I should note before I get into the meat of this piece that my entire concert experience is as follows:
- Gladys Knight at the MGM Grand*
- Carrot Top
- Carrot Top (again)**
- The Barenaked Ladies, Ben Folds, and Sinbad at Orange Peel 2003
- Billy Joel and Elton John, Oklahoma City 2010
- End of List.
Now, with that out of the way, I can say that it was with a heavy heart that I agreed to go to something called a “Cain’s Ballroom” to see a performance by something called a “Jimmy Eat World.”
If you’re confused, you can imagine how I felt. I still don’t know what any of those words mean.
Have you ever heard of the term “standing room only?” It’s an absolute revelation! So much so that I have a message to whoever invented such a notion. The President would like to appoint you to his cabinet. That’s right, you’re the new Secretary for Comfortable Leisure Time***. Congratulations!
Things descended from there. At some point shortly before the opening act finished their 45 minute set a terribly nice young woman placed her coat next to me. She then mouthed something that—for the amount of bass rattling my skeletal system—might have been a satanic incantation, before rejoining the epileptic mosh pit out on the dance floor. Yes, that’s right, folks, for three-and-a-half hours, I was the coat-check guy at Cain’s Ballroom, and that place doesn’t even have a coat check room.
What’s more? The headliner didn’t even play any songs I recognized until the freaking encore! Also, there was an encore. If hell exists, I will probably spend my eternity sitting on a shitty wooden bench in the middle of a concert for a band I’m not really into while they play almost exclusively stuff from the new record. Also, I’m watching some stranger’s coat.
So, maybe I didn’t enjoy the concert. That’s okay. Plenty of people enjoyed it, and I’m more than ready to admit that I’m in the wrong here, but I really didn’t enjoy it. Really.
In my own defense, if you assumed that my social allergy to what the youths of today with great and growing decrepitude of my body and soul, I’ll have you know that, personality-wise, I’ve been in my mid-forties since I was twelve. I would have always hated this. It isn’t that I’ve become an old man, it’s that I’ve always been kind of a lame wet blanket. So, there.
Now, it would be fair to ask me at this point that if I was going to hate such an event on spec, then why would I have bothered to go? There are lots of bad reasons to do things, and there are lots of good reasons to do things. To make other people happy is probably a pretty good one. Making Lora Sutton Boyle happy, despite every cell of your rapidly aging body insisting you do anything else? That’s the best reason to do anything, if you ask me. She really wanted to go, and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her. Apparently.
Didn’t think that this blog was going to end with some gushy stuff? Neither did I! I was totally content to just dump on Jimmy Eat World for 600 words, but here we are.
In the interest of allowing for equal time, my wife, Lora, wanted to add the following editorial comment: The concert was amazing, and Mac Boyle is the best husband. Even though I now might owe him a midnight screening of RoboCop at Circle Cinema. Love is weird. (Seriously though…Jimmy Eat World is AMAZING in concert!)
*Between 1994 and 2000, I visited Las Vegas and average of two times per year. If my father had been less skilled at Blackjack, we might have said he had a gambling problem. As it stood, we just got a lot of things comped. Hashtag privilege. #makehashtagitsownwordagain
**Not to be confused with the act I tried to tour with during college, “Carrot Top Again.” If not for a cease-and-desist order, I might have my own theater in Branson right now.
***Pending Senate approval.