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Another highlight of my summer was attending Foreigner‘s farewell tour with Griffin. Foreigner 4 is one of my all-time favorite albums, and I just could not pass up the opportunity to see the band live just once. And – BONUS – Loverboy was their opening act. If we go waaaaay back, the second concert I ever attended was Loverboy at the New York State Fair grandstand in 1983. My best friend and I had been turned loose on the Fair with no parental supervision and we screamed our way through the concert, banging on the corrugated metal back wall of our last-row seats. It was loud and crazy and a great memory.

But anyway, the Foreigner concert was my first at the Lakeview Amphitheater. I was very impressed with the facility and will definitely consider attending future events there. Griffin and I arrived early to avoid lines and enjoyed watching the show that nature put on for us – a huge double rainbow out one side of the amphitheater, with a dazzling sunset later on out the other side.

Both Loverboy and Foreigner were phenomenal. I was glad to see that Mike Reno is still sporting his signature bandana, though I’m guessing tight leather pants are no longer in his wardrobe. And Foreigner’s lead singer had the vocals almost perfect enough to make me forget that he’s not Lou Gramm.

So everything above this point is fun and positive and a great memory. But there’s more to the story. At the time, I hadn’t been to a concert in quite a few years, even before Covid, and I almost didn’t make it to this one because the monster tried to get me.

Monster? That’s what I call my anxiety, and I battled it hard over the week before the concert. I bought the tickets almost a year ago because I love Foreigner and this was going to be their last tour ever so there was no way I wasn’t going to be there.

But at the beginning of that week the anxious thoughts started creeping in. Large crowds. A venue I’ve never been to before. Traffic that I knew would be a nightmare. The ever-present worry if my oversized ass would fit comfortably in the seats. And did I mention large crowds?

The monster got bad enough that I actually asked my son if any of his friends would be interested in going with him if I bowed out. Right up until that Thursday I was still on the fence. Then on Friday someone at work asked me what I was doing that weekend and I made a firm decision in that moment that I was not going to let the monster win this round. I was going to the concert come hell or high water. And it was an incredible concert and I got to spend time with my kid.

Anxiety has robbed me of so much in my fifty-four years on this planet. I wish I had gotten the help I needed decades ago. I guess this part of the post is just my way of reaching out to anyone else who may be a victim of the anxiety monster. The battle doesn’t really ever end, but meds and therapy can help a lot. Don’t wait till you’re in your fifties like I was.

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