As many of you know, back in November I bought my wife tickets for her birthday to see Michael at Beau Rivage on February 20th. Starting with our first concert to see him in 1998 with Wynonna Judd, this would be our tenth time (If I counted them all correctly!). Since she is such a huge fan, for the past several years I have tried unsuccessfully to get her backstage passes so she could finally meet him.
Two years ago, he came to the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi and I was fortunate enough to get front-row seats. I thought that would be the perfect time for her to meet him. Unfortunately, things didn't work out and she got as far as outside his Meet & Greet door before being turned away. To get so close, and have that opportunity slip through her fingers, was devastating to me.
Last year, when he came to Beau Rivage, he was still recovering from being sick and no photo opportunities were available. So this year, I didn't even allow myself to consider that she might be able to meet him. That was coupled with the fact that during Thanksgiving and Christmas, my Mother was in the final stages of COPD and emphysema. During that time, my wife slept beside her bed because she required 24-hour care.
My mother passed away on January 6th, and after such a long ordeal, it was very hard on all of us. As the concert arrived, we were excited to have our first "date night" since last summer.
We arrived at Beau Rivage around 5:00 for our dinner reservations, and as we were walking through the lobby, my wife said "That looks like Michael Bolton!" Up ahead was a security guard briskly walking towards us and behind him was Michael wearing a blue cap pulled down discretely over his head. He was doing his best to quickly make it through the hotel without being spotted. My wife excitedly said, "Hey!" and he cheerfully said "Hey!" back. She added, "I'm excited about the concert!" to which he replied, "So am I!" with an impish grin. About that time, people around us started looking around to see what the commotion was, but he had already slipped out.
She was so thrilled she got to speak to him in passing, and I thought that would be the highlight of the night. However, I decided to check Will Call before dinner because I knew if I waited until afterwards, it would be mobbed. I asked the lady behind the desk if there was anything for me and she took my I.D. and went to check. Sure enough, she came back with an envelope that had two backstage passes in it! My wife and I almost both passed out right on the casino floor!
Throughout dinner, we were both so excited we could hardly eat!
The concert started a little late and the crowd was certainly enthusiastic, with many women screaming to Michael all during the 90-minute show. For the duet portion, he introduced his new singer, Amanda Brown, and she did a great job. For his encore, he and the band changed it up and he sang, "Lean On Me" instead of "Steel Bars".
After it was over, we made our way to the backstage area and waited to meet Michael. His manager Milo introduced himself and Michael's saxophonist stopped by to say hello. My wife and I were blown away by how friendly and approachable they all were. Soon, it was her photo op with Michael and the first thing she did was apologize for accidentally blowing his cover in the casino. He laughed and said it was okay, that he was trying to sneak out for a quick round of golf. She then proceeded to tell him that she comes to his concert every year and that I always buy the tickets for her. "That's a good man!" he replied, motioning for me to join them. I walked over and introduced myself and he said he was pleased to meet me. I shook his hand and was amazed at how unpretentious he was. We smiled for a few quick photos and I thanked him again, telling him that we'd be back for his concert next year.
My wife and I left, both of us not believing what just happened. Truthfully, after so many concerts, I had about given up hope of her ever getting to meet him. In retrospect, all the previous disappointments made this time even more special. So, even this morning as I'm recounting it, the whole experience seems like some crazy, wonderful dream.
But fortunately, I have pictures so I know it really happened!
That's great Chip, we have a Tour Review Thread for these types of experiences if you want to copy and past this there that would be great. Most of the fans look for concert reviews on that thread under Tours, Gig's and Announcements. So glad you all met Michael!!!
Robin in MD :)
Firstly want to say Chip how sorry I am to hear about your mother but at least she is at peace and rest now and for that thankfulness has to come when you must have seen her suffer so and hey, who is to say she didn't play a part in all that happened last night, hmmmmm ....looking after you two when you looked after her so well, eh....who can say ??? :)
Oh but Chip, OMG, you know how pleased I am for you.....oh WOW and your story is fantastic and when it got to the part about going to Will Call and you got that envelope, oh my, oh my, oh my !!! :) I did love the bit about Michael trying to slip out for a game of golf ....he sure has an addiction to the game but how wonderful to actually know he does manage to get in the rounds even when so close to show time, lovely to hear and know that and thanks for sharing !!! :)
Thanks also for sharing your lovely photo and finally we get to see YOU and your beautiful wife .....does she know how much we all know about you keeping those tickets a secret each and every year and that we go through it with you, wondering if you will last out until the bitter end, or, fall at first hurdle and tell her......LOL Oh Chip, I am just so, so pleased for both of you, so pleased and thanks so, so much for coming in and sharing with us.....THANK YOU !!! :) Both of you, stay on your cloud 9 for as long as possible !!! :)
Sylvia. Your wee Scottish friend
Wow. What a nice report and what a nice happy end. Thank you for sharing.
Best regards from Berlin
Chip, thank you very much, that you share with us the Bolton-adventure.
Michael with blue magic hood!!!
And then meet & greet!
Congratulations to you both on your unforgetable evening and night!!!
Hey Chip, thanks so much for the full report! I’m sorry to hear about your mom also, my sincere condolences. Your wife is very fortunate to have such an attentive hubby. I’m really happy for you that your perseverance paid off and your wife got the extra bonus of seeing Michael before! I’m sure your wife is still on her cloud and will be for a good while. :D Do you think she’d enjoy joining the forum here? Incidentally, since you’ve been to 10 concerts in the past few years, you wouldn’t happen to have noticed any different songs, would you? I’m asking because back in the fall, we fans compiled a list of lesser performed songs we’d like to hear and Gail passed it on to Michael for us. Well anyway, if you have a minute, we would really love if you could transfer your review to this thread:
...because this is where fans know to look for new concert reviews etc and I’m sure more fans would like to share in your happy time. Thanks again for sharing Chip, take care. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie Qc Canada :D
Not hijacking the thread Sylvie, but to answer your question, No new songs.
Thanks a lot Lynn, we're just trying to keep track. :D Take care sweetie. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie Qc Canada :D
I saw you guys in line! I'm so happy you got to take her backstage! What a wonderful MB experience! It was a fun audience and great concert! Did you see the lady dancing in front of him during WAMLAW? It was show in and of itself :) Hope to meet you guys next time!
Hello Lynn, yes I saw her. She was certainly enjoying herself! As I stated above, this crowd seemed the most enthusiastic of any Michael Bolton concert we've been to.
Thanks for all the compliments and well-wishes. We certainly had a great time and an unforgettable night!