Could It Be Frontrowitis?
by Alison Bonaguro
(Published July 5, 2007


Itís good to know Iím not alone. I have this affliction, and I just found out that Reba McEntireís mom had it, too. The condition probably has a clinical name, but I call it Frontrowitis. It starts by sitting in the front row at a country concert. Regardless of how you get the seats (win them, mortgage your house to pay for them, or get them the way Rebaís mom did at the Grand Ole Opry with good old-fashioned seat hopping), it comes on quickly after that.

If youíve never sat in the front row, let me paint you a picture. The artist comes on stage, and immediately makes eye contact with you. Then Dierks / Kenny / Martina / Toby /Miranda starts to sing, right in front of you. You sing along, faking it when you have to, because how awkward would that be to not know the words? You leave the show thinking it canít get any better than that. And to be honest, it never ever does. Hence, the illness.

Symptoms include post-concert euphoria and repeated story telling. (ďDid I tell you I had my elbows on the stage?Ē) But the pain starts to kick in the next time a concert comes to town and you canít get front row. You can get tenth row, but to you thatís like nosebleeds. A friend has a friend who can get you a box, where youíll be forced to watch the show through binoculars. That is so beneath you. This is when you know you have it bad, when the front row has spoiled you for anything else.

The sad part is, thereís no cure. You can sit in the second through 135th rows and the artist can put on a fabulous show but your heart will still ache. Iíve had Frontrowitis for about five years, ever since I seat-hopped my way to the front row of a Kenny Chesney show at Milwaukeeís Summerfest. Now if I wanted to get one front row seat for his show in Indiana next week, Iíd have to pay a broker $1448. Thatís a pretty steep price to pay for what would really only provide temporary relief of my symptoms. Unless I could claim it on my medical insurance. Anyone know where I could get coverage like that?

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