I had a dream last night. (but it looked unlike a dream)

With month two of the three month project now completed, here’s where we stand:
Posts: 17 (+7 from last month)
Tags: 64 (+8 from last month)
Comments: 15 (+7 from last month)
Busiest Day: 25 (Record is still 28)
Slowest Day: 1 (May 27th)
Total Views: 640 (+359 from last month)

Random search related traffic is starting to show up and the average numbers per day are picking up. The darndest thing thus far is how much random traffic has been generated by my Penguins’ conspiracy theory. It’s nice and validating to know that I’m not the only one who believes the NHL playoffs are rigged.


The large man leadith

Kate and I were celebrating our third anniversary by going to see Rancid play an all ages show at Rexall place, the house was packed with fans and punks alike. The Penguins were up by four goals in the second period and Don Cherry had announced his retirement. The Oilers’ championship banners hung triumphantly, only being periodically harassed by a cloud of foil birthday helium balloons that had been released into the air to reflect the lazer light show that cut through the mist. The opening band rocked, the sound was great and a wonderful brawl broke out four rows down from us. *

How do I go about amending that with the truth?

The Penguins were never up four to nothing against the Wings. Despite my best efforts to watch the game on a big screen TV situated in one of the press boxes on the other side of the arena, I could only make out Osgood and one of the frequent close ups of Crosby. I was able to follow the major camera angles, rushes and back checks, but couldn’t pick out a single Penguin against the while ice. I did manage to pick out Don Cherry during one of the TV breaks. It’s awful irony to go to an NHL arena to watch a concert and while there attempt to watch a hockey game that’s playing on a screen over 300 feet away.

Turns out that the Penguins didn’t win. Don Cherry hasn’t announced his retirement. The Wings are up 3-2 in the series. I consider that a wash. Penguins will win on home ice to force game seven and Detroit fans packed into Joe Lewis Arena will be forced to witness the ‘passing of the torch’ first hand. The media will have a field day of “I told you so’s.”

Rexall wasn’t packed, faces were illuminated, there were no torches. Of all the cellphones being used during the show, you could be assured that for every ticket sold, friends who couldn’t make it were receiving text messages or tweets/tweetpics, likely in the following order:

“OMG, I can’t believe it. I get to see Rise Against!!!!111one”

“EEE chk out this foto!”

“Ungh, Rancid has been on forever, git off the stage. Kthxbai.”*

“OMFG! Rise Against is about to take the stage. SQUEEE!”

“Dood spilt is beer on me, WTF!”

“This show rox’s!”

“Encore! Encore!”

I understand the luxury of having instant communication at your fingertips. It was by looking over someone’s shoulder that I thought the Penguins were up by four goals. What I don’t understand is the overwhelming desire to check the phone in the middle of a concert. I don’t mean taking photos, that’s kosher. People want to document the show for their own memories or to share with other people, fine. But why on Earth would you want to pay 70+ dollars for a seat, 5+ dollars for a drink and 10+ dollars for popcorn just so you can sit in a stadium seat and text to your friend/twitter about the show? Or check your Facebook. I have the same beef with people who do it during movies. Why? It makes no sense to pay to see something and stay glued to your fucking phone. The people on the other end can wait. Facebook will be there when the show is over.

Maybe it’s an over refined sense of self entitlement, “I paid good money for this seat! I can do what I want while seated in it.”

Come to think of it, given the generation gap between the bulk of true Rancid fans and Rise Against fans, I would bet dollars to dimes that the Rise Against fans were the ones on their phones. On our quarter of the stadium, I counted at least 90 phones – or little glowing faces. That doesn’t mean that the fans were trying to be overtly rude to the artists, I bet the notion never crossed their minds. It’s probably never been strictly taught that when someone is performing, you give them your undivided attention.

Of course that’s tough when the sound of the venue was god awful. Kate and I were sitting around the same spot for the Meatloaf show and he sounded much better. I blame the soundmen. Why? Because I remember several of my Live Audio classes at CATO being specifically dedicated to making stadium venues sound good. There’s a science behind it that any audio guru should know before tackling a venue like that. Nevermind the fact that punk shows notoriously don’t hold up against their pop counterparts in stadiums.

The whole Rise Against/Rancid show could be summed up with one brilliant* Rise Against lyric, “We’re okay until the day we’re not.” Or with the cheer of one emphatic Rancid fan as he left Rexall Place for the evening, “Rise Against sucks, Rancid fucking rules.”

~J

Advice Content: Turn your cellphone to vibrate, place it on top of your gentiles and watch the fucking show you paid to see. At least with the phone down there, you can get extra pleasure when your friends attempt to contact you.

* – The aforementioned ‘brilliant’ lyric is not brilliant, that was meant in a jest of sarcasm. I wanted to be perfectly clear on that.

* – There was no lazer light show, but there were helium filled foil birthday balloons floating around, I have no idea why. There was almost a brawl right in front of us, about four rows ahead. Sadly nothing was able to materialize before the cops hauled the fighting parties away for the remainder of the show.

* – kthxbai, the most annoying piece of garbage netspeak to ever evolve out of lazy language. People who causally toss this gem out in IM’s or chatrooms should be shot. With a shotgun. At close range. Flechette rounds. Then have sulfur poured on their wounds and left for the vultures.

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