One of my best guy friends, Gabe, listens to music that is, for the most part, way outside the box for me. I’ve listened to his stuff before and mostly I just came away with, “Wow. That’s really loud.” So when he asked me to go with him and listen to a few bands at a local establishment, I was receptive to doing something outside the norm. Did I mention that Gabe is ten years younger than me? Until last night, I never gave it much thought as we get along so well and have a lot in common. In all actuality, ten years is a generation and oh, honey, did I feel the gap.
As with any woman, choosing the right look for an occasion is critical. I’m thinking a cool outfit comprised of skinny jeans, boots, cropped jacket ought to do the trick. My hair is full (flat hair is against my religious beliefs), make-up is light and pretty (a shout-out to Maybelline mauve eye shadow) and a spritz or two of my favorite floral perfume. I’m feeling pretty fly as we walk up the steps and, best of all, I’m having a THIN day. The stars have aligned and I’m congratulating myself on a cool, hip look.
Do you remember that one time in high school when you left the house thinking you looked great only to realize upon arriving at school that you looked ridiculous?
This was one of those moments.
Almost everyone was wearing black. I quickly looked at the women’s outfits for moral support. Oh. No. They were in black, too. And eyeliner! Lots of eyeliner and it wasn’t just on the women. Most of the women had really dark hair and all of them had a look of practiced indifference on their face. I’m assuming there were a lot of dye jobs out of a box walking around, but that gave me no comfort. I had never felt so… BLONDE before in my entire life. I quickly skittered over to a table and sat down trying to blend while we waited for the music to begin.
As it got closer to start time, Gabe led me down front so we could be directly in front of the bands. I mean, it would be a tragedy if you didn’t get the full kidney-pounding effect from the pulsating speakers, wouldn’t it? So I’m squashed between one tall Justin Bieber look-a-like on my left (what the hell?) and two girl midgets on my right. Okay, they weren’t really midgets, but they WERE short. Gabe was behind me and as I was soon to find out, this was a good thing.
The band comes out and as expected, the music was an immediate assault on my ears. I could feel my eyeballs bouncing in rhythm with the shrieking guitarist directly in front of me. The singer was screaming into his mic and for the life of me, I couldn’t understand a single word. I looked around me and realized the others were singing along. How could they sing along when nothing coming out of his mouth resembled words? Just a steady stream of howling and wild gestures accompanied by head-banging. Hey, when did head-banging come back into style? I thought that went out when Jon Bon Jovi cut his hair. And oh, look at that! The drummer has a mohawk! Well, now, this puts a whole new spin on things. I lived through the 80s – these kids aren’t bringing anything I haven’t seen before.
Problem is I still can’t understand a single damned word coming from the howler monkey’s mouth as he flails around on stage. I resort to lip reading. Oh, he just said mediocrity! Hey, I think he said I’m sorry! (I’m getting pretty good at this). My feeling of achievement ended when the crowd suddenly erupted into jumping up and down while banging into each other. I jerked around and screamed into Gabe’s ear, “Why are they doing that?” He screams back, “Because they can!”
Justin Beiber is bouncing up and down like a crazed Tigger on my left and the midgets on my right are banging their heads, slinging their hair around when I am shoved hard from behind. There’s a human being surfing the crowd, passed forward over the top of our heads before being dumped unceremoniously over the security gate for the roadies to scrape up. I suddenly realized I was in a real, honest-to-God mosh pit! (cool factor rises a few notches at this realization).
A roadie suddenly appears and runs down the length of the security gate, squirting water into various people’s mouths from a water bottle. Gabe motioned to the guy that I needed some water which I flat-out rejected. “Lisa, you have to get into the spirit of things!” I responded with, “Are you nuts? I don’t know where that bottle’s been!” (loss of cool points due to middle-age comment about germs).
As the music continues, I come to realize that the band(s) are angry. They are singing One Man! One Fight! while shaking their fists in the air. I’m at a loss. What are we supposed to be angry about? I can be as angry as the next guy, but I need a specific topic. Oh, I know! I’ll be angry about hidden cell phone plan fees. Better yet, ATM fees! Nothing infuriates me off more than getting charged for using a rogue ATM. Now THAT is something to rage about.
The singer takes a moment to renounce the war we’re not supposed to be fighting and support our troops. I’m all in for supporting our troops, but which war are we upset over? I need clarification. Iraq? Afghanistan? War on drugs? War on Wall Street? I wanted to raise my hand and ask, but I felt that would send my cool stocks plummeting. Not willing to risk it, I kept my angry face intact by thinking about my HMO.
The music comes to an end and everyone crowds around the merchandise tables. Feeling the need to prove my coolness by purchasing a concert shirt, I approach one of the black-garbed, bored-looking assistants and ask her what the name of a particular band means.
“Standing together, united, in a state of aggressive euphoria,” she disdainfully says to me.
“Well, may I have a black one with the pretty colors in a small?” (cool points bottom out at this remark).
Overall, the night was a unique experience and yes, I would do it again. Once my ears stopped bleeding, the music was actually pretty good. My kidneys have stopped trembling and I will feel major cool when wearing my anti-establishment t-shirt.
Best of all, I’ve already chosen my rage-against-the-machinesque topic for my next venture. I needed something to whip me into a mental frenzy. Nothing so mundane as hatred against the oil companies, Wall Street or the intrusiveness of Big Sister/Big Brother into our lives. I needed something REAL.
I hate those things. Every time I buy a magazine I have to go through it and remove those annoying cards before I can enjoy my reading. That just riles me up, I tell you.
Someone has to take a stand and that someone is… me. And I’ll be my wearing pretty-colored shirt, too.
Til next time,