Saturday, May 27, 2006

Anything but Joey

My friend L is an Everclear fan. I'm not.

Like... at all.

In fact... I'm probably nearer the opposite. (What's the opposite of a fan? An anti-fan? That's me.)

So we're sitting in the top row of the balcony in the VooDoo Lounge, L talking to an old work buddy of his we happened to run into, the man's silent (shy?) wife sitting mute and staring straight ahead, me trying my very hardest to enjoy the company of my friend, despite my head being in a completely different place. The lights dim; the lounge is about half-full. We're in the wrong seats, but nobody's noticed, so we stay. Five rough-and-tumble, hyper/grungy kids come rolling out onto the stage, laughing, talking, and generally having a good time.

They start up, and I have to tell you, they have, by far, the cleanest live performance I've ever seen. L, of course (being old, as he is) has seen a lot more live shows than I have, and he said they're the tightest performance he's ever seen. The work buddy agreed that they're the tightest performance he's ever seen, too. Those guys did an awesome job. At first we thought it was just the lounge: great sound system, decent acoustics. Until Everclear came on sounding like a cat being run over by a truck. The opening band was just that good.

The coolest part? Anything but Joey is local (and apparently unsigned). Who knew? I mean, KC has some decent sounds, but every now and then you trip on something surprising. Something that makes you grin. Something you find yourself humming for the rest of the week.

The guys finished their set, gave a big wave to the audience and laughed about every one staying and gambling with them when the show was over. Had I been walking, I'd have tripped on my lower lip, it was pouting out so far. The adult in me won't stay out that late. I have to eat, which means I have to work, which means I can't run around in some casino spending money I don't have with people I've never met until the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes I hate being responsible.

So the headliner comes on. The crowd's all excited. The lead singer horks and coughs his way through the first few lines. He does a really bad acoustic cover of Brown-Eyed Girl with an out-of-tune guitar, and I swear he was trying to shred my eardrums. Two mousy blondes wiggle up to the top row. We're in their seats. Down we go. Row 2, seats 15 and 16. Right in the middle of a pack of toasted college kids. They were a little riled up, but reasonably easy to ignore.

That is, until their Goliath-sized, completely blitzed frat-boy buddy came tottering up with a shit-eating grin on his face. He spent the next hour alternating between climbing up and over the backs of the first three rows of seats, and moshing all alone on the main aisle at the front of the balcony. We moved. He followed us. We moved again. Again, he followed us. Apparently, we weren't moving far enough (not that we could, the place was packed). Eventually, L got tired of it.

"You ready to go?" He knows I'm only there to be with him. He knows I'm not having a good time. He knows that strained look on my face, that mix between tired, hungry, and outright bitchy. He's trying to do the right thing. Thankfully, I didn't have to answer. Four security goons nailed the durnkards a hair's breadth after L asked. They were being removed.

"Nah," I said, in my most benevolent, selfless voice. "Let's stay. They're almost done, anyway."

L got to see the rest of his concert, unmolested. The drunks got a not-so-friendly conversation with the police. I got to stick it out with my buddy and heard a great "new" band.

All-in-all, a damn good night.


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