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My View: Lost in love with a favorite band

By Wendy Schreiner

There’s nothing quite like the hype and excitement one feels at a live concert.

Watching a DVD, or listening to a CD or record (vinyl is making a huge comeback, you know) cannot compare to the lights, sounds and stage presence of the live show.

Recently I was lucky enough to see my favorite band of all time, Air Supply, in concert for the seventh time. Each time I attend a usually sold-out performance, I once again fall for the lead singer of the love songs, Russell Hitchcock. He’s married and so am I. Just not to each other.

My husband isn’t jealous that I know of. After all, he keeps buying the concert tickets just to see how happy I look at the concert. He knows how much I enjoy the music.

I have been a fan for many years, but not for all 44 of the years that Air Supply has been singing. If that were the case I would have only been 3 when I first became a fan. I became fan during the 1980s sometime. The first Air Supply concert I ever attended was in the early ‘90s at Melody Fair in North Tonawanda. Since then I have seen them perform at Seneca Niagara Casino once, at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, Pa., once and now five times at Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Ont.

At the last concert we had seats that were at a high level and almost directly even with the side of the stage. These seats provided a great view of all the band members, not just my favorite, but also the writer of the songs, Graham Russell, the drummer, keyboardist and the other two guitarists who rocked the stage.

I snapped hundreds of pictures and have created a scrapbook. On some of the high notes, Hitchcock’s facial expression looked pained. He did recently have some shoulder surgery. He’s not in his 20s anymore. Some people may think singing groups should retire and as one jealous person once said, “They should quit while they’re ahead!” Air Supply recently celebrated their 5,000th concert. I hope they never stop singing, for then the world may just be “All Out of Love.”

After the concert, I stalked, I mean I waited for the lead singer to show up to the restaurant where the waitress had earlier tipped me off that he’d be headed around 11 p.m. I wasn’t sitting there long before a guy who I recognized from previous concerts, the tour manager, came around the corner followed by “my” Russell. I said some words like, “Great concert tonight and how’s your shoulder?” Being so “star-struck,” I can’t even remember how he responded exactly. Something like, “it’s coming along.”

My husband said, “You were hitting on all cylinders tonight!” Hitchcock said something like we had a lot of fun and walked toward a restaurant staffer and hugged her. I just watched in jealous awe and then we left him alone to eat his late-night dinner with his wife and friends. I wanted to ask him to autograph my concert ticket and also to pose for a photo, but I didn’t. I already have a picture with him and a signed book at home from a previous concert.

As we were walking away my husband realized he had left something behind so we went back. When we arrived I could see Russell through the blinds enjoying his meal. My husband grabbed what he had forgotten and we walked away. I said jokingly, “Didn’t you forget anything else?” My husband said, “You want to sit on that bench and just stare in there at him for a while?” “No, let’s go,” I said.

Until the next concert my CDs will have to do, but there’s no comparison.

Wendy Schreiner, of Warsaw, has an understanding husband who supports her love of Air Supply.

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