Thoughts: A First and Much Gratitude

One of the pleasures I’ve had to cut back on in recent years has been going to arena concerts. The reasons are many and varied of course, but I’ve trained myself to not be too bothered by FOMO. It’s been a bit tricky with all the bands I grew up with doing potentially their last tours.

I’d decided against seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers, mainly due to not being able to afford tickets when they were released all those months ago. I would, once again, live vicariously through the experiences of my friends, both real and virtual.

Last a Thursday I got a text from my bass-playing 13yr old daughter: “The Chilis are in town, how appropriate do you think they’d be for me?”

A conversation ensued, and at the end of it, I was taking my kids to see this band, and it would be their first-ever concert. She’s been learning bass for nearly a year and loves Flea’s playing. What an opportunity for her. My son is a drummer. To expose him to Chad Smith live – just wow.

My ex – their mother – paid for all three of us. ‘ I’ll take it out of child support’.

I am humbled. Gobsmacked. And so full of gratitude for this gift. This memory.



So I unexpectedly got the opportunity to see Rihanna play Vector Arena in Auckland last night.

Honestly, I only really have a vague familiarity with her music. Except perhaps for ‘Umbrella’, which I had the misfortune of having to sing in a Singstar game against a friend and her two daughters. Over and over and over, as it was their (then) favourite song.

I didn’t have huge expectations, but I was looking forward to seeing a show.

Then something happened.

About 30 seconds into the first song, I realised that I was watching my second-favourite guitarist* ever, Nuno Bettencourt. This changed my concert experience instantly.


I loved the performance of the show. I loved the musicality of the show.

It looked like Rihanna was also enjoying herself.

It was a fun night.

* my first-favourite guitarist is Steve Lukather.