Saturday, September 13, 2014

Remember That One Show...

Going to a live show is wonderful. You can talk about the music all you want. One can talk about the shared experience of seeing these musicians live and up close. Yet, one of the things that I love about concerts are the memories that you take with you forever, especially the hilarious ones. Let me share with you some of my favorite ones over the years.

At Oasis in Las Vegas in 2008, I was sitting in the balcony next to this couple from New Jersey, who had traveled all the way from there just to see this band. Liam and Noel came onstage, but then I noticed that this man's wife had fallen asleep or to put it more precisely, she had pretty much passed out. I said to the guy, "Don't you want to wake up your wife?" He looked at me with a very serious face and said, "Fuck her if she cannot handle her liquor. It is her own damn fault." She missed the whole show.

Another time I was at Lollapalooza watching the band Spoon with a friend of mine. We were relaxed lying on a grassy hill when another guy that we came with bugged us. He said, "You have to come over and meet these guys I just met. They are from Australia." My friend said no. We were fine here. The guy screamed out, "But they are from Australia!" I said, "I don't care where they are from." He sulked away really upset that we would not meet his new friends from Australia.

Other moments are even more surreal when you get to meet members of the band. I attended a show in Chicago for And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead. After the show, I hung out at the bar waiting for my cab to arrive. Suddenly, the entire band surrounded me quite by accident to have a drink or two. I summoned up the courage to tell one of the founding members how much I had always loved their music and they put on a really great show. He said thank you and wondered if I wanted an autograph. I told him that an autograph would be nice, but what I really wanted to do was a shot with him. I asked him if he would like to do a Fireball with me. He said, "I only do tequila." I ordered up two tequilas and I think one more for their manager. yet, when it came time for me to pay the bartender, I realized I needed to go to an ATM. Thank God there was one right around the corner still inside the bar, but I sat at that machine praying that it would give me money. How embarrassing that would have been. We downed the shots and it ended up being a very good night.

My favorite concert story of all time is when I met the band Weezer backstage at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago before one of their shows. At that time, I had this running joke with a group of my friends that if I ever became a male stripper, my name would be Hurricane. I even had a hat that actually said Hurricane on it. I ended up wearing that hat on the night that I met them backstage for a photo. As I am walking away, the bass guitarist for Weezer asked me what my hat meant. I told him that it was what my name would be if I were a male stripper. Immediately following the statement, I noticed the lead singer, Rivers Cuomo, smile and laugh. I will never forget the look on his face for the rest of my life. I made him smile. As I was walking away, the bass guitarist told me not to give up hope, there was still time for me to become a stripper. 

Live music is fantastic. You sometimes hear things that only on that night would you hear. Yet, these things nowadays are recorded and you can watch them on YouTube over and over. Yet, the memories that people obtain while attending concerts are the priceless things that you cannot go on to YouTube and find.

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