Sherry's Rockapella Trip Report

July 14, 2002

Starlight Bowl--Burbank, CA

(Barry's Last Show)

Yes, another hot day in sunny Southern California. Of course, it was July, so that's not a surprise. I had mixed feelings about today. Another Rockapella day- yay! However, it was also to be Barry's very last show, so--boo. At least we would be some of the lucky people to witness the event. I tried to convince my friends to meet me at the concert, but one of them was hemming and hawing, and the other needed to check on something first, so, I went on my own to the Starlight Bowl after church to meet up with Angela and Rachel. Of course, we were really early and the parking lot wasn't open, so we all parked on the dirt. I walked up the pathway to the Bowl, and spied a snake coming out of the bushes. Oh, yay. A wonderful opportunity to get bit! Well, luckily, he saw me, too, and wasn't startled, and I managed to walk by him without incident. Angela later told me that it must have been a rattlesnake, since that's what usually inhabits the area. Thank God I didn't hear the rattle, or I would have been much more freaked out.

At the top of the pathway were my friends, first in line as expected, already trying not to bake in the sun. I met Rachel, whom was staying with Angela. (Hi, Rachel!). She made little origami stars, and gave me one. Cute! We partook of Pellapusher goodies between swigs of water. I had lots of water, btw, and was glad to unload some of it, because it was still a bit frozen, and heavy. Barb brought some pictures from the House of Blues and shared them with us. Thanks, Barb! A guy with a cigar said that he was going to the store and kindly offered to buy stuff for people in line. Hank asked for a huge can of Folger's, to see if the guys would sign it. I never did check to see if they did, but I can't imagine why they wouldn't.

We then found out that our cars were not in the proper parking lot, so we had to move them. This was OK with us, until we realized that we couldn't actually just go directly to the parking lot, which was literally NEXT TO the dirt lot. We were required to go back down to the end of the line of cars, which was down to the larger road, in order to pay for the parking. God only knows why they couldn't just take our money at the other gate. On the way to our cars, though, we spied the guys coming up in their cars, and waved hello. Well, at the parking line, we sat outside our cars, because the traffic was just stopped. Nobody was moving, because they hadn't actually set up the payment stuff yet. ARGH! A guy that wasn't with our group was yelling, stating that he had a party to get to. Hank informed him that nobody was moving, and he might as well calm down. The guy was a jerk and proceeded to tell Hank that he didn't need to have the 'tude that the guy himself was displaying for us. Angela stayed in her car, in order to feel the air-conditioning. It was hot, you know. Really hot. I used other, more colorful words that day, which Hank enjoyed, but won't be repeated here on this family-friendly site. ;) We finally were able to park our cars, and I went to the little yucky restroom before trekking back up the hill. I saw MJ and Ross and attacked them with hugs. MJ said that I was hot, and not in a good way. Sorry, MJ. I was concerned that I had BO or something, but she said no, I was just obviously very warm. When we got back up to the line, some peple had decided that the back of the line wasn't good enough for them, and sat in front of our group. Hello?! So we decided to move our stuff all the way up to the gate, sun or no sun. We listened to the guys during sound check, and waved to Barry when he came to the stage door.

We were finally allowed to go through the gates, and were advised that we were not allowed to sit on the lawn, we had to sit in the regular seats. Vicky arrived, and we walked around together, and saw that the guys were meeting and greeting people before the show. We were tempted to go and speak to them, but waved instead. I wasn't really hungry enough to eat the yummy sandwich that Liz had brought for me, probably from all the excitement. Ferdi (one of the people I was trying to convince about the concert earlier) and his mom arrived, and sat with Vicky & Michael.

The show opened with The Coats, formerly known as The Trenchcoats. Great group, based in Seattle. I hope I get to see them again soon. They played with their trenchcoats, looking like flashers for the first part of their show. The bass was hilarious, and the high tenor had a very high, very impressive range. I had heard a couple of their songs on the web and was pleased when I heard that they would be the opening act. I really recommend watching them if you get a chance.

During the intermission, we moved our way down to the lawn/pit area. All except Liz, who decided to watch our stuff for us instead. A lady asked me to send her my pictures and I took her card. Unfortunately, her ISP doesn't agree with mine, so I wasn't able to send them. I'm still trying to find a way, though. We situated ourselves on Barry's side of the stage. Thank goodness Angela was there with extra batteries, because mine ran down very quickly. Thanks, Ang!

The guys got on stage, and all the screaming began. MJ and I pretty much cried during all of Barry's songs, especially "Sixteen Tons." We just couldn't believe that it would be the last time we'd hear him sing that on stage. Throughout the show, the guys looked at Barry with these sad looks on their faces. I was touched by Elliott's expressions the most. Here was his friend, someone whom he'd sang with for years and years, and it's his very last show. The last time he'd be on stage like that with them again. I'm crying now as I write this, and it's about 6 months later. I just can't forget the looks on the guys' faces.

For "Pretty Woman," Kevin decided that Barry should be able to choose for once. Barry went into the audience, and was followed by some little girls whom were carrying signs. Barry decided to choose one of them, which maybe wasn't a good idea, since it encourages people to do that, but what did Barry care? It was his last night! The gal he picked was a cutie, named Alma Rae. She, I swear, looked like a miniature Liz, our friend who was picked for PW last night. She had a little purse, and if she had perfectly matching shoes, she would have been the spitting image of our Liz. Anyway, she said that she wanted to become a singer. Scott asked if she would sing with them. She said no. We all tried to encourage her. I mean, geez! If I had the chance to sing on stage with Rockapella, I'd grab it! Crazy girl kept saying no, though, because she was shy. Hope she gets over that someday.

During "Stand By Me," I cried again, even though it wasn't an actual Barry song. It was just really nice to see Scott Standing By Barry while they sang, clearly meaning all the words that he was singing with his friend Bear. Aw, that's sweet. During "Sixty Minute Man," Barry did his usual holding-out-his-hand-but-not-letting-the-woman-actually-touch-him thing, but this time, he held out his hand to me, and let me hold his hand this time. Awww, Bear! THAT was cool. I sure didn't want to let go of him! During "Keep On Smilin'," the word of the night was, of course, "Barry." Kevin sang "A Change In My Life," dedicating it to Barry, and I lost it again.

Barry received many, many ovations that night, all well-deserved. Thanks, Barry, for a brilliant last show.

Afterward, Jeff & Elliott had flights to catch, so they didn't stay for the meet & greet. Thank goodness we got our picture with all of them last night!

Kevin was very cute in his Willy Wonka shirt. He told us that he had thought of us while eating his granola for breakfast. Angela showed him the sunburn she obtained while waiting in line, which was pretty much in the shape of New Jersey.

We greeted Barry, and I told him we loved him. He said, "Well, the feeling's mutual, you know." Awww....sweet. We took a couple of last pictures, and bade him farewell. We talked to Kahlene, who advised us not to interrupt Donna while she was talking to her Scott, so we waited. We then got in the Scott line and heard him talking about new bass George, giving him raves, so we are eager to hear him, even though we knew we would miss our Bear. Scott talked to us a little and we got a picture with him, too.

After we met with the guys, we talked to our friends a bit and were finally told that we needed to leave. I waved at Barry, and blew him a kiss, at which he smiled. I'll never forget that smile, or seeing him for that last moment.

Of course, there still needed to be drama, and I couldn't find my keys. Angela went to the seats to look for them, but they weren't there. I went to the information kiosk, and described my keys to them. Apparently, I had left them in that yucky restroom after I moved the car. Thank goodness some nice person found them, and turned them in! Thanks, whomever you are.

Thanks, again, to Rockapella for a wonderful show, and to Barry...well, nobody will replace you in our hearts. You will forever be our Sixty Minute Man, our Voice of Manual Labor, our favorite Moo Dude. We love you, you're fabulous, never change, no matter where the road takes you and your Harley. Kisses!

--Sherry

PellaPearls                                          Home