Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Program Notes

Rock concerts are never going to be my natural habitat, but for me last night was partly about the music, partly about having an interesting anthropological experience, and partly about spending quality time with C, who was very gracious in bringing me along to something he'd been awaiting eagerly for months.

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.

The Aragon Ballroom

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.)
Now Ask Me If I Enjoyed It

Heck yes.

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.


birdfarm said...

hee hee, glad you had fun, even if it felt like the wrong century/decade.

although in 1926, you and C would probably have had to make some pretense of escorting ladies.

just a thought.

Anonymous said...

so im assuming you refrained from shouting "Freebird" and holding your Bic aloft during the encore?

Anonymous said...

glad you had fun! if you think you've had your share of belly shirts now, wait until lollapalooza. outside concert in july...i guarantee you will see more offensive sights than belly shirts.

goblinbox said...

Chick magnet... coke addict! Snort! "Peace out and so forth"! Chuckle! You absolutely slay me.

Anonymous said...

New went and saw New Order...ohhhh, that IS love.

Really, I remember clubbing in the mid-eighties with my gay best friend and dancing to New Order (and NO, he would never ever let me be seen in a belly shirt and NO, no ponchos either. We have our standards. They do not include scaring people with body parts that could use a little nipping and tucking, nor do they include looking like a glitzed-up version of Juan Valdez. Get real.)

"Tell me now, how do I feel..."

Old, thank you ;-) positively old...

Anonymous said...

The fact that you used "peace out and so forth" makes you very cool, indeed.