I Might Be Getting Too Old for Festivals

So ACL was this weekend.

It was…interesting.

First of all, I don’t know why after three of these, I haven’t been smart enough to buy chairs. I don’t know. I am a masochist.

We showed up later in the afternoon so were only able to catch a couple of shows before Red Hot Chili Peppers.  It was a little stressful because my brother kept taking off somewhere. I don’t like getting separated in large crowds.  We lost my cousin in D.C. during the Stewart/Colbert rally, and it had taken forever to find him. I didn’t want a repeat of that experience.

I made the mistake of picking a spot near the front of the stage to watch the Peppers.  Now that the show is over, I can safely say that…I may be too old for this.  Too old?  Too crotchety? I don’t know.

One of the major unpredictable elements at concerts is the crowd you end up.  The crowd can make or break a show, I think.  The first Foo Fighters show I went to? The crowd was phenomenal.  There was so much energy, and no one annoying was around us.  It’s one of the many reasons why that show is my favorite to this day.

But this crowd?  Not so much.  About a good thirty minutes before the show, people started shoving their way to the front.  Now, if you say “excuse me” while you push your way through, I’m less inclined to be bitchy about it.  But some assholes did not give a FUCK.  I was already irritated and tired, which was a bad combo.  A guy jostled his way through the crowd, and nearly knocked me over. Before I could even comprehend what was happening, I yelled out, “Fuck you, dude!”

I was immediately ashamed.  Who is this person?  I’m not like that. I didn’t want to get the guys with me in trouble because of my big mouth. I should have known better.  Shame and guilt was added on top of my irritation and tiredness.

It got even worse once the show started.  There were some bros in front of us, one of whom picked up his girlfriend on his shoulders.

RIGHT.
IN.
FRONT.
OF.
ME.

If you do that at shows, I will just say right now – fuck you. You’re a cunt. I don’t even care.  You are a shitty, entitled person, and I wouldn’t even feel bad if you fell.

Even worse, they were dancing, so her ass was right in my face.  Did I mention that they hit my head when she was climbing up on his shoulders, and nearly pushed me down as she was descending? Yes. This is the part of the show where I got majorly passive-aggressive.  And by passive-aggressive, I mean fighting back enough to where I could fight back against the rudeness and jostling without getting myself beat up. I put my huge bag in front of me so that when they were dancing, I made sure that they hit my bag.

Same with the asshole couple next to me who kept bumping hips with me and didn’t even seem to give a shit.  I pushed them back and they bumped hips with me even harder.  “Fine, assholes,” I thought.  Then the band started playing “Give It Away” which was not only AWESOME, but gave me a chance to start dancing exuberantly.  And by exuberantly, I mean make sure I shoved my bag next to the couple who kept bumping into me.  Every time they jostled me, I started not giving a fuck and making sure my bag was getting up close and personal with them.

They backed off.

Towards the end of the show, if people were being assholes about shoving their way through the crowd, I would give them a little extra push as they made their way.  Then I would immediately feel ashamed of myself.

Also, Anthony did not shave his porn stache.

The band was great otherwise.

Long story show – stop being assholes at shows, think about other people around you, and fuck, I hate crowds.

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Roy Haynes and the Fountain of Youth Band

Tonight was the first Friday night I’ve had to myself since early December.  At first, the prospect of being by myself on a Friday, without even my brother around to have adventures with, made me feel a little lonely.  Then I hastily reminded myself that there was a period of several years where I was always by myself, so get over it, woman.

Luckily, my drum teacher called me at work this morning and asked if I’d like a free ticket to see Roy Haynes, a legendary jazz drummer, play with his quartet. I’d planned a quiet evening at home, watching TV, catching up on chores, playing my violin until my neighbors burned down my apartment in retaliation.  But seeing a show sounded like a much better idea, so I said, “Hell yeah!”

The crazy thing about Roy Haynes is he’s eighty-seven-years old.  You wouldn’t know it by the way he grooved on-stage fluidly or by the strong, confident hits on the snare and toms. He even had a tap-dance routine where he moved with such ease that I knew he was putting a lot of people in the audience decades younger than him to shame.

The concert was really enjoyable. Besides Mr. Haynes, there was a pianist, a bassist, and a saxophone player.  They all did a fantastic job, but besides the drumming, I enjoyed the bass playing the most.  The bassist was really incredible.

I’m really grateful to my drum teacher for giving me a free ticket.  I was second row and had great seats.  It was a treat to watch.

Side note- there was a douche in the audience who thought that yelling “YEAH!” when the rest of the room was quiet was totally appropriate.  He kept talking back to Mr. Haynes at really weird times too.  Like Mr. Haynes said, “You’re cool,” to one of the musicians, and the douche in the audience yelled, “NO, HE’S WARM.”  I really wanted to punch him in the face.  Man, it’s a jazz concert, not a Lynyrd Skynyrd show.  Show some respect, seriously.

An Aborted Attempt at Moshing (At a Huey Lewis and the News Show)

One of my friends is employed at a company that throws ridiculously amazing holiday parties.  Every year, his company rents out a stadium and hires a classic band to perform.  He invited me last year, but Darius Rucker was performing, who I’m not a fan of.  Plus, I was bummed about some hipster dude who was ignoring me, so I was spending a lot of time in coffee shops writing terrible poetry with my fried blonde hair and 90’s angsty plaid.  My heart was too cold and sad for such revelry as holiday parties.

This year, however, I do not have any hipster dudes making me sad, so my heart is full of joy for the holiday season.  My friend invited me to the party again this year, this time telling me that Huey Lewis and the News was booked.  I think my response was somewhere along the lines of, “HELL YESSSSSS.”

Huey Lewis was the soundtrack to my childhood. Seriously.  You couldn’t turn on the radio back then without hearing “Stuck With You” or “If This Is It?” or “The Power of Love.”  This has always been my favorite Huey song, hands down:

Their music has always been pretty light fare, but this is the one song that hints at something heavier.  I freaking love that guitar riff.  Seriously, when that song pops up on the radio, I don’t care if I’ve heard it three billion times – it’s one of those, “OH SHIT TURN IT UP, IT’S GONNA BE A GOOD DAY” kind of songs.

And so Saturday night arrived with much anticipation.  After enjoying food and an awesome dueling piano band for an hour (it sounds lame but I promise you, they were amazing), we headed to the stage to watch Huey Lewis. Oh look! Here’s a terribly fuzzy picture to prove I was there!

Wow! What amazing clarity my cell phone camera has!

They opened with “Heart of Rock and Roll.”  I don’t care if it was named as an Awesomely Bad song or whatever, I still love it.  And it’s true, everyone does get all excited when you hear your city getting called out in the song.

I had been worried that Huey Lewis would sound bad.  I am always a little skeptical of this when I see shows with aging rock stars.  I have to say, his voice sounded pretty good.  At one point in the show, the band all performed several a capella songs.  Even my close friend, a music major, admitted that it was a tight set.

The band sang “Power of Love” pretty early in the set, and then moved on to some other songs that I guess only hardcore Huey fans would appreciate.  It was around this time that I wanted to do a mosh.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, the show was still good.  We were having fun.  But it was definitely a lower energy kind of show. Huey would try to get the audience engaged and no one was really responsive except for the really big hits.

We were standing close to the stage, but the energy would not have been any different had we been seated in the stands.  It was the kind of show you could take your grandmother to, and she’d want to go out for ice cream afterward.  I’m not saying this is a bad thing.  It’s just a different energy than I am used to.

We had been joking around about moshing before the show, but now I wanted to do a little bit of it.  So my friend and I ran into each other, then he ran into another, and I ran into another (these were all people in our group, by the way. Not random people.)

We did about three seconds of moshing before I took a look around me.  People were staring at us with Very Disapproving Looks.  The friend employed at the company quickly said, “Guys, cut it out,” after a dude in a cowboy hat kept his gaze on us.  But then he commenced to groping his girlfriend’s boobs the entire night, so clearly he was not in any place to judge.  I think the woman in front of us even texted her disapproval over our brief antics to someone. Awesome.

Moshing aside, it was an awesome night spent with great people. You can’t beat a good, free show.  And, say, twenty years from now, if I hear a Huey Lewis song pop up on the oldies station, I can tell my kids that I saw his show, and they can be all, “Yeah, I don’t care.”

Weekend Retrospective: Wait, What?

You ever have those weekends where you think, “Well, that was fun/crazy/awesome/WTF DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?”

It was one of those weekends.  I’ll leave it at that.

Conrad played this song at my request at his party yesterday. I love the shit out of this song.

I will talk about ACL a little now. I took the day off on Friday and went with my good buddy, Tap.  We took a very chill approach to ACL that day.  We just hung in the back of the crowds mostly and talked, talked, and talked.  It was quite enjoyable.  We saw Ha Ha Tonka (Mumford and Sons ripoff, and that is not a compliment at all), Brandi Carlisle, a little bit of Foster the People, and technically Sara Bareilles, though we were talking throughout that whole set. All I can remember from that show is she was like, “Yeah, fuck him!” a lot and did a cover of a Mumford and Sons song, which made me go, “WHY?!” We also caught a bit of Nas/Damien Marley.  At one point, we split up so Tap could see Big Boi and I could see Ray LaMontagne, who is divine.

Up until the day of the show, I had been convinced that I would see Coldplay, but I decided to see Kayne at the last minute. I figured I’d have multiple chances to see Coldplay. I was in the mood to dance, not clutch my heart during an earnest rendition of “The Scientist” (I fucking love that song, but you just have to be in the mood for it).

Kanye ended up putting on a pretty decent show.  He had his show separated into three acts.  He incorporated performance dancers and ballerinas into the performance. At the end, he was “free-styling” (basically repeating the same thing over and over), while a solo ballerina performed an improv dance on stage, which looked really cool.

As far as any crazy Kanye antics go, there weren’t really any.  He just stopped one song for some unknown reason (“LET’S START THIS SHIT OVER.”) Then at one point, he addressed the crowd and said that because of time constraints, he couldn’t say all that he wanted to say, but then mentioned something about not being a sheep to the media’s influence? I think? Something along those lines.  You know, the cliche things artists say to sound like they’re being subversive when they’re actually not.

Whatever, he played “Gold Digger” and this song, which made the show worth it for me:

Peace out, ACL 2011.

Weezer “Memories” Tour

I am sorry if I have not responded to anyone’s comments in a couple of days.   In between my three projects, a fourteen hour field trip yesterday (which marked the first time I’ve ever driven myself for a 6-hour round trip in one day – YAY TEXAS IS SO BIG) and a proposal effort this week, I’ve been beat when returning home at night.  Tonight was my “catch-up on the internet night,” when I finally replied to my friends’ emails, Facebook messages, and blog entries.  I didn’t mean to ignore you guys.

But I’m not complaining at all.  Being employed in this economy is a blessing in itself, and I’m honestly much happier when I am busy with a long to-do list of activities.

I’ve been able to have some fun in between.  I went to see Weezer on Monday night.  I was supposed to go with a friend, but to make a long story short, I had to go by myself. I didn’t mind so much (okay, maybe a little).  I prefer going to shows with friends.  You do a lot of waiting around and it helps to have people to goof off with.  I stood for a good hour or so in line, so I was pretty close to the front once I went into the venue.  I texted Tap and my cousin Amanda to keep myself occupied, bantered a bit with other people in the crowd, and listened to a couple arguing in front of me with amusement.

I got into Weezer when I was 18.  Maladroit had just been released the year I went to college (hearing Keep Fishing or Dope Nose makes me nostalgic).  I’ve always been a casual fan, though.  I’ve heard the Blue Album a couple of times but it wasn’t anything that I really ever connected to 100%. Maybe I was too old by then.  Tap and I were recently discussing why everyone always hates on Weezer’s later albums. “I think it’s because they keep releasing albums for a certain demographic, and most of us have passed that point.”  I think he hit it on the nose, though I still like their newer stuff and don’t get the hate.

I had always heard that Rivers Cuomo is a bit eccentric, but he was a great, energetic frontman.  He came out into the crowd, a couple of rows right in front of me, shook hands with people, and climbed a tree.  See:

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My apologies for the crappy cell quality.I was actually pretty close to the stage. I realized how close when I saw a picture the next day on the city paper’s website.  I have put a box around the tall dude in flannel, because I was right behind him.  Because at a show, there’s always a tall dude in flannel right in front of you.

I thought the guitarist Brian Bell was hot, and there was a 0.05% chance there was eye contact, but that was probably just wishful thinking induced by the 100 degree heat.

For the first half of the show, the band played all their hits going backwards, including a completely badass, legit cover of “Paranoid Android.”  This was my favorite part of the show.   At intermission, we viewed a slideshow of really old photos.  Afterwards, the band came out again to play the Blue Album.  The crowd, which had been fairly decent, surged forward, until I was practically on top of people.

This was when I realized several things:

1. The last time I had listened to the Blue Album was probably 2007.
2. I probably should have listened to the Blue Album again before the show so I wouldn’t be standing there trying to recognize songs.
3. The only time being shoved next to people is fun is when you’re feeling the energy (like at the Foo Fighters ACL show). I was exhausted and was not feeling like bathing in someone else’s sweat.
4. If you continually push someone to get them to stop standing on you, they will not make any effort to move whatsoever.  But if you offer to help them find the debit card they dropped, they mysteriously will give you space to stand unencumbered.

I found myself getting a little nostalgic and sad with “Surf Wax America,” “Undone – The Sweater Song,” and “Say It Ain’t So” because those were songs my friends used to jam.

At the end of the night, I was exhausted but happy that I can cross another band off my bucket list of shows to see.

Dave Grohl Sighting #2 – MTV Woodie Awards

On Wednesday morning, I woke up exhausted. Despite our jam-packed Tuesday, I was hyped up after arriving home and couldn’t fall asleep without hearing the opening riffs of “White Limo” over and over in my head.  Work went by very slowly, and I left at 2 to pick my brother up.

My brother and I had a really exciting opportunity ahead of us that Wednesday. I hadn’t blogged about it before because I knew the chances of actually getting in would be small, so I didn’t want to jinx myself.  A week before, Foo Fighters were confirmed to play at the MTV Woodie Awards, an awards show that honors college radio music.  This year would be the first the awards would be held in my city, and 850 free tickets were being given away to music fans.  As soon as Nathan told me, I hurriedly put in a request for my brother and me.  In the comments section of the request ticket, I wrote a small blurb how the Foo Fighters changed our lives (true), how Dave Grohl was influential to me and was the reason why I started drumming (true), that Patrick started playing guitar because of him (not true – Patrick had been playing guitar at least 6 or 7 years before we saw them in concert…but I figured that saying otherwise couldn’t hurt our chances), and that seeing them perform even one song would make our year (true).  Tap put in for tickets roughly at the same time I did. Then we had to wait to see if we would be awarded tickets

Later that night, I received an email saying that I’d been awarded tickets.  Tap didn’t get tickets and neither did a coworker, so I knew I was very, very lucky.  The catch was that the facility was “overbooked” slightly, and that ticket holders weren’t guaranteed tickets. I knew Patrick and I had to show up early to score a spot in the awards show.

We originally showed up at the venue at three, but no one was there yet, and nobody knew who we were talking about.  We left to get an early dinner.  Since I had nowhere to drive for the next eight hours, I had a margarita with my dinner (and it was very delicious).  We kept checking back at the venue to see if anyone was in line.  The MTV employees didn’t know where everyone was meeting at. We decided to check in the garage one more time to see if people had lined up around 6 o’clock.  Sure enough, there were about ten people waiting. If we hadn’t checked at that time, we would not have gotten in.

We were separated into two lines – priority ticket holders and standard ticket holders. Patrick and I had standard tickets. At the time, I didn’t know how many “priority” holders there would be – I figured maybe 100 people at tops.  And since we showed up so early, I felt our chances of getting in would be reasonably good.  I sent happy texts to my parents, who wanted to be updated on our chances of getting in.

I was wrong.  Throughout the night, as more and more people poured in, it became clear more “priority” tickets were given than standard tickets.  At one point, Patrick estimated at least 500 people had priority tickets.  There was a lot of confusion over who would be let in first and when people would be let in the venue.  I don’t think even the employees knew.  It was frustrating because it was very disorganized.  Even worse, I overheard an employee saying that due to fire code, only 650 people would be allowed in.  The more priority ticket holders showed up, the smaller our chances grew.  I sent sad texts to my parents and Tap. The crowd you see in the picture below is just a small fraction, believe me.

At one point, we were given wristbands and black and yellow towels to wave during the Wiz Kalifa performance “Black and Yellow,” but we still did not get excited.  We waited a total of four hours. Four hours. FOUR HOURS.  We talked to a group of college kids who were waiting in line with us.  Patrick and I complained about the disorganization.  The longer we waited, the more dismal and inappropriate our sense of humor became.  We were going to dark places.  And we didn’t even bother hiding our laughter from people who were strolling in at 9:15, dressed up in ridiculous outfits, and assuming they were going to be let in when people like us had been waiting for hours already.  We were definitely enjoying the schadenfreude of watching their faces as they saw hundreds and hundreds of other people in line.  And you could tell the music fans from the partiers right away. The music fans wore sensible shoes and outfits.  The women showing up to party were dressed in six-inch heels, which I think would be death to wear at a concert.

Finally, groups of priority ticket holders were being lined up. We were told that 500 would be taken from the priority ticket group, then 100 standard ticket holders would be chosen, and then the rest of the pool would be taken from the priority ticket group.  Then we were told that only 75 people would be taken from the standard group.  We watched sadly as more than 500 people were being chosen from the priority group.  As we watched hundreds of ticket holders being let through, we knew that our chances were growing slimmer and slimmer.

Patrick and I were near the very front of the standard ticket line.  When an employee counted us off, we hurriedly left the parking garage we had been waiting in for hours.  People in the standard line started cheering for us.  “I FORGOT WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BREATHE FRESH AIR,” Patrick shouted as we emerged outside.  I felt very excited, though my intuition told me that we weren’t in the clear yet.

Sure enough, while we were going through security, we heard a guard say, “You need to cut the group off.  We have enough.”  I eyed my brother and gestured him to stay close to me.  It was all or nothing – I wasn’t going in without him. I don’t know how many more people behind us were let in until the line was cut off, but it can’t have been too many; I am confident that we were among the very last group of people to be let in.

Once we went inside, I found myself feeling excitement for the first time.  The venue was much smaller than I thought (it looks big on TV but I can assure you it was not), and I realized I shouldn’t have any problem seeing the stage.  Patrick and I went to the left side and found our way to the front without any problem.  The two girls who had been talking to us were whisked away to stand in the very front row, which was really cool.  For the first time in my life, I didn’t care about being on TV or not.  I was just happy to have a chance at seeing my favorite band, even if they were performing just one song.

We had to wait for another hour.  Watching the production behind-the-scenes was moderately interesting, but I was so tired and ready to see the Foo Fighters, who were performing first.  The awards show wasn’t due to start until 11, and we were let into the venue at 10:00. I tried zoning out to make the time go by faster, but it wasn’t working.  I felt like my watch got stuck on 10:33 for another hour. “We’re so close!” Patrick said.  “It’s like running a race,” I responded.  “You could be on the last mile but you’re so tired that the last mile will feel like it’s five.”

Some musicians started showing up, like Matt and Kim, Odd Future, Sleigh Bells, and Wiz Kalifa.  I only found out who they were afterwards – I know a lot more about indie music than I did last year, but that’s still not saying much.

Then we heard, “1 minute to go!” and that’s when my heart started beating in excitement. I gazed out at the stage happily.  The band were behind a backdrop to open the show, but I could hear them warming up with “Owners of a Lonely Heart” (lol).  We started counting down the seconds with the producers like it was New Year’s Eve.  When we counted down to one, we all cheered.  The band started playing the opening riffs of “Rope” and the backdrop lifted to reveal them all.

My view could not have been more perfect. I could see Dave and Taylor perfectly (as a drummer, they are the members of the band I am a fan of the most).  The song seemed to go by very quickly.  I didn’t take any pictures since I just wanted to enjoy the one song they were performing and not worry about my stupid camera. But here’s a video of their excellent performance.

http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:uma:video:mtv.com:632707

And just like that, they were done.  It was five hours of waiting for a five minute performance, but the long wait was worth every second. After that, Patrick and I enjoyed the rest of the show, which was hosted by Donald Glover.  Here’s a picture of his back.

We waved our yellow towels during the Wiz Kalifa performance.  We watched the minor celebrities make presentations (Pete Wentz, who was unrecognizable without his stupid hair, Aziz Ansari, who I’m a fan of, and Liz Lee, that annoying chick from MTV).  The only band I recognized was Sleigh Bells, just because I’m a fan of their song “Rill Rill.” I couldn’t understand what kind of performance they were doing – something with a lot of shrieking.  Noise pop.  Odd Future had a really strange performance involving garden gnomes and shit, but I found myself warming up to them by the end.

After the show, the MTV employees thanked us all for coming, which I thought was really nice.  Patrick and I staggered back across the river, exhausted by the day and not believing what we’d just seen.  When we got home, we watched the show again and caught the back of Pat’s head on TV.  Then, sleep.  We still had another several days of SXSW ahead of us.

It’s hard to believe this was all a week ago.  Sitting in a cubicle is quite a different experience, let me tell you.

Dave Grohl Sighting #1 – “Back and Forth” Documentary Premiere at SXSW

I decided to skip the entry on why I love the Foo Fighters so much for now.  I don’t want to make any of you all even more sick of reading about Dave Grohl than you probably already are.  But what happened to my brother and me last week was really exciting for us, and I think it’s a good story.  We were both able to see Dave Grohl, two days in a row.  I’m splitting up the entries because they’ll be too long otherwise.  This entry is about the first day.

First off, I have to give credit to an old swing dancing acquaintance of mine, Nathan.  He volunteers for SXSW and had a lot of insider information that he helpfully passed on to me.

On Tuesday, March 15, the Foo Fighters’ documentary Back and Forth was due to premiere downtown.  I had planned on leaving work early that day to stand in line.  Nathan had already sent me an email early that morning saying that the Foos were playing a “secret” show at Stubb’s, which is a really cool venue where Pat and I have seen multiple live shows.  But due to the popularity of the band and the fact that it was a badges and wristbands only show, Nathan said that I didn’t have any chance of getting in. I had already accepted my fate, and decided to prioritize seeing the documentary instead.

At 1:00, I received an email from Nathan.  “Foo Fighters’ White Limo is down at Waterloo Records,” he wrote. The “White Limo,” which is the iconic limo the Foo Fighters made a song/video about, is touring the United States and playing the new Foo Fighters album at random spots for fans.  I wrote back, “Will the band be there?” He didn’t know for sure.  Luckily there was not much going on at work that day, so I hurriedly called my brother to wake him up and hauled ass home.  I didn’t want to take any chances. Even though I knew the band likely would not be there, I figured if I didn’t make any attempt at leaving, they would have showed up and that would have left me in a dark place.  Sure enough, on the way downtown, Nathan emailed again and said that the band had not showed up.  Still, it meant that Patrick and I would be downtown early and would be able to check out some of the SXSW activities.

By the time we got to Waterloo Records, the limo had played about half the CD.  We listened to the other half and really liked what we heard.  After the album was done, we had the rest of the afternoon to explore downtown.  Patrick and I walked everywhere to kill time and to calm our excited nerves. You walk a lot during SXSW.  First, you can’t get any parking.  Parking that day was okay, but once the music portion of the festival starts, forget it. Unless you want to pay $20 parking in a garage (I don’t do garages or exorbitant parking fees), you have to park far away and walk.  My friend Tap had to park all the way at UT.  My coworker said that people were even parking at the mall (which is roughly two miles away and across the freeway – CRAZY!)

We continued walking and being goofy until it was time to stand in line for the documentary.  We stood in line for about an hour and a half. I was so nervous that we wouldn’t get in but since I had bought tickets online, the odds were with us.

Then we saw the white limo drive by.  This time, it contained all members of the Foo Fighters.  We were too far back in line to see anything, but I saw one girl climbing on a street lamp to look at the commotion.  She was kind enough to let me share it, so I hurriedly climbed on it and saw Dave Grohl talking to reporters.  Then I saw him and Taylor Hawkins taking premiere pictures. I was so excited to see my music idol in person.  We both waved to Dave and Taylor, but I doubt they saw the two crazy women perched on a street lamp.

You can’t see him, but Dave’s head is next to that yellow sign.

We were given swag for attending – a bag, Foo Fighters buttons, and a ticket for a free pair of Levi’s jeans (haha).

After we received our tickets, we went to find our seats.  The mezzanine section was completely full, so we went upstairs to the balcony and waited.  Then, the Foos were introduced.  Here’s the picture from my camera – the quality sucks. I promise you we were much closer than this.

Dave was really gracious, thanking everyone for coming and saying that he couldn’t believe that everyone in line “fucking” wanted to see his movie (I love his unabashed usage of the f-bomb).  He also said that the movie was an evolution of how he and the band got fat.  I kept grabbing my brother’s arm because I could not believe we were experiencing this.

A couple of minutes after the movie started, I looked across the theater to a private balcony.  My brother had suggested before the show that the band members would be sitting there. Sure enough, I saw a guy with long-hair and tattoos, and did a double-take.  It was Dave Grohl, sitting there with his wife, and Pat Smear sitting below him.  I stabbed Patrick’s arm with my finger.  He looked at me questioningly since the documentary had already started.  “DAVE GROHL!” I whispered, gesturing towards the balcony.

So for the entire documentary (which was fantastic, by the way), I would continue glancing back and forth between the movie and Dave Grohl’s reaction. Don’t judge me.  If your favorite singer or actor was chilling across the theater from you, you would do the exact same thing.  I can’t tell you how surreal it was to be watching this movie and glancing to my left and seeing the musician who has influenced me so much just sitting there, eating popcorn. Even a week later, I still can’t believe it happened.

And let me clear up any lingering questions people have may have about my fandom – I’m not one of those creepy fans. I don’t know what his middle name is or what elementary school he went to and shit.  I’ve heard stories about people getting the same tattoos that he has as an homage to him, and that is pretty fucking weird.  I accidentally stumbled across this one message board where people were hating on his wife after they got married and it was legit scary to read.  I’m definitely not one of those people.  I don’t even have a crush on him. I just have this immense respect for him as a musician.

After the show ended, Patrick and I left so we could get to Stubb’s.  Lucky badge holders were given free wristbands to the show, but since I am too poor to be a badgeholder, we didn’t get any wristbands.  I could see immediately why Nathan told us that getting in would be impossible.  There was a line so long it went clear across the street.  This picture was taken from on top of the garage – it’s blurry but if you look closely, you can see the crap load of people standing around the venue, waiting to get in.

Even many badge holders were not able to get in the show.  Pat and I went to the rooftop of a parking garage and were able to hear their entire show perfectly.  I could not stop grinning once I heard the band start the opening riff to “Bridge Burning,” the first song off their new album.  There were about twenty to thirty of us catching the show from the rooftop.  I unabashedly would jump up and down to my favorite songs, while Patrick would head-bang.  We were definitely the most animated fans up there.  One woman started jumping up and down after she saw me doing it.  Even if we couldn’t *see* the show, I was so happy to have the opportunity of hearing them live again.

The crowd inside Stubb’s was so lame, though.  I couldn’t see anyone jumping up and down or appearing animated.  The only time I saw the crowd make any sort of reaction was during “Everlong” (of course) or “Best of You.”  “They’re just showing some humanity,” another spectator said when Patrick and I started complaining about the lame crowd.  “There are too many people to be jumping up and down.” Bullshit.  When Pat and I saw Foo Fighters at ACL, there were so many people in that audience that the concept of personal space was nonexistent. Patrick literally had a 12-year-old hanging off his back. And yet, we all jumped up and down, screaming to the songs.  It was the most amazing audience participation I’ve ever experienced.

Everyone inside the Stubb’s just were industry dorks who were there not because they were die-hard fans, but because it was THE show to be at that night.  The die-hard fans were on top of the garage rooftop with my brother and me, or down on the streets, listening to the show. Even Nathan, who was actually at the show, sent me an email afterwards, commenting that it was the most non-reactive audience he’d ever seen at a Foos show, and that diehard fans deserved to see that show.

My brother and I returned to my apartment around 11, exhausted but exhilarated by our adventures.  We talked about how hardcore we were – waiting in line for an hour and a half, and listening to a concert from a rooftop.  We had no idea that the next day would test our limits of hardcore fandom even further.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Foo Fighters week, in which Patrick and I stand in line for four (!) hours just to see the Foos perform one song…and slightly lose our humanity in the process.