When tickets for Thrice went on sale over the summer, I bought them the very day. No hesitation. I believe my exact words were, “We might not have a place to live by November, but at least we’re going to see Thrice.” It’s like when people are financially-strapped, but still find ways to buy cigarettes. That’s me and concerts. I’m just lucky that all the shows I want to go to are typically $15 tickets.
The hard part was buying the tickets in August and then having to wait until November 15th for the show.
The venue was Diesel, which used to be Nick’s Fat City and at one time in my life, I spent more time there than anywhere else in the city. It was my favorite venue and I saw Cold there countless times. Now, it’s some trendy club piece of shit for mulleted Roethlisburger-jersey-wearin’ yinzers and faux-fur wearing hos to fuck in a dimly corner, Mike’s Hard Lemonades in both hands. In other words, it’s a shitty fucking place to watch a rock show.
Henry and I started out in the upstairs lounge, but it’s impossible to see anything up there now. But because Henry is An Old Guy, I let him rest his arthritic laurels on a creepy leather couch during the opening bands. And I really like the opening bands (Polar Bear Club and The Dear Hunter), so he should have been giving me a hand job AT LEAST. If he wasn’t too busy trying to figure out everyone’s sexual orientation. And just because there were bands playing, don’t think for a minute that meant anyone around us stopped talking. No, everyone just upped their indoor voice’s to ale-scented SCREAMS and went about their conversations like they were casually mingling around a punch bowl at Uncle Jimmy’s retirement-from-pedophilia party. And you KNOW all they were discoursing was that BOO HOO the Steelerslost. Oh fucking well! Jesus wept, now get the fuck on with your life.
I only had one drink there. But before we left, I had downed (read: chugged) a large glass of Chardonnay. I was feeling fucking frisky. And I was also ready to go the fuck downstairs where I could be around the people who maybe gave a bit of a shit about Thrice. I could tell Henry was 100% against this plan, but I paid for his ticket so he was at my mercy. The floor downstairs was packed, but I wasn’t too bothered by it. Thrice pulls in an older crowd, so I didn’t have to worry about accidentally grazing underage cock. (This was in Henry’s “con” column, though.)
During the longest sound check in the world, the burly man next to me kept massaging my left boob with his elbow. I kept laughing about this, and Henry would turn around and, also laughing like he was in on the joke, would ask, “What?” I’d just shake my head guiltily and laugh harder because it was EROTIC OK? I kind of LIKED IT. That guy was (one of) my type(s).
Finally, Thrice took the stage. I won’t go into too much detail because I’m sure no one gives a shit, but they were spot on and amazing as usual. It was a very testosterone-driven crowd, but there was no violence to be concerned with, just a mutual admiration for the talent before us. I spent a good bit of the show wiping tears from my eyes because Thrice is just really that good. I named my kid after their drummer, for Christ’s sake! (To clarify, it was mostly because he had an Ask Riley column in Alternative Press for awhile during my pregnancy, so that kind of put the name on my radar. But he is a really tremendous drummer!)
My favorite part of the night was watching Henry, who was still standing statue-like in front of me, twitch in irritation through the whole show. The group of people to our left were really moving around a lot and singing, which didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I really liked the crowd around us. But Henry kept getting bumped by them and I’d see him turn stiffly and give off Pissed Off Dad radiation waves. I could NOT stop laughing. He was in so much anguish. Sometimes I’d see him swipe at his brow in defeat.
It got even better when they lit a joint and began passing it around. The clench in Henry’s ass was so fucking hardcore at this point that the military could have used it to crush al qaeda necks. I wanted so badly for one of them to offer it to Henry so I could see him unleash 1986 Panama-stationed Air Force Hank on their stoned asses.
The show was over by 10:00pm. Thrice was being rushed off the stage because, in Dustin Kensrue’s words, “discotheque 2000” was about to start.
There is one way in and out of that dump, and of course every fucking idiot began a mass exodus in the general vicinity of the exit. I was trying to hold on to the back of Henry’s shirt so I wouldn’t get swept away. The merch tables were all lined up by the exit, so people were stopping, causing everyone else to slam into each other. Some leather-jacketed scenester analdrip kept pushing me. And not just little nudges, like he was going with the momentum of the rushing crowd. No, these were hands-on-my-back shoves.
So I’m standing there, smashed inside a wall of sweaty dudes, inhaling beer breath and ripe body odor, and I’m getting angrier and angrier. Clearly, we’re all trying to achieve the same successes in life: to get out of this boiler room in one piece, before the shitty house music starts bumping. But he’s pushing me, and he’s pushing me one too many times and I lost my temper. I turned around and screamed, “Dude, I can’t fucking GO ANYWHERE, motherfucker.”
And still, he pushed.
So I yelled again, “Dude, STOP PUSHING ME.” I dug my feet into the floor and leaned back into him.
And then, oh this is my FAVORITE part. He took his hands and RAN THEM DOWN MY BACK. And it was NOT sensual! AT ALL.
I jabbed that motherfucker in the gut so hard with my elbow.
Meanwhile, Henry’s bobbing on ahead of me, whistling Disney toons and throwing a yo-yo.
Once outside, I stomped the entire way back to the car, bitching about how murderous that prat made me, and demanding Henry to look at my hands, all a’shook with THE RAGE.
I try, I try so HARD to stay cool in situations like this. But I have a really sick temper. And it gets worse with age. I try to tell myself that you just can’t be too cautious in situations like that, that someone could have a knife or a gun. And it doesn’t matter that he was a guy and I’m a girl. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t have hauled off and cold-cocked me in the face. And we all know Henry does not, and will never have my back, because he’s always the first one to say that my inability to bite my tongue is going to get me in trouble one day.
And this may be so, but it wasn’t that way last night, and I’m glad I got to get a shot at that asshole behind me. NO ONE PUSHES ME AROUND.
It was a shitty end to a really great night. Well, that and the repulsive middle-aged couple we passed on our way out, who were wearing age-inappropriate spandex-mix and practically fucking up against a wall. Discotheque 2000, indeed.
(Srsly almost lost my shit when they played this.)