The Steve Miller Band, from the wayback

The plan sounded solid, cemented even further from the on-site texts telling of too much heat and less folks than expected.

No, wonderful daughter Elisabeth, Georges Three and Two and Sue would not be sticking around the New York State Fair to eat dinner with us Sunday. They’d taken the early route, and eaten from the food trucks circling Chevy Court for an exotic-for-here contest, in fact. My 25-year-old girl pointed out the fried PB&J and salt potato pizza, and recommended the pulled pork-loaded tater tots.

Thank you, my kid. Glad you had fun. See you all another time, soon.

My dear wife Karen and I would finish watching the Mets — lose again, in extra innings, to the Marlins, four ahead going into the start of today’s three-game set at second-place Washington and I’m getting nervous as my aside for this morning — leave at 5, go to the Regional Market satellite lot for the bus and get our seats in plenty of time.

Click on any gallery photo for a description. Click on the bottom right photo in any gallery for an enlarged slide show.

There were only a handful of people lined up for the bus when we easily found a spot in the Regional Market lot, despite people also arriving for a Syracuse Chiefs baseball game next door. But folks continued to turn up at a constant pace. By the time a bus pulled up, there were too many of us to fit in. But after we paid our two bucks each, found seats, pulled away and looped around, I noticed a second bus right there already for the rest in line.

There was traffic the couple of miles to the fair. To be expected. Our driver nailed a last-second lane change from the highway to the exit, earning a cheer from the risk-takers on the bus and a dark look from the state trooper standing at the otherwise clogged lane.

The entrance to the fair was bustling, but Karen spotted the shortest line for her pure to be quickly checked and us to hand over our $6 advance tickets.

We marched to Chevy Court. Karen was going to see the Steve Miller Band at last. She’d missed him with friends in high school in San Diego, reason forgotten. His gig was called at Citi Field this June, reason, Mets game prior shortened by rain.

Why so early? Oh, yeah, popular band with my age group and free admission with your fair ticket.

Why so early? Oh, yeah, popular band with my age group and free admission with your fair ticket.

We were not going to see him this time from the bleacher seating in front of the stage, the best spot, where we’d caught the country of The Swon Brothers for their afternoon set at this free-with-fair-ticket Chevy Court one week ago. Two hours and 15 minutes before show time, they were full.

Our plan to squeeze into two, have one go bring back dinner, then the other …

Not to be.

It was hot. Elisabeth was right.

Those food trucks were gone.

We walked to the edge of the court, entered the Horticulture Building, and ate in the air-conditioned New York Cafe. Chicken tenders and fries for Karen, Philly cheesesteak for me. One worker handled the long line, and one cook prepared all the orders. I marveled at their cool and efficiency as customers waited five, 10 minutes. We enjoyed our fresh food sitting in a booth. Then we walked to the Villa for our little bag of long fried dough. Pizza Frittes, to be exact. A treat by any name.

We hauled them to the side enclave we discovered last year, prior to the Labor Day Doobie Brothers show, when we also were driven away from a too-crowded court proper. The walk around the area was truly congested.

An hour before show time, and it was obvious folks knew of this grassy square shoehorned behind a terrace, tables and raised umbrellas.

Comfortable, relatively.

Comfortable, relatively.

We ended up in a spot on a rectangular wall where Karen could loop her legs over, and I could sit to her right.

Pre-show activity zoomed in with my iPhone 6.

Pre-show activity zoomed in with my iPhone 6.

We’d both have a clear sight line to the big video screen to the right of the stage.

I settled in a read some from the Stuart Woods easy reading Stone Barrington detective novel I brought, until it got too dark. The two women next to me apologized about being too loud and disrupting my library silence, but I told them I could read anywhere. They marveled that they at last drew words out of me, and we were all friends after that.

We guessed how old Steve Miller might be. One of my choices was 72. Close. He turns that age in October. Hard to believe, once the concert started.

And the band plays up there.

And the band plays up there.

The man can play guitar and sing. Karen was happy to hear one of her favorites at last. I stood on the wall to take as good of a shot as I could with my iPhone 6 in these conditions. We enjoyed the hits of our youth. Jungle Love started everything off in style. When he told us Space Cowboy came out in 1968, Karen said she was … really young. I was going to turn 11 that December. Oh, yes, I was a teen for his biggest hits, in college flying like an eagle … I was a joker, thought I was invincible.

Bright lights, big concert.

Bright lights, big concert.

Lots of thoughts flashed inside my mind, from the wayback machine.

We stayed until we were uncomfortable and he was far away. Even Karen had had enough when he said he was going to play some new songs.

I captured a video from the afar. Enjoy.

How far away and in what conditions would you stay for a band you want to see? What band would you stay in this location to catch live, and why? Which is your favorite photo, and why?

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42 thoughts on “The Steve Miller Band, from the wayback

  1. If I really wanted to see a band, and I had already gotten to the venue, I would stay no matter what. I like some of these distant pics that show the lights over all the people and little tents.
    I used to work a coatcheck in a rock club and there was a Brit-pop night there. It was late and there was a drunk guy hanging over the coatcheck who kept on yelling at the very British deejay “Play some Steve Miller man!” It became a go to phrase for me and my sister whenever the moment seemed right.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the photo with the umberellas reminds me of wet music festivals in the UK! Our favourite Steve mi
    Miller track is Abracadabra, who would I put up any conditions for, Queen and or Imogen Heap because they sing the soundtrack to my life! ❀

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  3. We are fortunate to have many live free concerts in the area. I have seen America, (yes they are still together) as most recent. I was 10′ from the stage I wormed my way up for the Sandman!!! Gatorette. Glad YDW Karen got to see Steve Miller!!! Happy Labor Day!

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  4. I love The Steve Miller Band. How cool was that to see them in concert!!!! My favorite picture is of Karen being all laid back and cool sitting on the wall!!!!! I tried to get tickets for the Rolling Stones, back when they were coming to Iowa – we travelled all over that state (this was way before online ticket purchases or online anything, or before we even knew what online was all about). Never did get to see them.

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  5. Steve Miller is 72…say it ain’t so. My husband had a roommate named Steve Miller…we got a lot of mileage out of that. He did play guitar, and he was a “midnight toker”..that’s where the similarities ended.

    He sounds in good voice…cheers to those aging rockers ! ☺

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  6. sounds like you gave it an earnest try and came up with a good compromise based on the situation. i’m glad karen got her steve m. fix, i saw him many years ago and loved it )

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  7. Oh my gosh!!! Cool! What fun! I love some of their songs! πŸ™‚
    My fav of your pics are the night/light ones! πŸ™‚
    HA! I have endured some pretty wild weird crowded conditions to see some of my favs…like Rod Stewart! πŸ˜€ I wish I could have seen The Eagles, The Who, Pink Floyd, and the list goes on and on and on! πŸ™‚
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

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    • I have big regret that I have not seen the Eagles, Carolyn. I saw Don Henley solo. Close, but not quite, you know? I also have not seen Rod Stewart, But yes on The Who, and Pink Floyd, in the ’80s and this century, too. Thanks for your kind words on my funky night light photos at Steve Miller. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good stuff, Mark! My wife and I were there as well, on the opposite side of the stage. We squeezed our own chairs onto a patch of lawn at about 6:45, then I did exactly as you had intended — left her to guard the spot while I brought back sausage sandwiches and extra waters. As we ate, we watched the crowd swell behind us… next to us… in front of us. Held our ground and had a really nice view when the music started. Fun show.
    As for other acts I’d always stick around for — The Police are my all-time number one, but these days Norah Jones tops the list. (She could sing the phonebook and I’d stay, in any weather, any vantage point!) I doubt we’ll be seeing her at Chevy Court anytime soon, but maybe the new amphitheater will bring her to town!

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    • Good job staking claim and standing ground, Andy! I wish we’d brought our own chairs. Better idea for next year. Although the whole court area might look different by then, what with the new dollar influx. We shall see. More seating and sight lines? Better engineering minds than mine should have a go at this one! Norah Jones at Lakeview, yeah, I’d dig that one, man.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Every one of his big songs, except Jungle Love, aligns with a time in my life. I never thought of that before. Fly Like an Eagle I just became a teenager, the year before Elvis died. Jet Airliner was playing when I flew to New York alone from my home state.Take the Money and run reminds me of a story I can’t tell here. Haha! Well we all have history don’t we?
    Thanks for the great pictures and the video.

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  10. How fun! Sorry you did not get to sit where you wanted and that the heat got in the way but it looks like it was still worth it! I would have done the same thing and left when the new songs came on. I know artists have to have new material but when I go see them in concert, I need the hits that warm my soul! We have seen James Taylor several times and it does not matter how far we are because we just sing along to the songs and have fun. πŸ™‚

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  11. Oh Steve Miller was so BIG when David was at UVA! at architecture school We went to one huge concert with Simon and Garfunkel in Central Park. Crowd was 500,000! We didn’t see them we were so far back and I am not even sure we heard them but by a recording. . . but it was a moment!

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  12. My brothers and I have seen a few bands at ball parks, fairs and of course paid bigger bucks for concerts in buildings. There us something thrilling with outdoor venues, Mark. I have sat in rain and listened while stage and singers/players were dry. . . My brother Randy and I with an ex saw America for the $6 it cost to get into Delaware County fair. We love their songs, Sister Golden Hair, Horse with No Name and I love their sweet love song. Is the one you and Cheryl talking about include rain? πŸ™‚

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    • Sandman doesn’t include rain, Robin. It goes: I understand you’ve been running from the man who goes by the name of the Sandman! πŸ™‚ Of course, I can’t sing it like they can. 😦

      America sure is fun.

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  13. Well, he sounds pretty much the same in your video as he does in my “Best Of Steve Miller Band” I keep in my car. Being ever so much younger than you πŸ™‚ … I remember being in grade school when “Abracadabra” came out (with the embarrassing “black panties” lyrics that made us all cringe), but by then, we’d grown up on “The Joker” and “Fly Like An Eagle,” and of course, everyone around here knows the lyrics, “Billy Mack was a detective down in Texas…” And then we all slap our thighs for the part right after that.

    I’ve played those songs more than a few times at pool halls before, and am proud to say my son knows the CD as well, even the trippy-sounding ones. I ain’t complaining, but I’d sure like to see him on Late Night talk shows. I had been wondering if he’d disappeared, and now you’ve showed he’s alive and kicking from “the seventh floor,” as my great-aunt would say. You’re on the 5th floor, I’m on the 4th. Fried PB&J, you say??

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    • The fried PB&J won first place in the food truck contest, Kerbey! Even this fifth-floor guy might try that. Your first-floor son is cool for knowing our Steve Miller Band songs! And I think all floors together should slap thighs, take the money, and run! Go on!

      Liked by 1 person

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