son Jimmy in the past that next time Bryan &Co come back to Chicago or close to us that I would take him, so when I saw SCHAUMBURG as one of the cities I was gobsmacked, the ball park we all watched being built as my mother is only a few blocks away, how GREAT is that? So this REALLY was HOME gig for me.

I told Jimmy of the concert and gave him ONE condition if he wanted to go... He had to sing LOUDER then ME :))( is THAT possible?) He promised he would TRY and was grinning from ear to ear , jumping up and down, and grilled me everyday how much longer mom, how many more days mom etc etc..

Finally GIG DAY!!!!!! Jimmy is up at the crack of dawn waking me up as I pretended to still be asleep(mean aint I hehe) then I jumped up told Jimmy let's get ready we're gonna be late hurry hurry.. I'm such a silly mom but it was such great fun getting him wound up and ready for the day, we got ourselves ready and headed out to arrive to a very empty venue, I had guessed from previous gigs with the Def Leppard fans that they would have been there camping out etc.. to my surprise we were first in quuee for a few hours, wasn't TOO bad we had snacks and drinks, and the GAMEBOY for Jimmy to keep himself entertained for the day.

It became one of the HOTTEST days of the year, the sun was blazing the temps reached over 100 F and we were all sweltering, the venue let us in to cool off and get water and to use the facilities, I was concerned for Jimmy because at one point he wasn't feeling to well with the heat, we had some people with us that had ice cold water in their cooler and I took Jimmy inside to wet his head and cool off some and he seemed fine after that, just a bit dehydrated ....

The hours didn't seem to be as long as the last few minutes before gates opened , that seemed to take the longest as it usually does, Jimmy was getting ready to run for his life and more and more anxious, we had 4 or 5 flights of stairs to hurdle then across the back of the concession stand then down another long flight of stairs and across the field, OMG we MADE IT.... 2nd row as the first row had been filled up by season ticket holders, and that's cool we were pleased with the spots we had, and the people around us were AMAZING and very helpful and protective of Jimmy making sure no one would squish him etc.

Finally it's time for the show to start and my friends from work still weren't there ,I started to worry I wouldn't see them at all, so Randy Coleman takes the stage and wow I am completely impressed with his sound and style, was pretty cool, just into his set my friends from work found me, they said they knew RIGHT were to look, "up front" hahah so now we have my friends from work all the new people we just met all surrounding Jimmy to protect him it was GREAT, even the people in front of him kept making sure he could see,

Randy finishes and we are now ready for Def Leppard, I have liked def over the years but never seen them live so this was also a first for me. Def comes on and WOWOWOO I am like SUPER impressed at how well they sound and what a show they put on, Jimmy was rockin like a trooper and kept saying how awesome it was and how much he loved it and thanking me for bringing him.

Def finishes up a rockin awesome show and now we are anticipating BRYAN & CO ... seems like 4 ever for the stage crew to change and set everything up, as we are watching the crew do their thing, the people in front of us turn and say"would you like to be up front? we know you are here for Bryan and we were here for def so it's cool if you want to switch with us..." OMG How sweet and awesome and generous of them to let us up front.... Jimmy gets up against the barrier in the perfect spot and I am sort of on side but behind him to ensure he doesn't get smashed against barrier , he is in absolute heaven at the new position he has gained, we cannot thank these ppl enough they were truly amazing to do that for us. Finally we start seeing movement from side of stage and here comes Bryan and KEITH and the rest of the guys on stage, I cannot remember for the life of me the setlist . When they came out on stage Keith noticed me immediately and saw Jimmy with me and gave a huge smile and thumbs up, the show was ROCKIN and guys were in awesome moods , Jimmy had a banner that said "this kid wants to rock" he held it up between songs and Bryan saw it and read it then went right into kids wanna rock, not sure if this was next or in the setlist but it was cool he played it after jimmy had his banner up, it Made his night... so did all the goofing around Keith was doing with him thru the night it was so much fun and I just stood there watching in awe and how happy it made me to see my baby this happy. at one point Keith was chucking plectrums to jimmy but he kept missing them , then one hit me smack in the forehead ( yeah I know it WAS funny) and he got that one, then thru the night he got a plec off Bryan and a drumstick from Mickey.. the kid made out like a banchi this night I tells ya... during Everything I do jimmy turned to me and i seen he had tears running down his face, not cos he was sad but he was extremely grateful and appreciative, he was telling me how much he loved it and thanked me over and over again for taking him and how much he loves me, this then made me cry to see my lil guy SOOOO happy I am THRILLED to have shared this amazing experience with my son, he rocked his BUTT off this night and loved every minute of the show and can't wait to attend another show, he asks me pretty much daily when they are coming back hahah.We decided to try to look for a back entrance after show but it was at the other end and well we were shattered and jimmy could barely keep up with us, so my friends and i headed to our cars and follow each other home, we stopped at an all night diner to get some food and some much needed coffee for the ride home and discuss the events of the night , poor jimmy fell asleep at the diner , bless him. I have to say the guys did what they do best and rocked us all, I cannot thank them enough for making me proud to be a baddie/troobie and acknowledging my son as much as they did and for making a night to remember for him, something he will cherish the rest of his life, and a night he won't soon forget. THANK YOU Once again Keith for well for just being YOU and for making this night extraordinarily special for me and Jimmy. WE LOVE YA MUNKEE!!! xxxx