Confession time. The thing I miss most about my youth is going to shows whenever I felt like it. Whenever I felt like it is code for every freaking day. When we were kids, we’d have some show to go to pretty much all the time. Where we going tonite? Tonite’s the Fireside Bowl to see the Lawrence Arms. Wow that opening band, the Ghost, was amazing, lets come back in two days for their cd release. Where are we going tonite? Some church basement in Lombard to see Hook Line & Sinker. Tomorrow? The Annex in Algonquin. The next day, backyard Stale Chofli show… The Wheaton Community Center to see all of the local bands in one huge show… Some place called the Barn… A VFW… After that the Metro to see Alkaline Trio for the umpteenth time this year.
There was always somewhere to see the bands we loved playing.
Why am I bringing this up now? There is no way that I could physically keep up with that kind of schedule again, but this weekend there is a huge music festival playing 20 minutes from where we live and a ton of my favorite bands are playing. And I am not going. I tried to talk my way into a press pass and failed and lost out on my chance to buy tickets. Not like I would have been able to afford them any ways. No Riot Fest for me. I’m actually surprised at how down this is making me feel. There are tons of other shows that i have missed over the years, but this one is hitting me harder than I had expected. I miss the overall feeling of the live show. The mass of people that know all the lyrics, running into other hot sweaty people having an almost religious experience. The last time I was at a show was Mustard Plug randomly playing at the House Cafe in Dekalb over a year ago and before that Coheed and Cambria at the Riv in 2009. And they were great. Absolutely great. Now I have gotten into this routine of being super busy all of the time and I can’t go. I have a family that I love dearly and I adore spending time with my kids, but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have the desire to once in awhile going out and run into a mosh pit (do they still have those?). Between work and school and family life, I just don’t seem to have the time. Do you see how I keep dancing back and forth between wanting to and talking my way out of it?
So there’s my confession. I’m really down about not going to Riot Fest this weekend. I feel selfish that I feel this way, but I miss it. I really do.
Earlier today we decided to go into the city to attend a Labor Day birth rally in front of the headquarters for the AMA. Our daughter has been really wanting to go for a train ride so we figured two birds with one stone; take the L to get to the rally.
Getting there was great. We got the nice handicap seat with room for the stroller. Our daughter had a window to look out the whole time. We got to our atop, walked the couple of blocks to the rally where our daughter immediately made new friends to run around with while we networked and lent our support.
The craziness happened on the way home. We couldn’t get seats for the first couple of stops so of course that led to a massive meltdown. Then we got seats, but they didn’t have enough windows… meltdown. Now keep in mind that its essentially nap time, so I’m just letting the arched back wailing roll right off me. A window seat opens up across the aisle so Katie and our now perfect angel move there.
Meanwhile… Crazy wannabe thug, Shitty Rapper is making the rounds irritating the fuck out of everyone on the train. He’s aggressively “rapping” in people’s faces about how tough he is and how to survive you gotta shoot people and yadda yadda… Not at all derivative. He eventually makes his way over to our family and this other guy decides he’s had enough of Shitty Rapper and is aggravated by the language he’s spouting off in front of the kiddos. He tells him to cool it and be respectful to the children. SR backs off a little and sarcastically “agrees”. Other dude reiterates that he needs to back down before he calls the “Po”. SR flips his shit. The protector of the virgin ears then moves to shield the kids in case shit gets real.
Shit. Gets. Real.
In a flurry of chest beating and screaming in each others faces that is now a blur of motion and noise as i try to remember it, Shitty Rapper lifts his shirt and says he’s got a 50, though I didn’t see a gun. Not like we stuck around to see if he was going to back that up. We grabbed the kids and hopped off at the stop that we were luckily at and waited for the next train to come. It came and we weren’t delayed, so I assume everything worked out in the end, but yeah…
Go figure that the first time a fight breaks out in front of me on the L we would have the kids with us. That was probably the worst thing I have ever experienced on the train. Much worse than your average crazy person L story. You know like the mutterers, the old guy with the prostitute, the girl who talks too loudly on her cell phone about every detail of her life. Regular crazy. They don’t bother you and you don’t bother them. Now I’m still a little shaken up, Katie is refusing to let the kids ride the L for a long time, and I’m using this to vent enough to be able to get myself to hopefully sleep. I can’t wait to ride it again tomorrow to got to class. Yay.
Recommended Track list:
Alkaline Trio: Trucks and Trains
Saves the Day: Third Engine
Matt Skiba: the City That Day
Johnny Cash: City of New Orleans