NJPAC Recap Part 3 of 3: Mugs, Junk, and Mint Milanos

Earlier this year, I played a gig at NJPAC opening for a Queen tribute act called “One Night Of Queen”. For those of you just joining us, you can catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 before reading the thrilling conclusion below. 

After my second and final set I went around front to meet up with my parents. They were carrying a tray of “Brother Paul In Concert” mugs. I had these mugs made for the show and the NJPAC merch folks were kind enough to sell them for me in the lobby.

“You guys didn’t have to buy these mugs. You know the man in charge.”

“What do you mean,” my mom said.

“Me. I can just give them to you.”

“Well when I told the people at the Adult Nurture Group about it, they were so excited.”

“Oh, ok. Well I’m just saying.”

My dad told me I made the right decision by forgoing the cowboy hat I’d bought earlier in the week. I did not appreciate this comment but he had a point.

We said our goodbyes and I went back to the theater where I watched a bit of the Queen set from the green room next to some guy asleep on the couch.

Then I went upstairs and snuck out onto the balcony to watch the set live. Freddie had worked his crowd into a frenzy, a sea of bodies writhing around and half mouthing lyrics. He was quite the showman. It was amazing actually, he was yelling at these folks, kind of insulting them at times, and they were eating it up.

I don’t remember if they closed with “Jailhouse Rock” or “We Are The Champions” but everything was sweaty and I had to give it up to them, they certainly knew how to entertain.

I packed up my stuff and headed home. A tired voice on the radio was talking about the history of Fenway Park but losing his train of thought mid sentence. My god man, I jammed another radio preset. Couldn’t bear another second of this zombie. An amazing pop song poured out of the speakers, well now what’s this? I shazammed it. Demi Lovato, “Heart Attack”. Whoever did this one’s got the touch.

Cruising home to the sounds of top 40 radio, it felt like nothing mattered in this world. It’s all just junk, and yet it’s all so perfect.

When I arrived home, my wife was there to greet me. “I wanted to buy you a bottle of champagne, but the liquor store was closed. I got you Mint Milanos instead.”

We crawled into bed and I began to tell her about the night. “You wouldn’t believe it, this lady who looked like Whoopi Goldberg got up on stage and started grinding with Freddie Mercury.”

“She was part of the show?”

“Well…not exactly.”


Thanks for reading!

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