Our Night With Britney Spears: I Stayed in My Seat, But My Girls Made It Onstage

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Marcella D. Volpintesta
Britney Spears played the Tacoma Dome on Wednesday, June 29. Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb.
So, um . . . yeah. I, your trusty scriber of all things mostly rock, am going to try my best here to give you all a blow-by-blow account of my experience Wednesday night at Britney Spears' Tacoma Dome concert. Yep.

Some of you may remember me writing here about my night at the Justin Bieber concert. If you do, then you will also know that I am the father of two girls, now aged 10 and 13. I encourage music and arts with my daughters, so when they want to see a concert (any concert!), I will take them. I have learned to leave my preconceptions sitting next to my dog Buckley--squarely at home.

OK, enough of me explaining my attendance.

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My girls.
With me just getting back from playing a whole slew of shows in Europe, going to a concert on my third night back probably was not on the top of my list of priorities. Especially a concert in Tacoma.

Driving ANYWHERE with teen and preteen girls involves--in my case--a large dose of finding the right music on the right station at the right time. When I am facing a drive that involves some time or distance, a parent in my position must sort of steel themselves and become almost numb. If you were to actually think in advance how many times you will be asked to turn up or down the music, or to "switch back to that OTHER station!", you go a bit numb with caustic pre-coil to the long drive. We listened to Ray J, Nicki Minaj, LMFAO, Britney. Not exactly deep and soulful. But the girls were wrapped up in THEIR moment, and last night WAS their night, after all.

From the get-go upon arrival, people-watching is the component that slaps one upon the broadside of the head at a Britney Spears show. The first person I saw was a rather larger and manly-man, dressed as the schoolgirl version of Britney. He was not exactly sexy in my view, but the bloke probably felt so sexy deep down inside. Alrighty then. That's all cool with me.

We all know of the crap the Britney Spears has gone through in her life, especially over the last seven or eight years. Drug use, a mental downward spiral, a child custody dispute in a very public forum, etc. One of the first people I saw and talked to at the gig was Britney's dad, Jamie Spears, a nice and very hospitable gentleman from Louisiana. You could visibly see the relief in his face and demeanor at the recovery in life that his daughter has seemingly been having as of late. I can respect what he must have had to deal with.

On to the show. It was a spectacle of Cirque du Soleil proportion. Britney seemed relaxed and happy, and just as or more important, my own girls were just absolutely losing their sh#t. The production was amazing. The show was G or PG-rated. The hits were unstoppable. My girls even randomly were chosen and invited onstage to dance at one point. My wife Susan took them to the spot side stage when it went down, and I stayed in our seats. The next thing I witness was ALL of the McKagan girls onstage dancing . . . even MRS. McKagan! The usher near me just looked at me and chuckled in a "you-poor-bastard" type of fashion.

But my girls had the time of their lives, and so did all 20,000 of the other people in attendance.

As we left, I saw the same dude in drag leaving the show in the parking lot. He seemed a bit disheveled and used, like a hooker after a long night's work. Britney has been through a bunch of crap that may have left her--all these years later--looking a bit haggard and disinterested too. But she was on top of her game. I was happy for her. If nothing else, as a dad of girls myself.

P.S.: I would like to send out a hearty congratulations to 'AxlReznor' and 'Katy (just me)' who write in often to this column.I have known then as a couple for the last few years, but I just learned tonight that they actually met years ago through a Velvet Revolver fan-forum on our website.

They will be getting married this weekend in their hometown in England. Other attendees will have traveled from the U.S. to be able to be there. These people have met too on either Loaded or VR websites. It is nice to know that social media brings with it love and friendship.

AxlReznor and Katy had BETTER make me the Godfather of their child--if they so choose to go that route. I'm just sayin'....!

Check out a slideshow from last night's Britney Spears concert.

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