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.
I’ve never been one to say that anyone is “too old for this” or “too old for that”. In fact, I’ve always lived my life by the expression that “age is nothing but a state of mind”. But the fact is, I’m almost forty years old. I haven’t worked out for months, I don’t party like I used to and I’m getting any younger.
The Auteur and I went to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. in Lansing last night. During the show, I had a shocking revelation:
I’m getting a little old for the whole “concert going” thing.
I got sore standing in one spot for extended periods of time. It was really hot standing around, completely surrounded by other heavy breathing, sweaty, alcohol-fueled concert goers. It was really creepy when The Auteur and I realized that the only people in attendance older than us were probably the various band members’ parents. And even they were watching the show through their smartphones. The whole smartphones-at-concerts thing was something I missed out on during the concert drought I went through for most of my 30’s. I tried. The last concert I went to in Charleston was Public Enemy. I snapped a few pics there with my Droid, but I couldn’t bring myself to snap dozens or hundreds of pictures the way that some people seem to do now. Another thing that shocked me was how affected I was by drinking a single beer. The fact is, I almost never drink anymore. I wasn’t sloshed or anything but the beer and the temperature in the bar really made me drowsy.
Sadly, this isn’t the first concert I’ve noticed this at. I felt much same way at Depeche Mode this past summer. The only differences there are the fact that it was a much bigger, outdoor venue and it was an older and much more mellow crowd. Of course, at that show, I didn’t have any alcohol.
The worst part of all this is, as I mentioned earlier, I’m not getting any younger. This isn’t going to get any easier. I mean, I could start working out again. That may help me feel more energetic, but I’m still getting going to get older.