Monday, May 25, 2009

where giving the middle finger is apparently a sign of affection

an odd post on memorial day, particularly considering that my last post was on mlk day and actually had something to do with the holiday. this one does not. it does however have to do with an experience from this weekend...friday night, may 22nd, 2009.

also known as the night i paid too much for concert tickets (thank you ticketmaster inconvenience fee), i went to the first "buzz under the stars" concert at city market. i really wanted to see anberlin and alkaline trio (two very different bands) which both were great. no lazer light shows (it was still daytime then anyway) - they played their music, actually sang, and rocked the faces off the people who didn't come to see them. i would've liked to have seen both of them play way longer than their allotted times and in smaller venues, but there will be other times in my life for that...

while alkaline was playing, an older fellow (who i'm sure has seen a few great concerts in his day, and was in major need of a dentist) approached me and asked me about one of my tattoos. the conversation went a little something like this:

man: "so my friend and i were talking. 'becoming.' now is that in reference to the song by pantera or to silence of the lambs?"

me: "um, neither actually. it just has personal significance."

man: "what's the significance?"

me: "well it's just in reference to me becoming more of the person i want to be in life."

man: "all right. what do you want to be?"

me: "well, i have a job and everything - it's really just about the process of me growing as a person. it's not about pantera or silence of the lambs. besides - i can't even watch horror movies because they freak me out."

man: "silence of the lambs is not a horror movie. that's real life. there are some f***ed up people in this world."

me: (laughing) "yeah, i guess there is. i still don't like watching those movies though."

man: "but you gotta tell me that you f***ing love pantera."

me: "um, i like pantera."

man: "that band is awesome. (his friend came up behind him - a short, stout fellow that looked like he'd belong at the beach - he didn't speak and was a little socially awkward) well you had me and my friend fooled then with that 'becoming!' not about pantera or silence of the lambs dude. well you have a good night. nice talking to you. hey, do you smoke weed?"

me: "no i don't, sorry."

man: "okay then. well you have a good night."

me: "thanks, you too."

love it.

since i wasn't in to the other bands there that night, most of the night was really spent people watching. it was a pretty fantastic environment for that. while the used was playing (or as the band announced themselves, "the f***ing used" - which i thought was rather redundant of them) my friend maya and i stood back with the less, well, with the older and wiser crowd and had a hay day observing everyone around us between the porta-potties and beer stations. during taking back sunday (whose music i don't mind, but were NOT good live - the lead singer cannot sing (or at least didn't demonstrate it that night) and sounded to be honest, like a dying cat - he's in great need of some good vocal hygiene says the speech pathologist in me), maya and i sat on the curb, and oh did the array of personalities and lifestyles pass before our eyes. mom jeans mixed with teenie-bopper texters, to the over 40 crowd that probably just paid a lot of money to hang out and drink $5 miller lite. the extreme overabundance of "that guy" wearing the band t-shirt that they probably just bought at the merch table, to the tall lanky teenage white guy with glasses wearing a "crunk state university" shirt. the group of people that i think thought they were vampires that came out after the sun went down, walked very slowly in a small group and sported lots of corsets and long black capes, to the middle aged couple that looked they they had just gotten done with a 10 mile run, but probably were out moshing with kids (they were chugging and bathing in the water out of the pump by the porta-johns).

i love diversity.

the offspring was the "headliner" band of the night - i did feel obliged to stay for part of their show, and we lasted through probably 5 songs. i didn't think i was well-versed with their repertoire, until they started playing. i guess i hadn't realized number one, how long they've actually been around, and number 2, how they've basically made a living creating a bunch of would-be one-hit-wonders. the lead singer's voice is quite memorable, i'll give 'em that. i'm not going to say that some songs didn't take me back to yesteryear, but there were also songs (aka pretty fly for a white guy) that i didn't really need to re-live. no one REALLY does.

in reference to my title and in conclusion... i found it odd when i believe alkaline was playing that there was one guy that kept flipping them the bird instead of applauding. i couldn't figure out if that was a good thing or if he hated the band until the used started playing. it's quite a sight seeing thousands of people simultaneously extending their middle fingers in approval; still, unless provoked (as the masses were), is it really a good idea to do that sort of thing out of context? i guess i'll that leave that decision up to you. you like this post? you hate my guts? flip me the bird. that way your bases are covered.

post. script. if you're really curious about the pantera reference, i'll let you investigate that on your own. i did, and well, if that would've been what my tat was in reference to, those of you that know me would probably be very concerned right now. the thoughts and lyrics of pantera are not indicative of this blog author. listener discretion is advised. however, the fact that said man above thought that was my inspiration makes me way more badass (or maybe just more of an ass) than i actually am. not gonna lie - i kind of felt a little more awesome. perceptions are crazy things...