FARGO — "Boy, you're so lucky!"
That's a phrase John Lamb, The Forum's entertainment writer, often hears when people find out he gets into the biggest concerts in the area, free of charge, just to write a review.
"Yeah, it is kind of fun, but it is still a job," he says.
As we prepare for the upcoming Pink concert, happening Saturday, May 4, at the Fargodome, John agreed to sit down with me at the beautiful new TAK Music Venue in Dilworth to talk about his favorite concert memories, both personally and professionally.
Watch our conversation on the latest episode of "The Scoop with Tracy Briggs" on inforum.com.
Here is part of our conversation:
Tracy Briggs: What was your first concert?
John Lamb: The first one? That would have been Iron Maiden and RATT at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in June 1985. I was in high school and a huge RATT fan. Iron Maiden came out with Eddie Monster, who was their mascot. He was about 8 feet tall and dressed as a mummy running around the stage.
TB: And you're 14 or 15 thinking....
JL: I'm thinking, 'I'm in heaven. It doesn't get any better.' So, so awesome. So, so awesome!
TB: I don't know. I think my first concert was better. Loverboy, 1982.
JL: Yeah, weren't they with Quarterflash? They were big.
TB: It was a great show for sure, but I was that girl who got stuck holding everybody's coat when they wanted to go party.
JL: At least you remember the concert.
TB: There is that. So what was your favorite concert?
JL: Well, there are favorite concerts I've been to and favorite ones I've reviewed. Of the big concerts I've seen, one that stands out is Metallica "And Justice For All" in '89. I had just graduated from high school. They were up at the Hyslop Arena in Grand Forks. Also, AC/DC in 2009 at the Fargodome. It was so fun! I think I stood the whole time. You talk about another band where you know all of the songs. They were 50 years old or so still going strong. One of the best shows I've seen as a reviewer was Paul McCartney. He was pulling from 50 years worth of music. He's a living legend. He still has so much energy. Still has the voice. Even when his voice couldn't quite hit the notes during "Blackbird," he worked with it. He's a real musician.
TB: So let's talk about when you're reviewing. Are you up in a suite?
JL: I'm up in the press box, like I'm covering a Bison football game. Sound might not always be great, but you're up there watching, looking up and down and trying to write. You have to get everything in by a certain time and that's usually before the concert ends. And it has to be something that makes sense.
TB: I've never reviewed a concert. I think it would be so hard because I wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. 'That was a good song, and that was a good song.'
JL: Nahhhhh. I'll tell you one of my biggest disappointments as a reviewer — Motley Crue. When I went in to review it, I thought it would be nostalgic. I was a big fan in the '80s. But it wasn't Motley Crue from the '80s. It was kind of a shell of what they used to be. And you know, some of the things you liked about it then, the childishness, it doesn't wear well when you're in your 50s. It was just kind of silly. Vince Neil just doesn't have the voice anymore. It wasn't a great show. Also, it was their last show in the States before they were going up to Canada so they had to go through all of their pyro. They couldn't bring it across the border, so they had to blow it all up. I think my ears are still ringing.
We hope John's ears have stopped ringing because he's scheduled to review Pink's May 4 concert for The Forum. Visit inforum.com that night or pick up a copy of The Forum on Sunday, May 5, to read his review.