How Can We Be Lovers…If You Find Out I Went to See a Michael Bolton Concert?

It really shouldn’t be held against me. I was only a kid. How was I expected to know any better? We’re all allowed to make bad decisions in our lives. The important thing is that I learned from the situation.

My name is Kelly, and my first concert was Michael Bolton. With my mom.

And let’s be clear. It was not this Michael Bolton:

Hey. I’m Michael Bolton. It’s okay, girl. You can admit I look pretty damn good. Michael Bolton en Barcelona by Alterna 2 on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0
Hey. I’m Michael Bolton. It’s okay, girl. You can admit I look pretty damn good.
Michael Bolton en Barcelona by Alterna 2 on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

It was this Michael Bolton:

See this Grammy? This was the Grammy my mullet built. So step off. Photo by Alan Light via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0
See this Grammy? This was the Grammy my mullet built. So step off.
Photo by Alan Light via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

I could try to make excuses by saying the whole reason we ended up going to this concert was because one of my mom’s friends won the tickets on the radio and then ended up not being able to go. And that is 100% true. But the reason she called US to unload the tickets on was because she somehow knew my middle school self and my mom were fans of Sir Bolton of Hair-a-Lot. Which means I was public enough about my age-inappropriate love for “Time, Love, and Tenderness.”

Age-inappropriate? Surely Michael Bolton didn’t croon anything so suggestive as to be deemed unsuitable for a preteen’s listening pleasure. (This was Bolton pre-“Can I Touch You…There?” And that song is just not appropriate for the entire sense known as hearing.) No, that’s not what I meant. Upon arriving at the concert, it became immediately clear that I was the absolute inappropriate age to be there…meaning I was the only attendee under the age of 40. The only people who looked any more out-of-place than me were the husbands and boyfriends, who had likely made some serious relationship faux pas that needed atonement.

But I didn’t care. I was at my first concert. And I loved it from the moment Bolton emerged and the carefully staged wind started dramatically blowing through his mullet. Unfortunately, so did the woman sitting directly in front of me. She loved it. A lot. And it made me uncomfortable. I had never seen a grown-up express so publicly such raw animal desire for another person. Especially for one with alarmingly frizzy locks that seemed to eerily move in one large uniformed flap.

When Bolton was jammin’ to upbeat tunes like “Love Is a Wonderful Thing,” Mrs. Bolton-Wannabe was dancing without regard to anyone else’s personal space and screaming “I LOVE YOU MICHAEL” louder than any human should be able to. And when he slowed things down a little, and made sure everyone had a clear view of his hairy man chest protruding from his white silken shirt, singing lyrics like, “Said I loved you but I lied, ’cause this is more than love I feel inside,” Mrs. Bolton-Wannabe just let the tears flow.

I honestly can’t remember anything about the show aside from this woman’s over-zealous reaction to the Fabio of pop music.

Thankfully, having a pretty lame first concert experience did teach me a few things that would serve me well later in life. The first lesson was how NOT to act at a concert.** Had my first concert been to see the typical teeny-bopper populated heart-throbs of the moment, that type of squealing mentality would have seemed totally normal. But seeing that behavior in a grown woman made it clear how ridiculous it looked. And that saved me from not knowing any better, and being the moron who wigged out at a Dave Matthews Band concert, drawing the subdued attention of the rest of the pot-smoking audience who just wanted to experience the spirituality of the music while munchin’ on some grub.

**(I may have, however, forgotten this lesson during The Monkees 2011 Tour. I’m not proud of my behavior there. But Dolenz sang “Steppin’ Stone” to me, damn it. That’s not playing fair. I was able to keep my sh*t together at the three Monkees concerts I have attended since. Yeah, I am a groupie, and they are old. But Bolton is still lamer.) 

The second lesson I learned was that going to a concert with your mom isn’t such a bad thing. She paid for everything, which meant I didn’t have to spend my hard-earned babysitting money and could instead save it to blow on novelty pens from the mall and Wet ‘n’ Wild makeup from Target. But it also meant that I would not be going home with an overpriced concert t-shirt, because mom thought they were a rip-off. I’m sure at the time I thought this was horrifically unfair. Yet in hindsight, I think mom knew exactly what she was doing. Good things could never come to a middle school girl wearing this:

michael bolton concert shirt
He was born to be airbrushed and silkscreened.

Thanks, Mom. You were a lifesaver.

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49 thoughts on “How Can We Be Lovers…If You Find Out I Went to See a Michael Bolton Concert?

  1. I went to an Up With People concert with my grandma. I remember her looking at me like I was injured or something when I whoo-hoo’d every few seconds. I guess they didn’t do much of that in the Sicilian village she came from. Hilarious post!


  2. My mom tricked me into going to a Neil Diamond concert when I was still in the single digits. Something happened to her right before the concert began, just as the lights went down around us. There was excessive clutching of hands, heavy breathing, and some sort of whimper I refuse to describe here.

    I seem to have disappeared at some point early on in the concert, while my mom had relations with this man in the sparkly open shirt. How he did that from the stage I still want to know.

    I haven’t looked at my mom the same since. Or Diamond for that matter. I have a disproportionate anger toward this man who may or may not have commited adultery with my mom’s tender psyche.



    1. Oh my god. I laughed so hard at this. And I’m not gonna lie…I love me some Neil Diamond. I can’t help it. I can’t say I’m attracted to him, but I will sing “Cherry,Cherry” at the top of my lungs whenever given the opportunity. I actually have a very funny Diamond story that I may have to save for a future blog post 🙂


  3. I purposely scrolled slowly between the first and second pic (delayed gratification) and boy was that the right move. The second pic made me SNORT LAUGH! The whole post is hysterrrrrical. Good grief this was funny!


  4. I wasn’t 40 either! Those silly “old” girls. The best though were the men that were dragged there. Too funny watching them. Remember when he came up into the audience and was right by us? Whoo hoo!! And I HATE concert’s shirts 😛


    1. I totally remember that. All of a sudden we look over and there he was. It was the closest I had ever been to a celebrity. And Mrs. Bolton-Wannabe was barely keeping it together. I thought she was going to claw her way through the aisle to grab him.


  5. The Monkees aren’t REMOTELY lame (I’ll give you the ‘old’ part). Bolton? Well… let’s just say I truly believe that most live music shows are valuable experiences. We’ll leave it at that 😉


    1. Thanks! And I know. He’s damn catchy. I may or may not have been head bobbin’ in my bed at midnight last night while I was searching for Bolton YouTube videos to link to this post. You know you’re not supposed to like it so much, but you just can’t help it.


  6. I love how we both saw artists who are only appealing to grandmas for our first concerts. I think this means our moms were doing the whole parenting thing right. ;D

    Also, this. Just this. This may be the most glorious thing on the Internet.


    1. I never thought of it that way, but you’re probably right. I’m sure the fact that I pretty much towed the line as a kid will come as no surprise to anyone now that they know I actually wanted to see Michael Bolton in concert. And yes, Jack Sparrow. His most brilliant piece of work. I laugh at this every time.


  7. Hilarious. Love the way you tell the story 🙂
    Luckily my first concert was Silverchair. A huge, grungey rock band at the time. My BFF’s older brother was in charge of keeping us company (ie babysitting) and our parents had made sure we were far from the moshpit up in general seating. We screamed down my friend’s brother’s ears and made absolute fools of ourselves (he let us know). Our 14 year old selves thought we were so cool.


  8. My first concert was Beatlemania with my cousin. Ah, the rememberies! I loved their fake Liverpool accents between songs and the way they lied about who wrote which song. My cousin got a t-shirt which bled black dye all over her neck. ;-P


  9. It’s OK. I went to a Huey Lewis and the News concert in high school. Voluntarily.

    Jump a few years later when I waiting on line to buy Guns n Roses tickets at the same venue and was talking to a guy on line about how we might get stuck with seats behind the stage. And I said something about how I’d sat behind the stage for Huey Lewis and it was fine. I actually admitted this to a cute guy in line for a GnR show.


  10. Great post! Lucky for me, I think, my mom is tone deaf and has no interest in music.

    Sadly, there is often a Mrs. Wannabe in the crowd. I have to admit I was once shushed for singing along at a Michael Franks concert.


  11. lol! love this, I am trying to be quiet and drink my coffee this morning before everyone wakes up and this post almost ruined it for me 🙂 I went to a Celine Dion concert in college with my mom, I didn’t share that with many people. 😉


    1. Sorry to make you almost wake the troops, but glad it was at least for some laughter. That’s always a good way to start the day 🙂 Yes, Celine is probably on par with Bolton for the cheese factor. I’ve heard her shows are quite the spectacle! Can you imagine if the Celine and Bolton had ever gotten together? They would have been such a power couple that they probably would have changed the course of the 90’s.


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