Saturday

Down with the Oldness

So I’m sitting up at 12:48am, and I have all kinds of gas and heartburn. Ughh I can’t think of a time where I felt much older. Oh wait there was the No Doubt/Blink 182 concert. I felt pretty ancient there, as well.

Back to the heartburn issue. On Last Comic Standing, one of the guys made a joke about knowing he’s old because he keeps a pack of Tums in his backpack. I hear that. Not only do I have some in our medicine cabinet, but in my workbag and at my desk.

So Wednesday was the hottest day in as long as I can remember. It was in the mid nineties. But with the heat index it was closer to 100, then isn’t it 100. Ok Niel, stop obsesses over the fake “heat index” and “wind chill factor” you know in your heart of hearts that they are total bull shit and one day so will everyone else.

Needless to say it was hot. I dressed up for work that day because we had the fall launch presentation. It was a little boring. When one of my co-workers sang her song that I helped her write a little bit, I was so nervous when the line I wrote came up. And when it got the biggest laugh of the song, I was thrilled. Someone else who has my same exact job, it turns out is now dong her own books, where are my books? To quote Tony Blundetto “Put me in coach.”

So after we got back to the office, I did some work and then headed back home, so Ani and I could make it out to Jones Beach without hitting traffic. It was dreadfully hot and we hit traffic. The car has no air-conditioning to talk of, so all of the windows were wide open and the breeze was pretty nice. Traffic was bad, even at 430. So we get into Westbury, grab some food, and head to Jones Beach. As we approach it just got cooler and cooler as we smelled the sweet sea air. We pulled into a spot really close to the main gate. There were people tailgating, we ate our meal from Checkers and made fun of the youngins. I blasted the “Heavy Petty Zoo” album from NOFX.

We soon headed in, and got our seats. They were pretty good. The breeze coming off the water was awesome. People were even wearing sweatshirts. We were enjoying not being fried.

The Living End was the opening act. They were good. Lots of energy. They played several songs that made me go “hey I remember listening to that, when most of these kids around us were Baby Einstein age.” There song was “Prisoner of Society” not that I advocate downloading music illegally, but you might want to check that out again.

By the time the Living End was done, the arena was pretty full. And Soon Blink 182 was hitting the stage. I remember back in 95-96 Mike and I saw Blink at a Warped Tour in New Jersey. They were on the second stage, NOFX and Fishbone were headlining. I kind of thought that they could be good. It was right before “Dude Ranch” came out. Anyways I think Blink forgets that most of their fans are tween girls. Because they are very racy.

One of the lamest moments I have ever witnessed in live music was before one of there slow songs, the tall singer with the really whiney voice, explains to the crowd that back in the early 90s when most of you weren’t born yet, people used to put their lighters into the air. And since that would be a fire hazard, why don’t you all take out your cell phones and wave those. For that moment, Blink deserved to be the gods of 12-year old boys wearing bright pink hats and t-shirts that match the six friends sitting next to him.

Is it me or do all of their songs sound just like each other. Its like they wrote music for two songs, the slow song, and the fast one. Maybe I’m just a crotchety old bastid? To me the one highlight of Blink’s performance was during the last song, there was this extended guitar solo, and weird lighting on stage. And then the tall annoying guy leaves stage, and up on the screens you see Travis drumming. And now you hear him, but no one is on the stage. And then I notice that there is a drum kit set up in the middle of the arena, and he is fucking wailing away. It was spinning. An extended drum solo is not very punk, but it is cool.

A little while later you see that No Doubt’s stage is set up. And you hear “We Will Rock You” by Queen playing. It keeps going until Gwen appears off the stage and starts talking incoherently. The curtains open as she is making her way up, as the music to “Just a girl” starts.

The crowd went nuts, except for Mr. Pink hat and the boys, who would have rather been in the Escalade listing to Good Charlotte. No one was disappointed because they played, just as they promised in Entertainment Weekly, all of their hit songs. The had so much energy, and I thought it was wild that during the song “Hella Good” there is no guitar and for the most part no bass either. With the guitarist playing one of those guitar keyboards. And Tony playing a synthesizer with his bass slung over his back.

I think they should have mixed their songs up better. They went to low-key songs right after up-tempo ones and killed the buzz, a few times. But they were able to deliver. Its ironic, because one of my main complaints about Blink was all the talking and shit, but No Doubt did so little talking it was weird.

For someone who does so much jumping around and what not, Gwen’s voice is really good live. I enjoyed them greatly. I probably would pay to see them again. It took us almost 30 minutes to get out of the parking lot, and not even that long to get the rest of the way home. A nice way to spend a Wednesday night indeed.

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