Retirement is Exhausting – Part One

Leading up to my husband’s recent retirement, everyone asked me how it would be when he was around the house 24/7. Would he drive me crazy? Would he be uber-annoying?

No worries. I was certain things would be peachy.

First of all, Peter loves to cook. Now that he has time, he spends lots of time in the kitchen. In fact, since his retirement, he has cooked dinner almost every night. And, he pairs every meal with the perfect wine from our wine cellar.

I have a personal chef and sommelier all wrapped in one.

Also, Peter loves having a good time. Our kids have dubbed him the family C.F.O. Chief Fun Officer.

This week alone, we have attended two concerts, two dining events and are heading to Disney World.

Retirement in exhausting.

First up: Buddy Guy.

Every January, this Hall of Fame blues genius is in residence at his Buddy Guy’s Legends blues bar in Chicago.

Buddy Guy's Legends

We arrived at 5pm and were able to snag a couple of great seats at the bar. Although Buddy wasn’t scheduled to come on stage until 10:30pm, we were entertained by a steady stream of really good blues musicians, each grateful for the chance to perform at Buddy Guy’s.

We were also entertained by the adorable young couple sitting next to us at the bar. It was the husband’s birthday and they had come in from out of town to enjoy the show.

Apparently, they had come to Legends to celebrate last year but the wife had to leave the show early because she came down with the flu. Oddly enough, after drinking 2 beers and 3 margaritas in an hour, the wife developed “the flu” again and birthday boy husband had to take her back to the hotel. Such bad luck, two years in a row!

Our evening was much better than theirs.

Buddy Guy on stage

At almost 80 years of age, Buddy Guy is an amazing performer. His voice and his mad skills on the guitar have not faded with age. This fabulous bundle of blues playing energy performs about 150 shows per year all over the country.

Buddy Guy in crowd

At one point in his 2 hour show, Buddy came down off the stage and worked his way around the entire bar performing like a man half his age.

What a night!

A few nights later we attended the Bruce Springsteen concert – my 13th time seeing Bruce and Peter’s 15th.

We were a bit concerned that our seats, in the upper deck behind the stage, would not give us a good view of the show. We needn’t have worried.

Springsteen concert

Other than my very first Springsteen concert, in which I was in the front row, these were probably my favorite seats.

Funny story about that first concert.

It was my freshman year in college. Some of my pals and I camped out in front of the ticket office for two nights in order to be among the first to buy tickets. Our plan worked and we were rewarded with front row center seats.

On the night of the concert we were having a blast with our up close view until a bunch of guys came down from their balcony seats and crashed our front row party. There was a bit of a confrontation but we were able to shoo these cads away.

Fast forward a few years, Peter and I were talking about our Springsteen concert experiences and, the truth comes out, Peter and his friends were the ruffians who tried to move into our front row territory.

Fortunately, Peter’s concert going manners have improved since then.

James and Bruce

A concert by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band is a non-stop party.

The band played for over three hours, covering the entirety of The River album and lots and lots of other favorites.

Their playing of “Take It Easy” as an homage to the recently departed Glenn Frey was a crowd pleaser.

Springsteen playing Take It EasyAt one point, Bruce ventured out on the cat walk into the general admission floor seats then crowd surfed back to the stage.

Springsteen crowd surfingAnd the guy is 66 years old…

Apparently no retirement plans in his future.

Fans might remember that Courtney Cox had her first big break as the “girl in the crowd” who gets pulled up on stage to dance with Bruce in his 1984 “Dancing In The Dark” music video.

At our concert, this lucky gal got the gig.

Bruce dancingI’m not sure if it is Bruce’s age that has changed his choice of dance partners or the fact that his wife, Patti Scialfa, is on stage with him as a member of the E Street Band.

Probably a little from column A and a little from column B.

Eventually the house lights came up as the band played encore after encore.Springsteen concert house lights upAfter a 10 minute finale of “Shout”, it was time to say good night.

E Street Band leaves stageSo long, gang.

Hope to see you soon for Springsteen concert #14!

Have you ever seen either of these talented musicians in concert? Have any special memories to share?

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  1. Oh you made feel so good about these musicians being so young for their age. They’re doing what they love, aren’t they? They’re having fun and it shows in their energy and what they enjoy sharing. I’ve not seen either one of them in concert but I’ve been to so, so many in my years. It’s one of my favorite things to spend money and time on. Thanks for sharing…and keep enjoying the retirement!
    Barbara recently posted…You’ve gotta play your game.My Profile

  2. One of my friends had seen Bruce many times and all over the country too. It is fun to hear her talk about her love for him – it sounds like you feel the same 🙂
    Vicki recently posted…Walking in All SeasonsMy Profile

  3. There’s just something about live music that I find so exciting! I saw Bryan Adams last year, my favorite, and hope to see many concerts in the years to come. What a happy retirement you’re having! Jealous, I mean, er, good for you!
    Katy recently posted…I Didn’t Know She Was PregnantMy Profile

  4. So fun…not trying to wish my life away, but I think retirement would be great. My husband is an excellent cook, he usually cooks during the school year and I cook in the summer. I cook on snowdays, so have been cooking for the last 5 days. Have fun in Disney.
    Beemie recently posted…Snowlapalooza ’16…My Profile

  5. I’ve been to hundreds of concerts and one of the most memorable was Buddy Guy at Legends in the mid 90s. It was memorable for a few reasons. As I was exiting the rest room I saw Buddy was sitting at the end of the bar nursing a small pre-show drink. He was just looking around the club. People all around him, not one talking with him. I don’t think they knew it was him! So I walked up and said a few words to him along the lines of thanks for all the great music. Of course he played an unbelievably incredible set and just wailed on the polka dots. The killer was walking to the car after the show. It had to be 1-2:00 am and the walk was only 3 or 4 blocks. But the wind chill that night was -55 to -60 degrees! Good memories.

  6. A husband who is a chef, sommelier and social director all rolled into one – I am jealous.
    I saw my first (and second ) Bruce Springsteen concert at ND too – great seats – so memorable. The first time I saw the Doobie Brothers was freshman year in the first row because my brother and his pals camped out overnight in front of the ticket office.
    My husband loves the blues; we enjoyed it many times when we were single and lived in Chicago.

  7. What a fabulous (exhausting) week! I wasn’t able to get to the concert, but I did download the free music that Bruce generously shared when the New York MSG concert was cancelled due to snowstorm Jonas. Not quite the same, but I can feel the energy!
    College was such a fun time to see bands live. I worked a an outdoor music festival, so I was lucky enough to see so many groups live, from Crosby & Nash, Heart, Judy Collins, Chuck Mangione, Emmylou Harris, Harry Chapin to The Osmonds and even Sha Na Na. Post concert, the members of Sha Na Na joined us at a local tavern. One silly co-worker even went back to their hotel with them (not me). I love the memories your blogs bring back!

  8. You party girl!

    I actually got to go up on stage at a Bruce Springsteen concert. It wasn’t exactly a Courtney Cox moment (another Alabama girl, by the way), but BEFORE the concert started, my husband and I got a tour of the stage area, both above and below.(No Bruce sighting – we were frantically searching).

    The crowd simmered down when they saw us because they thought something big was about to happen. I was totally shy for once in my entire life, but I wish I had the courage to bust a move right there for the huge arena in New Orleans! Beneath the stage was a row of about two dozen of Bruce’s guitars. You think he only has the one special guitar, but if you notice, they are constantly handing him guitars throughout the concert. The reason is so he will be in tune without having to stop and actually retune one particular guitar. It’s one person’s job to take care of and tune them all.

    I like your idea of retirement!!!
    Leslie Anne recently posted…Comment on The day I sang with a jazz band by Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynestMy Profile

    • Getting up on stage – even if the band wasn’t up there with you – AMAZING!!! I have noticed that about the guitars but didn’t know that one poor soul is responsible for tuning all the guitars. How on earth can they hear to tune during the concert?! Busting a move would have been fun, but now you get lo live on in infamy as that mysterious gal who appeared on stage. A real Alabama legend!
      Mo Lux recently posted…Warm Soup And A Red Wine BlendMy Profile

  9. What a fun time you’re having!

    I saw a lot of ‘big name’ concerts when I was younger, but now I prefer smaller venues (with local or up and coming musicians)
    Kathy G recently posted…A Box At A TimeMy Profile

  10. you are certainly living the retirement life! i hope to join you in 16 years!

  11. Sounds you are living the good life! I really wanted to see Springsteen again when he came to NY last week, but we missed out on tickets. I’m so bummed! I hope he’s got at least one more concert tour to do before he retires!
    Amy recently posted…Best of the Weekend 1.29.16…and a New Look!My Profile

  12. I’m not a Bruce fan (sorry!) but I have a few friends who are hard core. They just saw him last week, with plans to road trip in the spring. It’s fun to see them get so excited! Clearly Bruce puts on a great concert.
    Dana recently posted…How to plan a European vacation without losing your mindMy Profile

  13. As a Jersey girl, it’s a little sad that I’ve never seen Bruce in concert. I hear he’s incredible! Retirement does sound exhausting — but so much!
    Bev recently posted…Wordless Wednesday: Kitchen HelperMy Profile

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