Wednesday night, The Auteur & I attended the Marilyn Manson and Smashing Pumpkins concert when they made their stop in our area. I haven’t seen either of these artists live in over twenty years (I’m not even 100% sure I’ve ever seen Manson live before) but the fact is, concerts simply aren’t as fun as they used to be. There are probably several good reasons for this, but there is one that I keep returning to:
We are all getting older.
I’m 41. According to wikipedia, Marilyn Manson is 46 and Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan is 48. I don’t know about those guys, but sometimes I feel a little too old to be in the crowd at a rock concert. to me, the typical concert-going crowd is in their late teens or early twenties and has the disposable income to spend as many concerts as they can attend- as I once did. Those days are certainly behind me. Granted, I wasn;t the oldest person there. There were people there who looked older than me, as well as other who definitely were older than me, but they’re just kinda pathetic.
Also, at the risk of sounding prudish, there’s a lot of smoking of tobacco – and other indulgences – that goes on at most shows. I’ve never smoked. The Old Man smoked for as long as I can remember; so it never fazed me much growing up. But I really have no patience and no tolerance for it anymore. The alcohol doesn’t really faze me, but then i do still like the occasional beer or three. In fact, the older I get, the more I appreciate the art of tailgating.
I don’t feel like there’s as much energy at these shows as there once was. Again, I think this is because the bands are older, and therefore the crowd is older accordingly. Older crowds don’t sing along nearly as much. They don’t pump there fist (or throw up devil horns). They don’t head-bang and they sure as hell don’t tear up the lawn at an outdoor amphitheater and throw it toward the stage.The truth is, I have changed, the musicians have changed and the crowd has changed somewhat – although not enough for me to feel comfortable among them anymore.
This reminds me of older athletes who try to come out of retirement and return to their respective game. Sometimes they still think they’ve got something left in the proverbial tank. Other times, it’s because they love the game and don’t want or know how to do anything else. Usually when they do, they realize that either their desire to play – or their ability to play – are gone. That’s where I feel I’m at with this whole post.
At least until they next time one of my favorite acts comes to town and I go on this rant again.
Friday night, Sis asks me if i want to go to the Tim McGraw / Kenny Chesney concert, since she has an extra ticket .
Country music, and lots of it.
Think about that for a minute.
She obviously had, and thought enough to appeal to my liver’s good work ethic.
A bunch of my friends will be tailgating early, and there will be plenty of beer there.
That’s all she had to say. Well, that and the fact that I’ve always had a thing for the “country chicks”. In fact back in my clubbing days, I tried, more than once, to talk my fellow samurai into going to a country bar, just for the “country chicks”. Besides, a country concert was something totally new for me. And since the same old stuff hasn’t worked too well for me lately…
I had a great time, much better that I could’ve hoped for. Sis’s friends were cool – very welcoming, and there were plenty of sights for my sore eyes. As for the concert itself, there’s something to be said about the live performance experience. The music is a little more raw and there’s an energy in being part of a live audience that even a concert film or a live CD cannot capture. I suppose it’s not unlike an actor preferring live theater over TV or movies, if that makes any sense.
Today is my Son’s first day of kindergarten. It hurts like hell no being there for it. The first day of school is on a short lists of “firsts” that a person looks forward to when they learn that they are going to become a parent. I will never be able to get this moment back and that angers me. I spoke to him last night, but it’s not the same. More on this later, I’m sure…