After the elation from the purchase of my George Carlin tickets subsided, I realized that the concert hall was in Flint, Michigan, an economically depressed hellhole about 88 miles away from Detroit. How depressed? Well, it isn't often that you can stand in the middle of the main street and take a picture.
After I parked outside of "The Whiting," a college auditorium that would house the event, I surveyed the area for possible food merchants. None to be found. So I walked. And I walked and I walked and I walked. For about a mile and a half. Then, I found a strip of buildings, most of them empty, barren, husks where food used to be served. Now, they were ghostly and dilapidated. Finally, I found a Ya Ya's, and they have chicken. On pitas. With neon yellow mashed potatoes.
Showtime. George Carlin's opening act was singer/songwriter Vance Gilbert. I fell in love with another man, and his name was Vance Gilbert. He was fantastic. And I was a dollar short of buying his album in the lobby. No ATMs? Not shocked. It may be my emotional state of mind, but his opening song almost moved me to tears. Or, it could be the fact that I was in the aisle seat and had to suffer the intense and unpredictable bladders of my Flintian aislemates.
Carlin came on an he looked great. A lot of you know that I was really scared for him after his most recent HBO special, in which he was noticeably off his game. This, it turns out, was the result of fluid build-up from a heart condition he had been suffering which was affecting his breathing and energy. Well, some expensive medical procedures later, and he seems like he's back to his old self. Unfortunately, he pretty much did the "Life is Worth Losing" routine, which I already know, but he DID throw in some new stuff and variations that made it worth it. Despite how much I wanted a picture with him, the place was packed and I was an hour and a half drive away from the hotel. So, I'll wait for him to do the Beacon again. He looks like he's got a lot more show left in him.