Friday, August 06, 2004

The Wilco effect

So I'm just back from the Wilco show. Amazing. Loud, raucous, full of feedback... and totally excellent. I've got their songs reverberating through my head. And my brain is racing in a couple different ways.

First, the mostly fabulous husband declined to come with - but only because my sister and her b.f. were up for it. I love D. beyond belief, but sometimes it's such a relief to go to a show without him. I grew up, and survived through a bunch of crap, on music; to him, it's a diversion, something to entertain you if the Sox aren't on. So I'm totally the music geek who knows the names of the people in the band, which band they were in before this, what band that band inspired, etc. And he just sits there, looking pained when it gets too loud. And then, usually, he starts yawning. So it was kinda nice to just go and enjoy - not worry about anyone else.

Then, on top of that, is the apparent return of my Concert Skills. Which include:
~Making friends with tall boys who know the answer to crucial questions such as, Was that an Uncle Tupelo song? Or is that from the new album, to which I have not listened sufficiently?
~Making friends with tall boys who, because you smile at them, let you stand in front of them.
~Making friends with boys who laugh along with you at the ridiculous drunk, groping couple who are about to fall over in front of you.
~And last, but certainly not least, making friends with tall boys who help you strategically inch your way forward throughout the course of the show so that, by the all-important second encore, you have a clear view of the stage.

I have to admit, I was sorta waiting for the moment at which I had to disclose the ring finger on the left hand... but it never came. Still, those minor and totally inconsequential flirtations -- there's something to be said for them. Especially when, at 32, you're at your first rock show in ages and hoping you might not, in fact, be a TOTAL ancient hag.

As for the other interesting tidbit from tonight: I actually know the guy who plays keyboards for Wilco. He was in a band that my friends and I totally dug in college; in fact, I dated the guitar player in this band for quite some time. And if I remember correctly, Guitar Player and I broke up over Wilco Boy's little sister. Somehow, the fact that the keyboard player ended up in Wilco -- the band of whom a local paper said, if you hate them, you are opposed to art -- justifies the summer I wasted hanging out with his arrogant friend. They were good musicians -- that was never a question. Good boys? Not necessarily.

I think there's a whole 'nother post in here somewhere about the total joy of a great summer show, and the way my teenage summers revolved around kick-ass concerts, and maybe another one about the ability of rock 'n roll to quash the memory of even the most evil corporate meeting - and the drive home that took three-and-a-half hours instead of two.

Finally, a random thought: Since when is Jeff Tweedy so damn cute and chipper? I thought he was the king of angst. Guess kicking the painkillers - which, incidentally, he joked about onstage - cheers a guy up.