Nevertheless, I did get a little nostalgic for the old days, which were easy to imagine with the place still looking the same as when I saw Van Halen's first tour there or heard The Pretenders (twice) before the deaths of Pete Farndon and James Honeyman Scott. Other than waiting to see another great Mule show, I sat there with a feeling that I had left a lot of myself in this place, and had some great experiences, almost all of them good.
I tried to sort through the emotional part of being in such a place of great personal history without getting saccharine or sounding like one of those people who lives too much in the past. But, the past defines our present sometimes, and I wouldn't give up those days for anything. It would have been easy to let myself drift back to the old Genesis show or the Styx concert, or even that awful time that Television opened for Peter Gabriel - what were they thinking? What brought me back to earth was the fact that most of the people that were in the building wouldn't have the faintest idea what I would be talking about if I tried to explain myself, as you may not now.
I have rarely encountered a thought that I couldn't over-analyze, and this one was no exception. I caught myself in mid-longing just in time to realize that the past is gone, and while the memories are sweet, the only thing that really matters is the present and the near-future, which continue to meld into each other, much as we may try to stop it.
People are often criticized for their "live for today" attitude, but really, what else is there? I can no more go back to the DEVO show than I can re-live any other event in my life, as much as I may like to.
Just before the lights went down and the band came on stage, I figured that I had better enjoy these moments, because they are fleeting. Someday, I will find myself longing for the good-old days when Gov't Mule played the Tower, just as I longed for the good-old days today, and I may have to stop myself then as I did now.
I think Carly Simon was right. These are the good old days.