Kryptonite to Coldplay

July 1, 1993

My friend Elisha Williams has called me on a Saturday night. I am on my way to Rockton to cook. I propose to buy her dinner. She has dinner sitting at the Irish Rose Norte bar, and then goes back to Rockford. Later that evening, I run into her at the Irish Rose In the River District. After a few glasses of Chardonnay, we decide to walk to Kryptonite. I have never been pulled over for WWI.

We walk down State Street, past the Surf Lounge, past Ken’s Hideaway, past the new Carlyle Brewing Company, and then the newspaper tower and the State Street bridge. We are light-hearted, telling jokes and laughing and giggling all the way. We always have tremendous fun together. We talk about how we both have been stood up, and how great that is because we can just hang out together.

I tell her that I have tickets to Coldplay Tuesday night and no one to go with. I was able to get two sets of tickets, and I gave two to Michelle from Bacchus because I know it is her favorite band, too. At first, Elisha doesn’t recognize the band, but then I say that they were the band with the song “Yellow,” and then she gets really excited and says that she will definitely go with me. We make plans to leave right after she gets off work on Tuesday.

Then we are at Kryptonite, and the doorman is collecting a cover. I get a $10 out to pay, but Chris is standing near the door and waves us through. We wander over to the bar, and there he is again. This time he won’t let me pay for the two Miller Lites I have ordered. He must be doing well. I usually let him pay when he comes to my place. It’s pretty crowded on the main floor, so we decide to wander upstairs. We lean over the railing, drink our beers, and listen to the Snaggs with Holland Zander. They are really tight, and the place is rocking. Holland has great stage presence, and she is playing, almost flirting with the audience. I remark to Elisha that I think she is getting this rock star thing down. We watch several numbers, and then Elisha leaves for a moment. When she comes back, she tells me that it is the one-year anniversary party for Kryptonite. I had no idea, I just wanted to come here.

A couple more songs, and Elisha says she is tired. I am too, so we head back to the Irish Rose. When we get there, she is spotted by friends who are determined to keep her up. I’ve had a really long and somewhat distressing day, so I just head up to bed.

Tuesday starts really early. I want to get the market done and do my other work early so I can take a nap before we drive back to Chicago. No such luck. All my suppliers are retarded. Everywhere I go, I have to wait. I want to say, “Don’t you know I am going to see the best band in England with a beautiful redhead? Can’t you do this any faster?” But I hold my tongue. I finish with my work around 5:30. I tell the lovely ex-wife and partner to buy Elisha a drink when she arrives because I still have to take a shower.

Then we are off in my brand-new Mercury Villager van. I bought it from Steve Anderson across the street. This is its maiden voyage. That makes 10 cars I have bought from Steve. We load up the CD cartridge with the first Coldplay album and some other new albums Elisha has brought. Before leaving town, we stop at Minglewood to see Karen Elyea. Then we go to Scott McDonald’s. I have a book I want to return, and it’s on the east side, so it’s kind of on the way. When we get to Scott’s, he wants us to have a beer, and he won’t take no for an answer. So we sit and shoot the breeze for a while. I get the feeling that Scott really likes the company.

Finally, we break away and head for Chicago. We are worried about being late when we hit traffic. But I note that first there will be the opening band, and waiting for the opening band, and then the intermission, and then waiting for the main act, so we should be OK. We are; our timing is perfect. They arrive on stage only minutes after we get there. Michelle and Stacy (Larry Morrissey’s assistant) are already there in the seats next to us.

And then it is all about Coldplay. I was listening to them on 9-11. It was Tuesday. I was on my way to the market. I heard “Yellow” on WXRT just minutes before the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center. I think of the unfortunate events of this last week. “I’ll always be waiting for you. Is this my final chance of getting you?” This band has played a pivotal part in my life in the last year. Tonight is no different. “My heart is yours. I saw sparks.” “Look at the stars. Look how they shine for you.”

Then the concert is over. We head for the exit. Michelle walks ahead of us, but then she turns around and says, “Thank you so much for getting the tickets.”

Owner of the Irish Rose (Rockford) and Irish Rose North (Rockton) restaurants, Mike Leifheit’s “Hanging Out In Rockford” reviews locally-owned restaurants, businesses and Rockford life. These columns are also available on his website: IrishRoseRockford.com and featured on the Chris Bowman Show, WNTA talk radio AM 1330.

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