I’ve stated before that I have a super eclectic taste in music. I can go from country to rock within minutes. So when I had the chance to attend the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony there was no way I was going to turn it down.
Yes, the seats were up high. Yes, Public Theater was not made for women in heels. But good freaking Lord was this one of the best nights of my life. The artists. The people watching. The Cleveland love.
Green Day. Sara Barellis. John Mellencamp. Small Faces/Faces (sans Rod the Bod). Kid Rock. Travis McCoy. The Roots. Chuck D and LL Cool J. Beastie Boys. Chris Rock. Guns N’ Roses (sans Axl). Red Hot Chili Peppers.
That was my night.
The best way to describe the evening comes from Katherine Boyd from Q104 who (via Twitter) said: “Dude, last night was like a totally awesome hook-up. Can’t stop thinking about it. Ended too soon never to be seen again.”
I really thought the show would only go till 11-11:30…boy was I wrong. 6 hours later (near 2am) and we were just heading back to the hotel to get our car. The energy at Cleveland Public Theater was electric. Especially at the end of the night when we knew that Beastie Boys, GNR and Red Hot Chili Peppers were getting ready to be inducted.
Green Day started the show off performing Letter Bomb and getting the crowd ready for a night of rock (and dropping more F bombs in a 3 minute timespan than a Browns fan). “This isn’t a party. This is a celebration.” And that it was.
It seemed like each artist had a story (or stories) to tell about the person they were inducting that otherwise we may not have heard. Whether it be John M. saying how he was inspired, or better yet – stole from Donovan, Bette Midler telling about walking with Laura Nyro and their conversations, Chuck D. sharing how the Beastie Boys are his and LL Cool J’s role models, and Billie Joe saying how when he first saw GNR he thought one of them may end up in jail or dead.
By 11pm, you could feel that the theater was ready to rock and just in time for the Beastie Boys tribute. And I loved every freaking minute. It would have obviously been amazing if Adam Y. could have attended but Travis McCoy, Kid Rock and The Roots did an awesome job performing some of the Beastie’s hits, including Sabatoge.
Yes, there were many boos for Axl Rose. Which sucks but Axl you did it to yourself. It’s too bad that the band couldn’t put their beef behind them for the night to recognize where they came from. Cause rock just wouldn’t be the same without this band. But it was awesome to see Slash on stage, playing the riff to Sweet Child O’ Mine. And to see Steven Adler (sober?) behind a drum set. As Duff said “I don’t know if it matters who’s here tonight, because it’s about the music that band created.” (p.s. I think I have a little crush on Slash.)
I was disappointed when I saw some people leave after the GNR performance (including the guy two rows ahead of us with his Team Axl tshirt on) but I was so so so ready for Red Hot Chili Peppers. And Chris Rock doing the intro – dying of laughter. He was amazing. Who knew he was a fan of the Chili Peppers and saw them at a club back in the day, when he thought he was supposed to be seeing Grandmaster Flex. Flea tearing up while thanking his mom – LOVED. You can see that this band is so humbled to be inducted. And when they took the stage I couldn’t wait. I was praying they would be performing Give It Away and that they did.
At the end of the night, RHCP invited performers on stage with them (including Slash!) to perform Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground. That jam session alone is reason to make sure that you are in front of a tv on May 5th watching HBO (which somehow they are going to get that show down to 2.5 hours – how I have no idea.)
Cleveland is a city that was made for an event like the Induction. The Rock Hall staff went all out the last 11 days and made last evening one that I will never forget. I can seriously die a happy girl – there’s no doubt that this was one of the moments that I will one day be able to tell my kids about.
And obviously I’m already planning on attending again in 3 years.
(The Rock Hall Induction will air on HBO on May 5th. I highly suggest watching it. And who has HBO that wants me to come over and tell you all the amazingness of the night that HBO won’t be showing?!?)