Once I got over the scary feeling that I was suddenly at a high school dance populated by Bad Kids with no teachers to keep order, I was fascinated by the whole affair.
Notes on the Concert-Going Experience
- General admission. This, I do not understand. One pays a large amount of money and then takes ones chances about whether one will be close enough of the stage to be sprayed by the spittle of the lead singer, or whether one will be more or less in the next county? One may, if one is short, wind up not seeing the band at all? No, no, no.
- Security. At the Lyric Opera, if a member of the house staff were to roughly lay hands on or shout "Keep moving! Keep moving!" at patrons who were not misbehaving, s/he would be fired on the spot, and that's how I prefer it.
- Stage Lighting. Easily $3 million in lights hanging from what used to be the Aragon's beautiful, starlit vaulted ceiling, and the band was still in the dark the entire time. I assume this was an attempt to disguise the telling effects of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Either that or they borrowed the light plot from Act I of Das Rheingold.
- Amplification. Ow.
- Looking cool. Some men can pull off looking cool. Others, however, will simply never be cool in the same way that I will simply never be a leggy supermodel. The difference is that I recognize my limitations and try to work within them. Gentlemen, sunglasses worn in a dimly lit, indoor environment do not make you a chick magnet. They make you look like a coke addict.
- Straight guys shouldn't "vogue." Let me rephrase that. In the year 2005, nobody should "vogue."
- Belly shirts. Ladies, if you must render yourself ridiculous in public, better you should wear a poncho. Better still, you should acquire an honest gay friend who will discourage you from purchasing objectionable items in the first place.
As I sat looking around the sad remains of what used to be an incredible fantasia on Moorish architecture, I realized that I'd have been more comfortable at the Aragon when it opened in 1926. I'd have had a much better grip on the etiquette, the music, the dances, the clothes, and the refreshments. There's nothing more bizarre than finding yourself entirely out of synch with your own era. (This happens to me frequently.)
Bons mots from the Crowd
- "Woooooohoooooooooaaaaaayyyyaaaaaayyyyaaaaaayyaaaaayyyy!" (Very jolly woman two rows behind me. Madam, if you're reading this, a brilliant career in hog calling awaits you.)
- "Yeah, cuz baby, see, I'm a promoter, I can get you in, I can get you in, baby, all the best parties, cuz I'm a promoter. Baby? Baby? Hey baby?" (Man in tweed pork-pie hat to much younger woman in satin chemise, who was pointedly not looking at him.)
- "Mmmm mmmm. Mmmm mmmm. Yeah. Rock me. Rock me. Mmmmmmmmmyeah." (Guy behind me in the ATM line. I presume he wasn't asking this of me.)
- "I'm wetting! I'm wetting! No, like, I'm so excited I'm wetting!" (Woman in front of me in the line for t-shirts. I gave her a wide berth.)
I know nothing about this sort of music, but I know I liked it. Infectious beat. Very diverting - all crescendo - all allegro - all the fireworks of an old production of the Ring Cycle without the slow bits to break it up. I'd go again. And I'd probably be less nervous and like it even more.
And I got to watch C being absolutely transported with enjoyment, which does my heart good.
Best part is, now I have the proper sort of t-shirt to wear to Lollapalooza.
I'm "chill." Peace out and so forth.