Fast Balls and Smash Mouth

After surviving another never-ending day off where the Arizona Diamondbacks did not have a game (does Major League Baseball not understand how painful this is for the fans?) I was ready for another series to begin. This weekend the Arizona Diamondbacks host the defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals in a critical three-game series. The Cardinals have struggled this season battling injuries and tragedy but have come on lately to be competitive in the mediocre National League Central Division. This series therefore has play-off implications as the Diamondbacks continue to push for the NL West crown or at a minimum for a wild card berth. The Cardinals hopes for the post season hinge on putting together a series of wins to overtake the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers. Even a month ago no one would have ever expected to use the words “Cardinals” and “play-offs” in the same sentence. It is yet another example of how quickly things can change in the standings and how closely teams are grouped in the divisions.

The on-field action was not the only draw to tonight’s game. This marked the latest in the continuing post game concert series that the Diamondbacks have been offering all summer. In the past the concerts have encompassed many different genres of music including Country and Latin. Tonight they are going after the Rock crowd by sponsoring the group Smash Mouth. I have to be honest, this concert is the only group that has played this season where I actually know some of their music. My seventeen year old daughter Tiffany is ecstatic at the thoughts of Smash Mouth being at Chase Field and she has long called this game. Although she is an avid baseball fan, she is just about as excited for the concert as she is for the game. Obviously she is not alone in that as the crowd for game one of the series is substantially higher than we have seen for normal Friday night games. I would like to think the bump in attendance is a result of the Diamondbacks being in first place but I am not completely naïve. Once the game concluded the majority of the crowd remained in their seats which is definitely not a normal occurrence.

The stage for the band came out on the back of a flat-bed trailer and set up between home plate and first base. Since our seats are located on the third base line we would be looking at the back of the band. For most of these concerts that is probably the band’s best side but tonight we decided we should probably move.

We made our way towards the Cardinals dugout as the band started to play. I was somewhat curious as to what the demographic would be for those who stayed for the concert. I would have expected the crowd to be fairly young and a little wild. What I saw in the stands were fans of all ages sitting as the band began to play. By the second song of the first set there were women standing up dancing in the stands. Not just young teenage or 20-somethings but women of all ages. There is nothing quite so disconcerting as seeing a woman in her late 60’s wiggling her hips while the band plays “Walking on the Sun”. That is one of those sights best left to late night nightmares after eating one too many pieces of anchovy pizza. I sat there mesmerized at the demographic that remained in the stands at Chase Field to watch this rock band. I challenge the Diamondbacks marketing gurus to find a marketing label that will best describe this diverse group. As for now, I’ll be content just listening to a little music and bask in the thoughts of the Diamondbacks three game winning streak.

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