LOCAL Houston | The City Guide May 2016 - Page 44

ANDREW AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT By Andrew Huang | Illustration by German Arellano The lights suddenly cut off and the crowd roars, lighters (now cellphones) raised to the ceiling. I’ve experienced this ritual more than 1,500 times and it NEVER gets old. Concerts. The biggest rush and passion in my life is the joy of seeing live music. It’s a communal experience that unites strangers for a couple hours of nostalgia, fist-pumping adrenaline, romance, beauty or the uncontrollable need to dance or do something to react to the wall of sound in front of you. From that life-scarring moment when my dad forbade me to see KISS in 1979 to my 2016 list of shows I want to see, it’s been a musical journey that has given so much and added a richness to my life. For me, music is one of man’s greatest achievements. Pieces of wood, wire, brass and other inanimate materials are fashioned to make sounds that stir our souls and give us a glimpse of something bigger than us. After being denied seeing Gene Simmons spit blood in 1979, I devised sneaky ways to go to concerts. Dressed in my Bonanza Steakhouse uniform, I would leave home to “work” and spend the night at the Summit or Coliseum. My first show was Joe Walsh and years later on my first day at work at Classic Rock station Z107, Joe Walsh was there to do our morning show that whole week. All I could stammer out that first meeting was, “You were my first concert!” He was not that impressed. 44 L O C A L | may 16 In college, I never had money but always managed to go to shows. I remember one afternoon a commercial came on the radio for Dio that night in San Antonio and promised that I would see fire-breathing dragons and knights battling with lasers. How do you say no to that? After cleaning out the change under my couch cushions, I borrowed a dollar from anyone who would lend me one and went to the show. I’m often asked what my favorite show has been and, while I’ve seen so many that could be considered my favorite, I have to say Queen in 1982 at the Summit. Freddie Mercury was a rock star in every sense. I