Reflections in no particular order

July 9, 2007

After attending the Def Leopard/REO Speedwagon/Styx concert at the Germain amphitheatre last night, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that nostalgia is an emotion best not put on display. If one is old enough to experience nostalgia, chances are that one is also not all that enjoyable to look at…harsh to be sure — but really, seeing 40 year old men with beer bellies and women too old to not be wearing bras “rocking out” kind of frightened me.

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Holy hell, people drink a lot at outdoor concerts. And I don’t mean water.

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I don’t even exactly know why I went. A girl from my book-club wanted a bunch of us to go and I couldn’t think of a great excuse, so…the concert was fine, if a bit sad, that a band I used to love in high school (I listened to Styx records! on my stereo!) has been relegated to being the opening act for other bands.

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I need to learn that “No” is a complete sentence. I need to remember that my time is valuable.

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I spent much of the evening observing others — especially a group on a blanket in front of us. I finally came to the conclusion that the group consisted of a mom and her (very under-dressed) daughter, her daughter’s friend and the friend’s boyfriend. Plus there was a “Daddish” kind of guy, but my vibe kept telling me that he and the mom were no longer married. The mom, who looked to be about my age, though at first glance she looked much younger, seemed to be trying so hard to be her daughter’s best friend. Though I’d wager any amount that the daughter was underage by quite a bit, the mom kept plying her and her friends with beer. And the mom and daughter kept dancing in the weirdest sexual way — yet they both seemed to be trying too hard to really enjoy themselves. Meanwhile, “Dad” simply sat on the blanket, staring stoically forward, while Daughter got tanked. The whole group reeked of a PhD dissertation on sociological and familial dysfunction.

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Why do some people seem so comfortable in their own skins that they can dance and sway in front of others with no thought as to how they look? Why am I not one of those people and why does that whole experience make me feel like I’m in junior high?

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I came home with a big bad case of the munchies — haven’t smelled that much grass since college.

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People under the influence of multiple mind-altering substances scare the crap out of me. Case in point: a huge bearded guy who looked like a pirate kept dancing past me, occasionally falling down and rolling around in the grass. At one point, he grabbed my blanket and snuggled with it. I don’t know if my washing machine can get the “ick” factor completely out.

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Re-reading these, I sound like a judgmental bitch. Heck, maybe I am. But the whole experience took me so far outside my comfort zone. I barely knew most of the women that went, and I felt like a gawky outsider to almost all their interactions. So apparently I missed out on the “fun” aspect of concert going — somewhere between the 90 degree heat and drunken middle-agers, I stopped having fun.

On the plus side, the bands were all pretty good. Yes, cogent and detailed reviews by Beth!

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2 Responses to “Reflections in no particular order”

  1. Andy Whitman said

    I sympathize, Beth. Although the factors you describe are there to some degree at any rock ‘n roll concert, they seem to be amplified (good musical word) at Germain Concrete Field. Most people aren’t really there for the music in the first place. They’re there to get wasted. And although the people watching is entertaining for about ten minutes or so, the sight of people stumbling around gets old and sad fairly quickly. Particularly when the people doing the stumbling are already old and sad. A lot of people desperately want to have fun, with heavy emphasis on desperately. No judgment intended. I’ve been there. But it’s still sad.

    I also relate to the dancing/junior high sentiments. I can’t get over my inhibitions enough to shake my booty, and I’m fairly certain that it would not exactly be an unqualified triumph if I ever overcame those inhibitions. Who is that epileptic man? When the joint is rockin’, you’ll find me gently swaying. It’s the same at church. I’m quite content to let others do Aerobics for Jesus. Me? I’m inwardly dancing.

  2. Beth said

    Yeah, I’ve been there too. Maybe that’s why it felt so sad.

    I do A LOT of inward dancing, my friend šŸ™‚

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