My sister adores concerts. The woman would watch a punk accordian band from Guatemala play Bach fugues in the dark if she was invited to do so. She loves a concert. She’s sort of turned into a Dave Matthews Band version of a Deadhead – without all the living in vans and smoking pot. This is why Boot is the go-to girl for all concert activity. (We call her Boot for reasons I will surely divulge in a future blog post.) We went a show over the weekend that reminded me of other concert experiences with her.
Saturday night we headed out to a local bar to see a trio of bands – Wussy, Harper Simon, and Company of Thieves. Boot and I are huge Paul Simon fans and were delighted to hear his son Harper (by Paul’s first wife Peggy Harper) has a new CD out and is touring in support of it. Neither of us knew much about the other bands but we found Company of Thieves an amazing show and will definitely keep an eye out for them in the future. We arrived early – there were hardly any people there who weren’t employed by the business. The space is a huge open area in front of a stage and a balcony with some tables and such. We snagged prime seating on the balcony and spent the rest of the night thanking ourselves for getting there early because there was no seating down on the main floor. Standing for a three hour concert is for teenagers and people who get there late.
On one side of us was a couple watching the show. The girl was pretty drunk and she kept stabbing Boot with her flailing elbow. “I am going to punch her if she doesn’t quit bumping into me,” Boot said, rolling her eyes in exasperation. During a particularly high energy section of the show, the girl was hopping up and down at the railing of the balcony and I feared she would topple into the crowd. A guy watching the concert below had already tried that – he’d run onstage and stage-dived right into the floor where people had parted like the Red Sea.
Later, the lead singer asked “Garrett” to come onstage. Turns out this was the boyfriend of our drunk friend. Turns out he was proposing to the Drunken Bunny who spent more time hopping around onstage than she did accepting her engagement ring. Then she leapt into him, wrapping arms and legs about his person and nearly knocking him over (she was not an insubstantial person). “Boy I’m glad I didn’t hit her,” Boot joked.
I did not speak to Harper Simon as he roamed past us even though I wanted to say hi, thank him for coming to Louisville, tell him we’re fans. I’m not good with stuff like that, I go all fangirl.
I was thinking about another concert experience with Boot. Several years ago, we went to Lillith Fair, the huge all-women musical extravaganza similar to Lollapalooza but less testosterone and angry manfolk. Boot, I, my Boyfriend at the Time (BATT), and a friend of Boot’s (I can’t remember who it was! Boot, who went to Lillith Fair with us??) pitched a blanket on the outdoor amphitheater ground and chilled out.
The chilling was interrupted by a group of six or eight women in front of us. They got progressively drunker and spent a lot of time making out with each other. Not unusual, but they did so in a way that suggested not attraction-induced PDA but a display of something they equated with rebellion. Like they were Lesbian for the Night. One of them had a laser pointer and continually red-dotted people around the field and even performers. I have to hand it to the venue’s security detail who walked right up to the perpetrator and took it away from her.
The most memorable part of the evening came at the end. Natalie Merchant*performed most of her set on an enormous swing. BATT teased me a little about what a flake she was. At the end of the show as people were packing up, he turned to me and said, “Natalie Merchant is a total flake.” And we all laughed. Until one of the drunk chicks spun around** and roared, “NATALIE MERCHANT IS NOT A FLAKE, ASSHOLE! GODDAMN FAGGOT.” One of her friends hadn’t heard BATT’s statement and asked what the problem was. To which the offended party replied, “HE SAID NATALIE MERCHANT IS A FLAKE. SHE IS NOT A FLAKE. DAMN HOMO FAGGOT.”
She said some other stuff too but then Boot delivered her golden line, loud enough for everyone to hear, “I THOUGHT THIS WAS A PEACEFUL LOVIN’ CONCERT!” And everyone within a ten-foot radius bust out laughing and the gaggle of drunk semi-lesbians wobbled away, chastened.
Stay tuned for more stories of Boot and me at concerts. Some day I’ll tell you about the time we went to see Simon & Garfunkel.
*Of whom I was a voracious fan for a very long time but found myself extremely disappointed with her solo work and still long for the days of 10,000 Maniacs. Our Time In Eden and In My Tribe are still two of my favorite albums ever.
** There was less of a haughty spin and more of a drunken wobble. It took her a minute to focus her eyes on us, too.