Hammerstein Ballroom New York City, N.Y. July 24, 2002Tickets
Robert Plant and Strange Sensation
A very long anticipated night was finally here. With tickets in hand, and my beloved back from California safe and sound we were ready to spend a pleasant evening seeing and listening to my "best friend" in the best city of the world. We got to the venue at about 3:10 PM. Being vertically challenged, it is very important for me being in line as early as possible. The crowd was not as we anticipated, in other words there were just a few people in line. Even the weather was on our side. This was our first time at Hammerstein Ballroom, so we had no idea of what to expect. The decision of bringing the camera was making me a little anxious. Since our digital (not the best for the concert shooting but better than nothing) is small enough to fit into my pocket, i was hoping it would be alright. As the time drew closer for the doors to open, there was more and more police presence. Frankly i do not recall ever seeing this many cops at a such a small place. There were some very nice people in line.
Two gentlemen came from
Montreal, Canada to see the show, there were very young people (one young lady was studying for her drivers permit), and not so young people. Some familiar faces from last year. Two guys did kind of upset me when they showed up and paid some money to a young lady, and got into the line right before the doors opened up. I guess rich people have their own rules. The doors opened up at 6:30 PM, and the checking of the bags and men began. Very strict security indeed.

Once inside after trying to go upstairs to the balcony without any luck. We approached the stage and placed ourselves very comfortably on the left side (Skin's side), right next to a barrier before small pit which had three security guards. The place looked bigger than Roseland last year. Besides the floor section, there were three balconies. Small posters of Robert were hanging down on each floor about four feet apart. The security actually took them down not long after we went in. I tried to get one before that - but no luck. People around us were just great! Even at 7:30 PM it was still very comfortable to move around and get a drink. 8 PM, the opening band the same as last year at Roseland took stage. They were very talented bunch, but their style of music goes a long way for me. I chose this time to check out Skin's pedal board which was standing on its side close enough for me to see. He has some really neat stuff on it. Some looked like digital effects, and an old fashioned Wah-Wah Pedal. The equipment cases had hand written stickers on them, one said "the Who and some numbers" and "Plant".

Other fans decided to use this time to fill air with aroma from natural cigarettes. The aroma was so strong i felt a slight buzz. At least the policemen inside were cool about it. After 30 minutes the opening band was done, and more waiting began. It was getting a lot more crowded. People began to push.

[START RANT HERE] This one lady behind me was so close to me, any closer she would of had to be surgically removed from my bum. Two other short ladies were complaining that my beloved is too tall, and he should let them in the front. Now as sympathetic as i can possibly be, if you have a problem seeing the stage like i do, a little bit of advice for you, get your behind to the show as early as possible, do not show up right before the show and expect other people who were standing outside for three plus hours to do you a favor. [END RANT HERE]

I did not mind waiting this time, i love watching techs setting up, tuning the instruments there is certain excitement about it. The photographers were let into the pit. Now all was left to do is wait for one of the techs to bring the incense out, and that would be it. And there it was, the sweet smell filled the stage, the house lights went dim, and the hair on my neck started to shiver. First sounds of "If I Ever Get Lucky" rang out, and Hammerstein Ballroom was filled with screams from very excited fans. From behind the stage in a dim lite almost flowing was Robert. With the moves of his hands he looked almost as some mysterious creature. I keep wondering, how is it possible that after seeing Mr.Plant live 13 times, it gets better and better? Maybe it is intimacy of a small venue that makes this experience so amazing. Maybe he is in the place where he wants to be. There are not enough adjectives in English language to describe this event. Robert's voice is in top shape. He is still the same "Golden God!" who with one note can bring teenage girls into complete frenzy, and make grown man cry. He looks like he is having a very good time, and that reflects on to the audience.

He was very talkative which i love. Robert mentioned David Letterman Show, and how he (Letterman) has a very cold hand shake. So Robert dedicated a song to "that very cold room", the song was "Calling To You". I can't even pick a highlight from that night. I only wish they played "Morning Dew" and "Skip's Song", also I would love to hear "Slow Dancer", kind of curious what kind of spin Justin Adams can put on it.

I love "Dreamland", i waited for it since hearing these songs from last year. But hearing them live is an experience like no other. It is just so different from anything else out there. At one point someone threw one red rose on stage, and then another. Robert asked "What does this mean?". Then female undergarments started flying, and he asked again "What does this mean?". One very attractive young lady managed to walk into the pit and hand him a rose while telling how much she loves him. His reply "make a left at the entrance".

When the band played "Going to California" and "Whole Lotta Love", everyone in the audience were singing and it sounded really good.
The look on Robert's face was priceless, he really looked pleased. Only in New York!

Strange Sensation is a perfect name for this band. I was getting plenty of sensation and it was very strange. The band is very tight with incredible energy. I was a little upset when it was announced that Porl, was not going to tour, but after seeing "Story Tellers", and watching Skin, i was completely blown away. There is something very special about that lad. I can not recall in recent past seeing a guitar player who would have this kind of effect on me. I was very happy to be on that side of the stage, to watch him. It was mesmerizing and exciting. It looked like Robert enjoys watching him play as well. I like Charlie for years (he is a little mellower now days), played very well. And not only Justin is a very talented musician, but he is quite a dancer. They just seem having the time of their lives, and so did we.

For one hour and forty five minutes everything seemed to be OK. For a short time there was no hunger, no abused animals, no global warming, no terror alerts and NO WAR. Just intense joy. Thank you Robert Plant and Strange Sensation.
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