Show Review: 229

so, i’d really been pumped for this show…for over a month or so. geesh, i’d last seen social d, at the paladium i think, probably at least 10-12, maybe more, years ago. i really was looking forward to "getting punk!". sure, i’m too old for this stuff, but hey, mike ness is old too; if he can still be punk, i can too! i whipped out all the social d. albums i had and listened extensively to keep myself amped up. in my mind, i pictured kickin back for the first part of the show and then when the first notes of "mommys little monster", "the creeps" or "mass hysteria" cropped up, i was gonna run down into the pit and slam around just like the old days. i sorta knew though that when the time actually came i’d probably be tired and achey and would most likely find a nice comfy seat in the balcony to watch the show from. you know these days i’m more into comfort than running around. i bought an extra ticket just to give to somebody; i gave pat hutton first dibs on it. he thought he might be working but at the last minute he came back into town and off we went. first funny thing that happened was when we got into the line to get in. some older guy who was obviously REALLY fucked up was going up and down the line yelling "gimme three steps, gimme three steps mister, gimme three steps toward the door!!" (a lynard skynard song).. and yelling "LYNARD SKYNARD!!". everyone was just kinda ignoring him and trying not to make eye contact but when he walks by us, pat gives him a high five and says "tell me something new, man". the guy stops and says "something new?" pat "yeah man, something new about lynard skynard" the guy looks totally stumped. you could practically see the springs and wheels sproinging out of his brain. he finally says, "FREEBIRD!" pat: "ummm freebird ain’t new!" the guy was so befuddled that i thought he was gonna just resort to punching pat since he didn’t know what else to do; but instead, he just sorta lost his steam and dejectedly wandered away. it was hilarious. so we go inside, the first band was still playing (there were two openers) so we headed out to the bar/smoking lounge to spend some time. there were a lot of people out there and we proceeded to mill about and make friends. now, if you know me, you’re saying to yourself, "make friends? that doesn’t sound like chris". but PAT on the other hand can be real friendly and so i was feeling frisky enough to just go along with it and we both just made the rounds, popping into each little group of people and saying "hey, what’s up? where you from" and stuff like that. there was a very respectable showing of punk rockers, for eugene anyway. i was a little worried that not many people would show up, and those who did, would be old and lame (like myself!). BUT, there were quite a few mohawks, skinhead types…and it was pretty packed; not sold out or anything but a very "respectable" crowd. so, we hung out with all these people for a while (i’d like to relate my weird converstions but i couldn’t really do it justice here). mostly it was a southern california reunion; seemed like everyone was from san diego, garden grove, etc. it’s here that i’ll add that sure i had a couple beers but i was committed to being relatively sober for this show. i’d really been looking forward to it and did NOT want to end up puking in the corner and sleeping through it. and i wanted to remember it too, so that sorta made all the mingling that much more unusual for me. well, the second band was done and so i told pat i was heading in and i’d see him in there. i stood back by the soundboard and talked with those guys for a while. a guy walks up and hands the board guy a disc saying, "play track 1" and then "lets do this thing". i watched the board guy slip the disc in and push the lever that turned down the house lights (it was kinda fun to be privy to this). track 1 turned out to be an old classic rock song like "house of the rising sun" or something…the band walked out onstage to this song. right off the bat, i hear the opening notes to "mommys little monster"…killer! and amazingly, just like it had gone in my brain for the last month or so, i skanked my way to towards the front of the stage and friggin started blastin away! it WAS just like the old days. i’m in the pit, slamming away…you try to get out of the pit and there’s these big ol’ guys ringing the outside and they just keep pushing you back in. i kept thinking of the phrase "ammicable violence". even though we’re all smacking into each other and elbowing each other, it was not nasty.. and anytime somebody drops to the floor, people sorta clear out and either help him/her up.. or at least don’t stomp on them while they’re down….i turn toward the stage and am squished, sweaty jumping up and down, screaming at the top of my lungs "her eyes are a deeper blue, she likes her hair that color too!!". just like i’m 16 years old…what a dork. but i’m having the best time! as i’m being forcibly swayed left and right, slammed repeatedly in the back, jammed up against some guys sweaty t-shirt, and practically knocked to the floor..i’ve got the BIGGEST SMILE on my face and actually giggling at what i’m doing. every now and then, i’d run across pat who was also right up front, right in the pit and having just as much fun as i was. i saw him tear off his shirt and throw it up towards the stage, which cracked me up. unfortunately, i’m out of breath and energy after about 30 seconds. I think to myself, "damn i’m old"…but i push through and revel in my sweat and effort. the first 5 songs or so are all greats: "1945", "under my thumb" "another state of mind". it was awesome. finally i caught an elbow in my glasses which just about fell to the floor (destined to be instantly smashed to bits) but i caught them and then made my way to the back of the theater to recuperate. i took a breather for about 3 songs, then folded my glasses up into a hat i was carrying and stuck it all in my pocket hoping that would keep them safe. i run back down and spend the whole rest of the show, slammin and jumping up and down…just getting sweaty and having fun. again, every now and then i’d feel someone grabbing my head or around the shoulders and i’d look over and there’s pat again laughing away…we’re both just having a great time. i also kept running across all the friends we had made out in the lounge area; most of them were big tough guy types who i could either shadow around the pit or who would help me keep my feet if i was headed down towards the floor. i was being a dork left and right; i recall a supremely dorky moment where i ran across one of my lounge friends and we high fived each other and just raised hands together triumphantly and sang "aaahhhaaa i’m prison bound" at the top of our lungs. i had apparently lost all inhibitions and pretense of "being cool". at one point, mike ness asked for the youngest kid there to come up on stage. apparently it was an 11 year old named sebastian..looked like a young robert plant or something. it was a cool old guy moment where ness made points about youth and our responsibility to them. it was kind of weird hearing one of my despicable punk rock heroes telling people to raise their children properly…i wonder what exactly he meant by that? a funny line in a song i’d never heard before..a bluesy number that had some of the lyrics from "sittin on top of the world" but seemed to be called "it’s allright"…was "i did her in the kitchen i did her in the hall had some left on my finger so i wiped it on the wall" hahahahaaa…nasty but funny the encores were pretty solid, "footprints on my ceiling", "ring of fire" and "story of my life"….as we walked to the car, i fished my glasses out of my pocket and they were all bent up..they barely would stay on my face; so much for my protective layer. tough to be punk rock when you wear glasses. on the way home, pat points out a 7-11 and says "hey stop there". allright, we go in and pat tells the guy "gimmee those last two jalapeno taquito things". now this is about 12.30 at night, and i know those things have been sittin in there for hours; so i say "oh pat, you don’t want to eat those, they’re sick" and i tell the man behind the counter, "i can’t believe you’re even selling those things". the guy ended giving them to us for free and despite knowing it wasn’t the best idea, i let pat talk me into eating one. well, last i heard, pat spent the next day puking and with diarrhea. i turned out fine but some bent glasses; although when i got home i told chelsea, "i feel like i got an elbow to the heart". the next two days were pretty painful…first i thought i had bruised a rib, then i upgraded that to maybe a broken rib the next day, but today it has sorta subsided and i’m back to a bruised rib. i went and got my glasses re-bent the next day. i was pretty sore too, but certainly with no regrets! i had a great time and gained an interesting perspective. musically, i didn’t think it was the greatest. i would’ve liked to hear more older songs, one (new?) song called "diamond in the rough" really WAS rough and kinda lame, and to put it simply, the music just isn’t that impressive as far as creativity and talent goes. mike ness, himself, is getting old and chunky and almost looks a little goofy (of course i didn’t have my glasses on for most of the show hahahaha). BUT i re-learned something that i had sorta forgotten about; that music doesn’t have to be about mastery of the instrument or amazing lyrics; but getting together with a bunch of other weirdos and having a great time.