I've followed Saga since 1980. I was moving into my first apartment when I ran into a guy on the elevator wearing a Saga T-shirt showing their first album cover:
I asked "What's Saga?" and he said "It's kind of science-fiction rock & roll". I had no idea what that meant, but figured I needed to check it out.
As soon as I could, I stopped by a record store (you see, we used to have to physically go to a store and buy these things called "records", which were kind of like CDs, only bigger and more fragile and lower-quality audio-really!) and bought their eponymous first album. The minute I heard the first track, I was hooked. Thirty-seven years later, I have 39 Saga albums on my phone.
Meanwhile, the band hardly ever tours in North America: they sell out arenas in Europe, but have never really caught on here (other than the cadre of die-hard fans like me, of course). So when, back in January, they announced that they were retiring after this year, and that the tour would include North American gigs, I started watching their tour page even more carefully than usual. And sure enough, Oshawa was on the list!
My sister in Halifax was planning a Toronto visit along about then, so we coordinated to be there at the same time. I flew in Thursday morning, spent a day and a half with my sisters, and then headed off to Oshawa.
I had bought my ticket as soon as they were generally available, and got a seat in the center of the third row. And the show sold out-they even added a second show the next night. So I was surprised when I realized that the seat next to me was empty.
It was a great show, and I couldn't help but feel like Katie was there in spirit, sitting next to me and rockin' out in that empty seat…