Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
There is nothing that compares to being in Pittsburgh on the day of a big Steeler game. It’s amazing. At least half the people I saw last Thursday on my visit to Pittsburgh were wearing Steeler garb.
This was the first NFL game of the year, and the bonus was a free concert from Tim McGraw and the Black Eyed Peas before the show. I have to report on my experience down at Point State Park.
McGraw came on at 5:30 and played most of his hits. His collection of hits is unmatched over the last 15 years in country music. One of my favorites is the underrated “Where the Green Grass Grows,” which he played early in his set.
After McGraw’s hour-long performance came the Black Eyed Peas. Normally I’m not impressed by hip hop shows; they often just run around yelling “Throw your hands in the air!” and don’t put much time into their singing. But the Peas’ show was great. Fergie’s solo “Big Girls Don’t Cry” was tremendous – I’m amazed how well she really sings.
I got as close as I could get without a VIP ticket, but I was still kinda far away. At 8:00, NBC cut in for the televised portion of the show. Many of the VIP people started leaving, so they let some of us regulars up into the front section. If you’ve ever seen a news clip on the day after Thanksgiving when they open the doors and people trample each other to get in there, that’s how it was. We raced and squirmed and managed to get past the gate into the front section.
As far as I can remember, this was the first time I’ve ever been at a concert that was being televised live. It was really cool to be standing there knowing that everyone in the country was watching this performance that I was seeing with my own eyes. The Peas came back out and did “I Gotta Feeling” and everyone went nuts.
Inside the VIP section, there was another VIP section at the very front. During McGraw’s final song, they opened up that section for outsiders, so again we rushed up there. Just then, McGraw came out into the audience, so after spending most of the night far from the stage, I found myself 15 feet to McGraw’s right during the final number. I took about 200 pictures, maybe five of which came out.
The evening closed with fireworks. And a Steeler victory. So it was a great trip to Pittsburgh.