Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm Too Old For This Shit

Monday we got a call from my brother: he had a pair of tickets to the Tool concert the following night--did we want them? The answer, of course, was "yes." I've been a fan of Tool since the mid-nineties, and Michele is a recent convert, having come to them through singer Maynard James Keenan's other band, A Perfect Circle. Given the opportunity we had to go.

Tool (for those of you unfamiliar) is a progressive rock/metal band led more by the bass player than by the more traditional lead guitar. The instrumental quality of the band is amazing and the band is a quirky animal. The lyrics are strange, the videos are really strange, and the band shuns publicity like everyone might hope Paris Hilton would.

The concert was amazing. The band blasted for two hours, had a great light show, and never let up. Maynard stayed true to his weirdness--in order to emphasize the music over the musicians, he sings from the back, next to the drums, and sometimes faces away from the audience. It was hypnotizing and energizing and even inspiring.

The problem was that there were other people there.

I expected a certain amount of 93X-type idiocy at this concert. After all, the band's only marketable angle is their relation to heavy music. We saw the mouth-breathers early and often, including one troglodyte in the men's room who walked in talking on his cell phone, talked while he relieved himself, and kept on talking as he neglected to wash his hands on the way out. His contribution to his conversation, at least as much of it as I could bear to hear, consisted of phrases like, "Like, fuck, dude," and, "Dude--like, fuck." I couldn't count the crooked hats and ill-considered facial piercings. Thankfully, there were no flip-flops.

The big pain was the smoke. As soon as the lights went out, the fires started burning. I think Michele and I were the only two in the building not smoking. I learned last night what pot smoke smells like. That's some horrible shit. About a third of the smoke was conventional cigarettes--the rest was chiba.

The opening band was interesting. They're called Big Business [link: (sorry, blogger won't let me edit my HTML)], and live their songs only sound a bit like the MySpace versions. I prefer the MySpace versions. Live, they sound like screaming mud. Oddly, they reminded me of when Sly and I went to the KISS reunion tour in 1996 and the Melvins opened. Imagine my surprise to find out that the two guys in Big Business are also members of the Melvins.

So I guess here's my assessment:
Tool is an amazing band live. If you have any inclination toward this kind of music, see them. Big Business is a little more hit-or-miss, but I liked them.

Tool's fans--for the most part--are worthless. I imagined last night that if someone dropped a bomb on the arena the state's median IQ would have risen about 50 points (and that's with my brilliant wife inside). I couldn't believe the number of mouth-breathing, pot-smoking, beer-spilling, cell-phone-addicted, loud-talking morons I saw.

I might not be able to go to any more concerts--no matter how much I admire the music. I wanted the whole audience dead. Not violently dead. Just dead-in-their-sleep dead. Peaceful, but final.

I'm too old for that shit.


dchmielewski said...

I can't believe it took you until 30 something at a Tool concert to get OD'ed on second hand ganga. Relative anonymity seems to bring out the Doobies in spades. As for me, my first 2nd hand hit was at a Third World (Reggae) concert at the Orpheum when I was 12. And yes I did inhale ... there really wasn't a choice. I also have to count my first "tear gas" hit as being pre-military. My folks and I got gassed at a Jefferson Airplane concert when I was 3 or 4 in Ohio. Nothing like being at concerts during the Vietnam war to make sure that you got a hit of the really good stuff (one way or another).

My pet peave at concerts is that I really like to sit back and listen. Take it all in. Most folks seem to refuse to use the seat that they paid for. I know its unavoidable at some shows, and there are certainly moments that are stand-worthy (and others that are sponge-worthy?).

Anyway, I will just go back to my rocking chair and take the dentures out now.

Jason said...

I know for a fact that I've been in the presence of pot during my life, but I guess I've never been in a space so poorly ventilated that I was forced to breathe it myself.

My only non-military tear gas hit was at a dance club in Key West--but that was only mace, and it was set off a couple dozen yards from me.

I like to sit back, too. The last two concerts we went to--Sarah McLachlan and Loreena McKennitt--while not my inclination, necessarily, allowed us that opportunity. Unfortunately, much of the music I like is the kind that doesn't inspire sedation in the savage beast. I could sit through, say, Coheed & Cambria, and just watch and listen. My experience wouldn't be enhanced by jumping and screaming.

Pass me the dentures. It's my turn to chew.

Mike said...

The only concerts I see anymore are the local bands playing at the local bars every 5 years that we can get out. Recently Libby and I had a chance to go out and see Mr Peabody at Babes in Lakeville...yes I the rock and roll lifestyle. For a bar band they were quite good. The lead singer could actually sing, and the musicians..well they could actually play.

As for the youth of the adults said of our generation, I freakin weep for the future. Low pant, crooked hat wearin dipshits that think they are all rock stars with a sense of entitlement the size of texas. You better respect them, but they don't have to respect anyone..cuz their rock stars. Lousy little fuckers. I'd ask for the dentures, however I am struggling with this walker and my toupee just slipped off.

dchmielewski said...


I have got a "codpiece" you can borrow if you want to live the rock and roll lifestyle. I don't think it will work very well though with your pants riding halfway down your legs. Its gotta be one or the other, Rockstar!

Hey gimme back my toupee, you little whipper-snappers!

Mike said...

I'll borrow that "codpiece" it's good to re-live the good ole days.

Diana said...

Jason! It's hot. It's muggy. Your house is filled with boxes from floor to ceiling. Where's the can opener? Where's the remote control? Where's the cat?
What if you feel like listening to Back in Black RIGHT NOW???

Moving sucks rat ass.