V is for Venue
We are very fortunate to live in an area with quite a few different venues at which to see our favorite performers.
A bit to the northeast of us is Concord Pavillion. We have only gone to a few concerts there since we have to drive and it can take an hour or more to get there. It was, however, the venue at which that first concert was when I won the tickets. That story is here under R for Radio. As is usual with venues these days, Sleep Train bought naming rights so they sometimes call it Sleep Train Arena.
Just across the San Francisco Bay is Oracle Arena, home of the Warriors basketball team. We live close enough to the BART terminal so that we can hop on a BART train and leave the driving to them. It is just a short walk from the station to the Arena and by doing that we don’t have to pay for parking or deal with the stress of traffic crossing the bridge. A most exciting thing happened there when we met Journey guitarist Ross Valory while we were seeing Bob Seger. He was in the Club area and he very graciously came over and talked to us and took a few pictures with my husband and I. He even gave me his autograph. What a thrill. We have tickets to see the Who there next month. That is the start of our season.
We also live close to the train station and we can hop on the train and get to AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. We have seen the Giants many times and have been to concerts there to see Sir Paul McCartney and most recently ACDC. We were on the field for that concert and my husband was able to grab a handful of the outfield dirt where his favorite Giant, Hunter Pence, plays! We will be seeing the San Francisco Fest there later this year with Journey, Santana and the Doobie Brothers, reminiscent of the old Day on the Green type concerts.
|In Hunter Pence territory|
To the south of us are three more venues. The first is Shoreline Amphitheater. We have seen quite a few concerts there. It has a large canopy like a circus tent under which are most of the seats, but they also have a lawn area where you can sit and have a picnic. I prefer the closer seats. We saw Heart there one year and just as they started to sing the song Reign O’re Me, a Who cover, it started to rain! It was magical. This year we are seeing Def Leppard and REO Speedwagon there.
|Rain falling during Reign O’re Me|
Next is SAP Center, home of the San Jose Sharks hockey team. We have seen lots of shows there as well. We will be seeing Sting and Peter Gabriel there for the Rock, Paper Scissors tour. We’ve never seen either of them so it should be great!
Last but certainly not least is the Mountain Winery in Saratoga. We first went to the Winery in 2007 and the next year they did a remodel of the concert area. Since then we have seen two or three shows a year there at least and last year it was four, giving us the “Loyalty Club” benefits this year. We managed to get front row seats last year to see Pat Benatar and my husband was able to bump fists with Neil Giraldo. That was a real neat experience for him. I tried to take a picture but he was standing right in front of me. This year we will be seeing them again along with shows by Boston, Foreigner and Peter Frampton.
|Fist bump with Neil Giraldo|