This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Riding Rollercoasters

For Christmas, CJ got tickets to the Tame Impala concert that was scheduled for this past Thursday, February 21st. We stuffed it in Tame Impala's first album. Then Tim and I drew straws for who would take her to the concert since we only got two. It was a fight for who would NOT get to go.

After Osheaga, we (the old people) discovered that we are just too old for this shit. We knew we were too old for quite some time. When you go to a concert and you get pissed about everyone standing up, you're too old. When you think about: why can't they assign us seats and why can't everyone stay you watch Trent Reznor screaming and gyrating across the know you're too old.

But our trip to Osheaga and going (and standing for HOURS) to band after band after band, all fucking day and night for *three fucking days* just blew our wad of concert-fun. I missed The Black Keys at Osheaga because I was so god-damn burned out from the entire thing. And I LOVE The Black Keys.

So the idea of going to Carrboro, on a week night, to see a band I was not entirely in to was not appealing to me. At all. But the love for my ungrateful-moody-silent teen is overwhelming, even if it's conditional *from her*.

So begins our journey...

I was lying in bed, working, because, I am an adult and I have a lot of shit to do, when she comes in, all happy and shit. It's 5:15 PM and the concert doesn't start until 9PM.

Me: "What time do you want to leave?" (I am in a sour mood because I don't want to go, I'm tired, I have a lot of work to do, I don't like the music, I will be there all fucking night...but I only give a small indication of it to the very happy teen...who is never happy in any other occasion of my day with her except when she gets what she wants...)

Her: 5:30 (see two paragraphs before this...concert starts at 9)

I search for restaurants. I told Tim I wouldn't be drinking but hey, if I start early, I can get a small buzz during the early hours and deal with this and then the buzz will wear off by midnight.

We end up choosing Milltown and the drive over is uneventful except for Tame Impala playing in the car and me thinking: geezuz...i've got to listen to this for two hours? Oh, and the commuter traffic. That was lovely.

I give my status report to Tim via messaging. I know the bottom is cut off but you get the gist. :)

Milltown was a nice pub. Of course, I get a glass of wine (last page of a manual of beer's a gastropub, for fuck's sake!), an order of Poutine (because CJ said "Let's go there! It'll be like being in Canada (where Osheaga was)), some sausage and CJ ordering fish-n-chips.  She ate a nibble of the Poutine...I ate most of the rest...and a nibble of the fish-n-chips when she asks "Do you think this will be good after the concert? I'm kind of full and excited."

Sigh. $30+ bucks of food. Down the drain.

She tells me doors open at 7PM. I thought I read 8PM (and I brought my book to read while we wait) but when we get to the door, I'm told it is indeed 8PM. It's 6:50.

I read that it's best to start a line for a great position and there's a few people standing around already. I don't know where the entrance is because we are told the side of the building but we can't get to the side because it's blocked off by fencing (we walked all the way to the street-side, as CJ hyperventilates walking beside the tour bus, which is parked directly in front of Cat's Cradle).

"Dely" is my mom. She says "See, I told you" a lot.
So, fuck it, I walk to the side of one guy that appears to be in a not-really-there-line.  Surprisingly, this guy immediately turns to me and says "How's it going?" as if we are not strangers. So we end up engaging in conversation. I never learn his name but I do learn the following: he drops acid, he wants to get a tattoo in his groin area because his mom has one there (??!!), he's in a band, lives right down the road, we should totally get into foxygen, either foxygen or another band's music makes him feel like he's done heroin, even though he hasn't (yet?).

He did leave us momentarily after he discovered that I was not 28 but 44, as old as his 45 year old which the 'guy' (kid) in front said "just like my mom!" He thought CJ was older and my sister. I told him, after he said I looked really young, that it was the lighting: "it's dark out can't really see my face." At some point, I was going to take a self-portrait of me and CJ and the image of myself on my iPhone scared the hell out of me -- "I don't fucking look 28!!" So I took a picture of my feet instead...waiting for the doors to open at 8PM.

We finally make it in, CJ gets a shirt, and we make it to the front of the stage...well, second "row". Now the standing and waiting begins.

The last concert I was at was at The Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh to see American Aquarium. The first band didn't start until 9:20. I say "first" because I thought there would only be one band. But NOOOOO, a second band came out there at 10:30ish (I was wondering why American Aquarium all grew beards and oddly, looked NOTHING like I remembered them). And then about 11-something, American Aquarium finally came out. This is what I imagine while I stand. And wait. At American Aquarium, we were seated (since it was Tim and I).

Amazingly enough, the opening band The Growl started on time. And holy fuck, they were fucking awesome. I could not hold back my head-banging ways and just enveloped myself into their music. I knew these guys were so into their music because the lead singer, Cameron, constantly and consistently snapped his fingers (and what a good snapper he was) to a beat to get the music started, or clapped, or patted his chest. He was like Joe Cocker with his hands "I just can't help but feel the music in me".

There was a guy, Mark, who played a real bass. He played a bass guitar too but the bass was pretty cool. He eventually took off his beanie and looked pretty good. In this pic, I think he looks like some 30-something jazz dude.

There were two drummers and one drumset had a trashcan. The guy on the right side, behind Cameron, is beating on the trashcan.

These two guys would switch, the guy on the left and right. What was entrancing was seeing them drum in sync. Freaking amazing.

The guy on the left reminded me of the drummer for Faith No More (Mike Bordin...just looked him up...OMG he's 50!). He had a lot of curly hair, wrapped in a bun (his is blond where Mike had dark brown hair).

The lead singer, Cameron, moved like Mick Jagger. See in the picture where he has his hand on his hip? He sings like that...when he's not snapping or clapping or patting his chest. He has an uh-MAZE-ing voice, as depicted here .

These guys were *so* nice too. Just welcoming of the attention, their bandmates Tame Impala, just so sincere that you get with these small venues.

I downloaded their EP Cleaver Lever. This was one of the best bands I've seen since Osheaga and ever. Find their videos, they're great. But this one gives the best sense of being there: 

My iMessage to Tim
They change arrangements during their songs (like old Metallica) and have a bluesy sound. I'm re-listening to the video and I'm in love. See the drummers play in sync...

Once they are gone, it's back to waiting for Tame Impala. The guy behind me passes out right next to me. There's a girl holding him, who says a quiet but panicked "Help" and I look around for the bouncer dude (I want to be a bouncer!) and get close to dialing 911 when he gets up, dazed and confused. The girl asks "Are you sure you want to continue?" He nods a not reassuring Yes as I look at his eyes to see how drug-induced he is (he doesn't appear to be). The girl is shaken but doesn't move as he leaves to get water. She stays there for a long time, alone and I think: are you going to hang here while your boyfriend dies getting water? (I know it's her boyfriend because, of course, I have to ask her who he is, what happened, how good she laid him down on the ground, blah blah)

Once they finally came out, they had a trippy background playing on the screen behind them. The lead singer was barefoot and I noticed he sang a lot on his tippy toes. That was cute.

Initially, I was not excited or in tuned to their music. Everyone around me was. They have a pretty big following by alt-lovers.

A side note: I can't even begin to express how happy I am that CJ has discovered this type of music. While she will applaud Beyonce (and who wouldn't because she is fucking amazing. Did you see her  documentary "Life is but a Dream"???? I love her.) she despises (to an unhealthy degree) Bieber, One Direction and Taylor Swift (but respects that she writes her own music). She's offended if any of her music is played on the radio (I was like this except when I lived on Guam because Guam's rock station played Metallica's Ride the Lightning which was never meant for radio airplay and that station just played MUSIC they loved...not what the masses told them to play)...examples being Gods and Monsters (we saw them at Osheaga), Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons.

But Tame Impala follows the psychedelic music genre and if you are young and hip, you know who they are...or old like me and have a young and hip daughter who keeps up-to-date with what's cool in the alt-rock, underground music world.

And I'm not really into psychedelic music. I don't smoke pot (it makes me very extremely paranoid. I since learned - from a professional - if you are an anxious person, pot is a big no-no), or shoot heroin, or drop acid. I drink WINE, not beer (only because my anti-seizure/migraine medicine has taken the taste of carbonation out of my tastebuds...but mostly, I like wine over beer at 44 years old) and at this time, I am quite sober.

But...after dazing in and out of consciousness (as I thought about work, how many songs they have played, how many more they will play, how long do these sets last, will they go by #of songs or time because each song is like six minutes long, maybe 10 songs - that seems right, this is song #6, Tim told me to count, I'm counting songs, god damn my feet hurt so bad, I'm thirsty, would love some of that water that guy was going to get, my feet are KILLING me and I'm about to have a panic attack!, I am NOT going to see AWOLNation - a band I love and would WANT to see because this shit sucks, I shouldn't have eaten that much poutine...), I began to enjoy the show. These guys can play. I can't understand and fucking thing the guy is 'singing' (it was on one of those echo-mikes that most trippy music is made of) but they play FUCKING amazing and the guitar riffs and sounds (lots of effects) are pretty cool.

Again, SO NICE and humble and appreciative. These Aussies from Perth are gentlemen. I have since downloaded both albums to my iPhone so I'll judge which ones trip me out the best in the next few days.

As they ended their encore, my daughter turned into someone I didn't know. She turns to me quickly and says "Should we go to their tour bus?!?" Her eyes were crazy. I looked at her with my mom face and was like "UH, NO."  She turned away from me without a reaction and finally, I pulled her towards the exit.

We get out and everyone is heading home. They are walking right by the tour bus with no interest in it and CJ turns to me and says "Can we wait a little bit?" I think I said "For what?" in my most patient-but-curt voice but I resign to waiting a bit and sit on the curb to rest my feet.

But it was now 11:45 and cold and I realized that there were a group of girls who moved UP TO THE FRONT when everyone was leaving...and those guys will not be coming out anytime I told her - that's it, we're going home. She gave me a pleading WHY and I was like BECAUSE IT'S ALMOST MIDNIGHT and just proceeded to the car, with her dragging behind me.

We drove home in silence. I knew she was upset about not having to 'hang out' with the band. But really, she is not a social butterfly. What was she possibly thinking in her head about the scenario '...let's go to their tour bus?' I see it clearly: me standing there, trying to make conversation because CJ would NOT be talking..."hey, this is my daughter. she loves your band." Now what? Invite me on the bus? With me? With my *14 year old* daughter???? Yeah. Not creepy at all.

As I think about what has changed...why concert going for me is no longer the appeal as it was when I was her age...I don't have a real answer other than I'm too old for this shit. It's the same as my love for roller coasters. I was obsessed with them and while I still have ridden them at the fair, at Disney World (the yeti, not those other wimpy ones), I find myself less inclined, more scared, about getting on them. They've just outgrown their thrill for me.

But as long as I live, I will do this for my kids. I haven't forgotten how sad I was that my parents wouldn't let me go to see Bon Jovi or how thrilled I was to see Nikki Sixx on stage at my first Motley Crue concert. And those moments I want to do (when I can) and help create for CJ and MiMi.


  1. OH MY GOD

    1. It is uh-MAZE-ing, is it not? I watched the first season of GoT without knowing the book. Once it was over, I had to read the series and I was hooked. I am in love with George R. R. Martin. He is a genius. I just want him to finish the series. I have never been involved with any series that was not finished so I now know what Harry Potter fans felt like waiting for the next book. :)

      I am *so* glad you and Ezra are hooked. My addiction is viral. ;)

    2. I had watched the show over the summer, but we're reading it simultaneously--we're trying to keep him at least a few pages ahead because I enjoy him texting me his reactions to things I haven't gotten to yet. It's so much fun. :)