I Can’t Beat This, So Here’s Spanky

Spanky is my thirteen year old daughter and she wrote a review of the Taste of Chaos concert we went to yesterday. Calling me the chaperone would not quite be accurate here since I enjoy the music just as much as they do. Besides, it’s research.

The following is what Spanky wrote in her blog today (I added the photos):

I went to a concert yesterday.
No, not an orchestra concert or a band concert.
That’s right, a rock concert.

I’ll admit I was a bit afraid, as we had tickets for the pit and I am still scarred from my near-death moshing experience at Download 2005, but I would not let that get to me.
Who was going, you ask?
Well, my mother, my father, my sister, two of her friends, and my dear, dear self.

First, we had to get our wristbands for the pit. They were an extremely vibrant neon pink, and this amused me greatly as it was not exactly Britney Spears we were going to see.

Upon entering the pit, I found out two very strange things that completely contrasted with my former experience with pits.
Number one being that it was very small, and number two being that it was nearly empty.
Also, upon looking closer, the floor was already soaked in beer.

A band was just finishing their show, and after their final scream, the lights flipped back on and people began to vacate, for water or cigarettes or some of the crappy and overpriced food they sold.
We luckily got a place right up to the bars that separate the people from the security and the stage. This place was not exactly right in front of the middle of the stage, but even I, being blind and not wearing glasses for fear of having them break, could see very well.

We waited about ten minutes for the next act and then the stage lights dimmed. I hoped that this was going to be good.
A sole spotlight shined upon the stage, and a man in a rabbit suit, yes, a rabbit suit hopped onto the stage.

His speech went something like this.

“HELLO[EXPLETIVES]. HOW YOU ENJOYING YOURSELVES? WELL, PREPARE YOURSELF FOR SOME PURE DAAAAARKNESSSSS!!!! HERE’S CHIODOS!”

He then hopped offstage.

I had to admire a man who could get up on a stage in a bunny suit and say the words, “PURE DARKNESS!”
I assume this man was the lead singer of the band in question, but I never really paid attention to him.

Who was I watching?
The keyboardist.
Why the keyboardist, you ask? [And is that even the right word for the guy who plays the keyboard?]
Because he was totally and ineffably insane, that’s why.

Throughout the entire set, he was headbanging with his huge puff of hair and and slamming his hands onto the abused keyboard. I’m not even entirely sure he was playing the thing, but he probably was, as I could see him get serious when he had solos.
But man oh man. What a keyboardist.
I don’t even remember the music because of this guy.

So then the lights went on and a few people left to go choke down a death stick or drink some water. We were trying to leave to go get water or something, but then the next band started.

This one was Saosin, a favorite of my sister’s and a relatively popular band.
And this was where the fun started.

You have never seen stupid things that people do when they’re drunk until you have seen moshing.
Also, this is a hilarious thing.
One guy and another stand back to back, link their arms, and then the first lifts the second to do a flying, kicking thing.

Now, what’s particularly hilarious about mosh pits is that fact that everyone knows when they begin and everyone knows when they end.
Plus, it’s a bunch of drunken people beating each other up, I mean, seriously, what more could you ask for?
Everyone moves out to make a circle, and in the middle of this circle you’ve got people beating each other up for no apparent reason.
Then, the moshing ends and everyone moves back in.
“Organized chaos,” my father called it.

Then we moved back to our spots at the bars [we were at the back for the entire moshing bit, but I didn’t like it there. At the front we were next to the speakers and we were also able to see. Because only tall people like to stand in front of us, usually].

It was here I noticed a fantastic phenomenon.
In fact, I think that I’d probably go to rock shows just to watch this and the moshing.
The crowd-surfing. Oh my god.
Is this stuff not the most amusing in the world?

You’ve got the security guards, who angrily pull people from the crowds and then jostle them all the way over to the side of the security area, then they have to go to the back of the pit.
Then, there’s watching the people.

Their looks of triumph.
Happiness.
“I’m going to do it again!”
Watching them jump up and down in success, and then getting grabbed by a security guard.

And now, to talk about the actual music of Saosin.
I honestly don’t remember it much, and I don’t listen to them so I don’t know what a good song sounds like, but there was a lot of screaming, both from the crowd and the singer, so I assume that this means it was a good show.

A bit later came Senses Fail.
Finally, a band I could sing to.

This was fun.
For me, I would sing and alternately scream.
Because I never get to scream and I just find that fun.
Hohoho.

So the lead singer screams around and jumps all over the stage like an insane person, and the crowd-surfing and the moshing rises in its energy.

Senses Fail played pretty well, and they sounded a lot like their album with a few embellishments.
I had the most fun screaming to their songs, but I wish they’d played Angela Baker and My Obsession with Fire.
That’s my favorite.

So then the lights went on, and they set up for the next band.
The set up process I find to actually be pretty fascinating.
They have a rotating thing, and while one band is playing, the other band’s stuff is being set up. [Stuff being drums, scenery, etc.]
Then when the lights flip on, they flip some switch and the entire thing rotates.
Fantastic.

So, while its rotating, I see the most insane set ever, just totally over-the-top.
It’s the set for 30 Seconds to Mars.
Also, it’s got screens and paper lanterns and is supposed to look like China.
I think, Oh my god, Jared Leto, oh my god. He just loves the theatrics.

And here is where the fangirls came rushing in and I suddenly found myself surrounded by the most insane Jared Leto fans on Earth.
I’m lucky I survived.

Then.
Opera music begins to play [the song from The Omen].
Just one of those crazy ones where there’s some huge chaos about to go down.
Everyone looks around excitedly.
However, Jared Leto and the band are not going to be getting on the stage in the same way any normal band would, no way no how.

We see flag-bearers, bearing red flags.
Behind them trails… 30 Seconds to Mars walking in from the audience.
Cue the fangirls.

Jared Leto eventually gets on stage, amazingly without having gotten his clothing ripped to shreds.
He is wearing all white, and a white bandana.

Also, he has an insane-looking white guitar that you know and I know he is really not playing.
He pulls down the bandana.
And holy God almighty, he has a beard.

Can you say instant turn-off?
Not to mention that Jared Leto is possibly the most conceited of all lead singers.
When he knows everyone wants to hear The Kill he says something to the effect of, “Let me hear you scream it!”
He’s standing up there in the spolight saying, “Beg me, beg me, pray to me my little sheep!”
Not in those words, but that’s the idea.

Dear oh dear oh dear.
Also, you see him standing there in the spotlight.
In all white.
With that crazy beard.
And you get this strange impression that goes something like this.
Oh my god. This man thinks he’s Jesus.

Aside from the fact that he’s horribly conceited, he is a good performer.
He comes to the sides of the stage that nobody goes to, and he touches the hands of the fans.
Also, he likes to get down into the crowd and convene with the people, letting them touch him while he croons his songs.
And amazingly, he always returns without missing any clothes.
My mom actually got to touch him as he was running by once.

30 Seconds to Mars played very well and sound pretty much like their CDs.

Then the lights came on, and instead of rushing out, people began rushing in.
Here was the big act of the night.
They even dropped a black veil over the front of the stage, so you couldn’t see them setting up [and so you could see the band’s silhouettes when they eventually came out].

And then came the words on the veil.
THE USED.
Cue the fangirls once more, please.
Then we see Quinn [guitarist] come on stage.

Scream, scream, scream.
Then some other guy.
And then another.
And then…
Bert.

And now even the men are screaming like girls.

They unveiled their set. It was a bunch of what looked like fish bones, extremely tall and standing straight up like sentinels.
Also, the “bones” had neon lights in them, and the heads of the fish were some of those things that look like fire.

They performed well.
I liked the blending of the songs they did, and I got to scream a bunch.
Also, Bert dancing was hilarious, though it was a little gay.
Also?
Bert does not know how to please the fans.

He’d go up to the middle front, standing on the speaker, shrieking, and the fangirls would put out their hands for him to touch.
He would not touch them.
One girl actually grabbed his pinky on the microphone.
He pulled away like it was fire.

Also, he said, “Has anyone here not heard of the Used?”
To the few murmurs, he replied what was to the effect of, “This song is for you, and you can go to hell.”
Almost those exact words.
Not exactly a way to be picking up the new fans, is it?

So I woke up this morning, bright and early at 11:30.
Funny ruckus.
My sister entered a contest to go backstage to meet the Used, and she found out she had won but not until today. She thought they’d let her know by email but should have checked their website. She could’ve gone backstage.
So she missed meeting her favorite band.
She doesn’t want to talk about that.

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35 thoughts on “I Can’t Beat This, So Here’s Spanky

  1. I can’t believe noone rang to tell her she had backstage tickets. What kind of comp are those fools running. Cripes. I would have been spitting bricks angry.

    The thing that baffles me most about gigs is the cothing. These dudes stand on stage with 60 plus lights pointed at them and they wear a zipped up hoodie.

    Oh, as Spanky is amused by psycho keyboardists, I will send you through a Vid on email for her entertainment. This dude is nuts.

  2. AJ, I can’t tell you how disappointed Sweetpea is was about that. She’d been checking her email obsessively for the last three days. All this time, her name was on their fan club website, all she had to do was go to the backstage area and say her name.

    Thanks Max. Poor Spanky, we were in the pit at Download and got squashed by the people behind us trying to get closer to the stage. I did have to crowd surf her up to security it got so tight.

  3. I see Spanky gets her writing talent from you – she is damn good and really observant. That is funny about Jared Leto.

    Gosh, poor Sweatpea – they should have emailed her.

  4. Max, I felt like the worst mother in the world at that moment. When we got in the car that night, the girls looked at me and said, “You rock, Mom.”
    Before that they just bitched and griped when we went anywhere.

  5. Well, I’m glad to see that the world of music has not changed since I was involved in it.

    At least your kid went home at the end of the night. I use to go to shows like AC/DC and have to call my Mom from the hospital and say, ” So and so drank to much and now we’re at the hospital…I’ll be home late. ”

    Sometimes my sons will play some of my CD’s and they’ll pick one up at randon and ask- hey, are these guys still alive?

    All jokes aside- I really enjoyed this, great observations, great analysis. It was really well done!

    Anita Marie

  6. You’re such a rock family. Poor Sweatpea, what had they been thinking of? Backstage tickets are always such a big thing for fans. The morons!

    I love the way Spanky writes. She’s obviously got the thouch. Tell her I question her taste in men, though. In these pictures, Leto is… well…. Send Spanky here. Auntie Sophia has a few things to teach her.

  7. Thanks Anita Marie. I grew up in a small town and we just didn’t have big concerts anywhere near us. We had local bands, and uh, Cajun music and zydeco which I didn’t (still don’t) care for too much.

    Sophia, do you like Leto? Yeah, he’s hairy in here, but when we saw him in December, I think he was hairless. He’s gorgeous.

  8. Leto is okay. Not that I know a lot about him. I’ve only heard a couple of songs. But especially in these pictures… let me put it this way, I wouldn’t fight any woman if she said she wanted him.

  9. Oh, yeah, I remember that photo. He looks so good there. And his eyes stand out. Whatever got into him to ruin this face with that beard?

  10. I must say, Little Spanky is a spanking good writer. Always knew she was sharp, and to be able to write like that too, well, the girl will go far. And poor Sweetpea, (why are Michele and Sophia calling her “Sweatpea?? ) missing out on backstage pass again!!!! That’s not right.

  11. Awww, thanks Liv. You really should start a blog, girlfriend, I have always thought you could write so well.
    Yes, Sweetpea missed it again, same singer. Amazing isn’t it?

  12. Have you tried calling up about that? They should really do something to remedy this situation and make it up to her that was not proper notification and it would sure make an interesting human interest story, this poor girl who misses her big back stage chance because someone running the show just never informs her she won.

  13. This time, it was her fault. The rules stated she needed to keep checking the website and her screenname showed on there for three days before the concert. She didn’t read the rules, thought they would email her and she wasn’t checking their fanclub website.

    The first time was when she met McCracken in person and he promised her (and I) verbally. I did send him an email about that broken promise but never got a response.

  14. Yeah, Bart the burk. Maybe she’s not meant to. I’ve known a couple of bands in my time and they’ve told me what happens when these beautiful young fans come back stage.

  15. LOL. Liv. All I have to say is…In the summertime, when the weather is fine…
    :::Running:::

    Get ready, I think we’re going to Download. You should join us. Klaus and Lee Ann too.

  16. All I have to say is, I didn’t get picked up backstage. He had to earn my company, cook for me, meet his mom, teach me guitar.(not that I was listening). I’d enjoy the music at Download, but after your tales from last time………….HELL NO girl!!!! I shall wait here for your visit with fresh beds and a hot meal. Call me if you’re going backstage, I’ll hold the hot meal.

  17. No cooking allowed. It’s always Friday’s while I’m in town. Definately need to hit Braintree for some Denby. I might go to your area before Download, just the girls and I, that way we can coax you into nothing but trouble.
    Don’t worry about rooms for us, we’ll be at the usual.

  18. I haven’t been to Braintree for years now, so I’m up for that. I’m not worried about the rooms for you, just stating a fact. Don’t even think about anything else!!!!! Coburn is holding out for ya’ll. You’ve heard about borrowed time? He’s claiming time!!

  19. This winter he’s spent all day & all evening/night, until I go to bed, outside on the patio. He doesn’t want to come inside. No matter how rainy or cold, he’s out there. He’s never done that before. Does that keep his cancer at bay??? Does he know something the vet doesn’t?? He’s coming in now. Way past spark out time.

  20. hey K what is your livejournal name. I thought it was trekkingkitty so I invited this person to be my friend.

    Unfortunatley it was NOT YOU, now I am stuck with this other person. lo;

  21. I’m late to the concert.

    “Well, my mother, my father, my sister, two of her friends, and my dear, dear self.”

    And her dear, dear self is a fun, fun writer. Loved it all!

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