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Posts tagged ‘Concerts’

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Dad

Dad and I went to see Crosby, Stills and Nash the other night at the Embassy. I got tickets for his birthday; he’s been a big fan forever, and a little of it rubbed off on me – I like the greatest hits album in my collection. And, you know, it seemed like it would be fun. How can you not enjoy some good, live music?

Lately (and by “lately” I mean for the last five or ten years), going to concerts has made me feel old. (Drunken hipsters annoy me.) (So do drunken other people, and not-drunken hipsters. But I digress.) This concert, pretty much the opposite: I was the youngest person for miles. Or at least rows. I know some of my contemporaries were there, but we were definitely in the minority.

And you know what’s awesome? Older people sit down at concerts. Maybe because they’re tired or standing for long periods of time is uncomfortable, but I think it’s because they’re more experienced and they’ve learned that standing at concerts is just plain stupid. Honestly, most of us can see better when we’re sitting.

This doesn’t mean it was some staid, subdued affair. To the contrary, people were rocking out. Just, politely, from a seated position, leaping to their feet to whoop and holler their appreciation after every song, then wisely sitting down to enjoy the next number. They were into it, man. It’s always great to see something here that is a) sold out and b) full of enthusiasm.

And the fellas on stage – they aren’t spring chickens, obviously. Crosby & Nash are 72. Stills is 69. Um, hi. That’s impressive. Even more so when I tell you that they played for about three hours. No opening act (perfect!) just them, killing it, with a short intermission (yay, pee break!).

And don’t worry, everybody stood up for Suite: Judy Blue Eyes for the encore, singing along joyfully. They definitely knew how to bring it home.

Of course, musing about the generational differences in concert-going also leads me to some universal truths:

  • There will always be two (probably drunk) chicks off to the side of the stage or in the aisle, dancing, even when the song isn’t remotely danceable.
  • Likewise, there will be some person near the front waving at the band. Stop it. They can’t see you. They don’t know you. Just stop.
  • The line for the bathroom will be stupidly long. At least this time the men’s line was at least as long as the women’s. Yay, equality! 😀
  • Someone in your vicinity will be doing something annoying. This week I had two. The man next to me was the LOUDEST snapper in the world. I seriously could not possibly snap my fingers that loudly, and he was doing it for hours. Stop it, Dad! Oops, just kidding, it was the man on my other side. Oh, and he was just a tiny bit offbeat. GAH. Also, the woman across the aisle was screwing around with her phone the entire time. Texting, taking pictures, texting, answering at least three phone calls, texting, taking pictures – oh my god, just stop already!

Which brings us to tonight’s public service announcement. Anytime you hold your phone up above the heads of the people in front of you to take a picture (or, god forbid, record some craptastic video – who are you kidding?), you are interfering with the experience of the people behind you. Your pictures are probably going to suck anyway. And there’s no need to take so many of them. And as the person behind all of you, seeing lots of phones sticking up at any given moment is obnoxious. I was watching security; they were trying their damndest to get you to stop, but they couldn’t keep up. And this is something we think is a problem with kids, but clearly we older people are just as culpable. Be in the moment. Be in the moment. BE IN THE MOMENT!

Geez, it’s hard to imagine that I feel old when I go to concerts! Get off my lawn, you stupid kids!

Anyway, I feel like I took kind of an accidental hiatus in my concert-going a few years ago, and I’m glad to be back in circulation. I’ve had the opportunity to see some good stuff the last year or two. Here’s hoping I can keep that streak going.

Rock on, my friends.

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Sometimes I am an idiot and sometimes I get it right.

In 2011, Mumford and Sons and The Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan all performed together at the Grammys. It was amazing. (Except for Bob Dylan, because he is really not amazing at all, ever.) It was the first time I’d heard Mumford & Sons (and probably the first for The Avett Brothers) and they knocked my socks off. The whole performance was killer, but I focused on Mumford. And I still love them. Yes. Muchly. My point, however, is that I did not fall in love with the Avett Brothers that night. I was too blown away by Mumford.  And sons.

I have several friends who like The Avett Brothers. They’re generally people who have respectable taste in music, but I never ventured into Avett territory to give it a listen. For some reason, however, I decided I should go see them when they come to town next month. The Avett Brothers, that is, not my friends. Although I’m not opposed to seeing my friends. In fact, I quite like some of them.

This scenario is peculiar, because I don’t usually to go to a concert when I really have no familiarity with the music. Not completely unheard of, however; 3Names convinced me to go see the Zac Brown Band with him a few years ago, even though I’d never heard of them, by paying for half my ticket, and he was right, it was a fun show. I do like to support things here in town, especially when they are uncommon, special, not your usual past-their-prime or not-yet-famous acts that pass through these parts. A few years back Ben Folds performed with the philharmonic and even though I dig him, I dig the Phil, and it definitely fell into that atypical for Fort Wayne category, I didn’t go. (This is the part where I am an idiot.) I had some legitimate reasons for not going, but mostly they were just stupid life things that I should have worked around. Everyone who went absolutely raved about how amazing it was. And I missed it. I could kick myself, still today. This is one of my biggest concert regrets in life, second only to missing Florence & the Machine open for U2. That was something I actually WENT TO, I just didn’t allow adequate time to get there. In my defense, East Lansing does not know how to move traffic. Jesus, people. It’s not like you have football games there all fall. Oh wait, it’s EXACTLY LIKE THAT. Learn how to move the freakin’ cars!

Anyway, I am determined not to have the same kind of concert regret again, and somehow I got it in my head that the Avett Brothers show would be something not to miss. I don’t know why exactly I thought that. But I bounced it off Klondike and he was game, and the tickets weren’t outrageous by today’s concert standards, so ok, let’s go. And the concert is Valentine’s Day. Klondike, act surprised by your present of concert tickets. 😀

So then I decided perhaps I should check them out ahead of time. By good fortune, Santa just gave me an iTunes gift card (I know, I’m Jewish, but iTunes! – who am I to say no?) so I downloaded “I and Love and You”. Oh, sweet Jesus, what took me so damn long?? I can’t remember the last time I loved a CD this much (even though it’s not a CD, it’s a collection of digital files, but I don’t know how to deal with that; I’m in the digital age, but reluctantly). Album. That might be the right word. Of course, that conjures up an image of a vinyl record. Whatever. Call it what you like, I’m in love.

I get to see them in concert in six weeks? Oh hells yeah. I’ll report back, but I fully expect it to be awesome.

This is the part where I get it right.

Oh yeah, and I just downloaded “The Carpenter”. Might as well keep going.  🙂

P.S. I tried to find the amazing Grammy performance for you, but no such luck, unless you want to watch a shitty video of someone watching it on TV. Seriously WHY do people shoot videos of their TV screen and post them on the internet?