I wish I could properly explain the wrath I dealt with back in May when Chooch realized he was going to miss a headlining Summer Set show in Pittsburgh because we were in Michigan for Bledfest (something that only I wanted to do and Henry and Chooch got stuck going along for the ride and hated every second of it). “But it’s cool because you’ll get to see them at Warped Tour!” I reasoned, and Chooch seemed pacified by this.
And then there was more, even greater wrath in July when we realized that The Summer Set was only going to be on the second leg of Warped Tour, so Chooch would have to miss them again.
And then there was no Pittsburgh date for their fall tour, but there was a Columbus show that fell on a Saturday so Henry and I felt it was worth it. Look, The Summer Set is not necessarily a band I would go out of my way for, but Chooch is really taken by them, for whatever reason. And who am I to deny my kid the pleasure of seeing one of his favorite bands? I mean, look at how bent out of shape I get when I have to miss seeing one of my favorite bands!
If you read my lame-o live blog post, some of this you already know. Like, the fact that Henry booted us out onto the curb and then went carousin’ around Columbus for….litter boxes and ginger tea. Henry knows how to live it up.
The venue was the A&R Music Bar. I’ve never been there before and I get really nervous about taking my kid to venues I know nothing about. But…the show was all ages, so I figured we’d be fine. Here in Pittsburgh, most of the venues won’t let you bring drinks out of the bar area, so I assumed it would be like that here too.
But no! It was a fucking free-for-all. The bar wasn’t separate all, and while I imagined the crowd would mostly consist of underaged girls, there actually seemed to be more adults there.
Standing in front of Chooch.
Talking over all of the bands.
I was just really rubbed the wrong way almost immediately and had this dire urge to have Henry come and get us and then we could just go do something touristy or…I don’t know…go home. I hate when I get those bad feelings! And I just couldn’t shake this one at all.
Chooch and I were so hateful of the crowd that we opted to go out on the patio and hang out with the all of the smokers, even though it was about 40 degrees out. We could actually see the stage better from out there and the sound wasn’t muted much at all.
That dude up there in the white shirt was the opener. I think his name was Chase? No. It’s Hudson Thames. I pretended for a second to be committed to the art of blogging and actually researched that shit.
Um…Hudson had a great voice! But I wasn’t entranced. And then after his set, he took off his shirt and threw it into the crowd, like OK Tacky.
William Beckett was next. I had no idea he was on this tour, and when he walked past us when we were standing in line, I was like, “That guy looks familiar” but then figured it was just because he reminded me of someone who would have been in a Sid & Marty Kroft television show, and didn’t think about it again until we were inside and I was buying Chooch his 374872389465th Summer Set shirt, when I looked over and saw the guy again, and then my eyes drifted to the side of his head and I noticed all of the William Beckett merch on the wall and realized that oh shit, that’s William Beckett from The Academy Is… what the fuck is he doing opening for the Summer Set?!
We only stuck around for two of his songs because, ask Chooch, we were surrounded by drunk broads with really annoying voices. I will never understand why people pay money to go to a show and then stand with their back to the stage scream-talking to their friends. Like, just go to a regular bar for that, or have a fucking house party. I guess I just don’t get it. MAYBE BECAUSE I’M TOO SQUARE. I’M SO SQUARE THAT I USED THE TERM “SQUARE.”
After William Beckett, Chooch and I went back inside, on a quest to find somewhere decent to stand where he could see and we wouldn’t be inadvertently wrapped up in a Snuggie of drunk douchebags. We ventured further and further up toward the front of the venue until we were next to the side of the stage. There were several other people standing there, and Chooch was happy enough with the unobstructed view that he didn’t care if he was just going to see the Summer Set’s profiles.
Eventually though, one of the staff ladies came over and said that we were going to have to move back more into the main area when the band came out, and we were like, “Ugh fine.” However, two girls came into the venue with one of the Summer Set guys (Josh, according to Chooch) and stood next to Chooch and the staff lady was just like, “Fine I give up. Stand there. Create a fire hazard. Oh well.”
I mean, probably that’s what she was thinking, and not, “Gotta catch ’em all.”
HERE IS A REALLY DETAILED, ARCHITECTURALLY ACCURATE BLUEPRINT OF THE LAYOUT:
You can see how we were keeping an open area so that traffic could freely flow to and from the exit.
I was so pleased with how this night had panned out! Chooch was in a comfortable spot, I had a thing to lean my old ass body against, the band was playing pleasant pop music that I generally wouldn’t care about but have learned to semi-like thanks to Chooch (I REALLY LIKE THEIR NEW SONG “JEAN JACKET” AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT)….Some old broad had migrated to our area with her niece who was around the same age as Chooch, and she and I were exchanging pleasantries, and that’s when I made the mistake.
I said words.
I jinxed myself.
“This is the perfect spot,” I yelled into my new friend’s hair.
“Yeah it really is!” she said, and we leaned back against the bar, smiling as our young companions danced and clapped to The Summer Set.
Then that lady left. I don’t know where she went, to the back of the room with her niece, I guess. And then suddenly, a group of 6 totally trashed bitches came barreling up from the back of the room and stuffed themselves into the area area between those of us leaning against the bar and the few people in front of us at the barricade.
They were flailing around, screaming like infants, holding their cans of Coors Light like torches over their perfect heads of hair, sloshing beer around like a stinky sprinkler system, and being generally REALLY FUCKING INTRUSIVE.
Luckily, the staff lady swooped in from her station at the door and yelled, “You guys have to move! We have to keep this area open!”
Of course, they wouldn’t move. Why would they move? They were fucking entitled little bitches who owned the place.
All I knew was that they were potentially going to ruin things for Chooch. I had a feeling that if they didn’t move, that broad was going to come back and make us ALL move. So I kind of nudged one of them so she’d move, instead of pancaking me against the edge of bar like she was currently doing. I mean, they brought major pandemonium to our nice little area of the venue, and everything was happening so fast…
But I didn’t think this prissy little girl was actually going to flip out from being subtly nudged.
“That bitch PUSHED ME!” she shrieked to the staff lady, who was just like, “Oh OK” and then walked away. When she didn’t get the attention she craved, she continued to scream her face off about me pushing her, and I was so confused…was she actually talking about me? Because I used like three finger tips to give her a tiny prod in the direction that the lady wanted her to move, and also it was to get her fucking gross Aztec sweater out of my face.
So then she ran over to the lone guy in their crew and hysterically cried, “THAT BITCH PUSHED ME!” but as I would find out later, she wasn’t the one in the group he was fucking, so he just looked at me and then looked at her and shrugged.
Two of her other friends were oblivious to her plight, and instead continued performing their bizarre, primitive vagina dance which involved them leaning back in their best Limbo pose while facing each other, and making sensual “offering” motions with their hands above their crotches. So I’m like completely mesmerized by this weird menstrual witch jig when I suddenly feel a sharp blow to my ribcage because Aztec Sweater finally found a friend who cared, and that friend—a frumpy bitch in a plum sweater—wedged herself in between me and the nice, normal girl who was originally standing to my left, and proceeded to passive aggressively assault me with her basic bitch elbow while the THAT BITCH PUSHED ME dialogue continued.
Like, really. You’re going to stand there and play these middle school games, like you’re trying to bully me in the back of the classroom while the teacher has her back turned? Because that’s what that shit felt like.
So I dug my feet into the floor and started to push back into her because bitch, you picked the wrong girl. I wasn’t going to move.
But I also wasn’t going to ruin Chooch’s night. Because by this point, my whole body felt like a whistling tea kettle. I could hear the blood rushing into my head, like sheet metal crashing in my ears. I was starting to shake, because what I really wanted to do WAS GRAB THIS BITCH BY THE HAIR. Not even the girl I supposedly pushed! But this fucking plum tunic hag. I wanted to actually fight her and it has been a long time since I felt this out of control in public, and I had literally zero sips of alcohol in me. No, this bitch alone was bringing out pure, unadulterated, primal rage.
Then I looked up and saw Chooch, applauding in between songs, and got myself in check real quick.
CONSEQUENCES, BLAH BLAH BLAH.
This isn’t to say I was going to stand there and be steam-rolled by this fucker. So I turned and tapped her on the arm.
“Excuse me, but I didn’t PUSH your friend,” I yelled into her ear.
“WELL THAT LADY YELLED AT US AND TOLD US TO MOVE AND THERE’S NOWHERE FOR US TO GO SO YOU HAVE TO MOVE TOO!” she yelled back, sounding like an actual brat. I mean, that staff lady didn’t YELL at them, she was just trying to do her job.
“I’ve been standing here since before The Summer Set went on, and my kid is right up there, so no, I’m not moving,” I said, and I was so surprised at how RATIONAL AND NON-HYSTERICAL I SOUNDED. I realllly didn’t want Chooch to turn around and see his mom acting like white trash.
“OK, well then we’re good here!” she yelled, like suddenly everything had changed now that she knew I’M A MOM and not just another basic OSU bitch? I mean, she said it in a totally asshole-y way without a DROP of sincerity, but she moved out of my personal bubble and her fucking elbow never touched me again, and then in a strange twist of events, the weird vagina dancers actually became pretty amusing to me and we had several moments throughout the night where we laughed at things together and I know that infuriated the other two girls WHO I WILL NEVER BE COOL WITH IN REAL LIFE, NOT IN A MILLION YEARS, I don’t care how much Aztec Sweater looked like Missy Franklin and I LOVE MISSY FRANKLIN.
I can’t even put into words how much it ruined my night, my weekend, my joy of being at a concert, my faith in humanity (not that I had much to begin with but still). Shows are safe zones for me. It’s where I feel at home and comfortable in my skin, where I can leave my stress and tension at the door, and I want Chooch to feel that way too. But all this shit was playing out right behind him and even though he never turned around and saw it all, he was still annoyed by these people for his own reasons. It made me feel like I put him in a potentially unsafe situation and that’s a really terrible feeling for a parent.
But he still said he had a great time, and the guitar tech gave him a pick (you can see that in the end of the below video!).
I pretty much raged about this to Henry during the entire three hour drive back home to Pittsburgh and he was like, “OK what do you want me to do” because he’s so SUPPORTIVE, so then I texted Chris and Monica who TOTALLY UNDERSTOOD AND WERE ON MY SIDE SO THERE HENRY. And I’m not going to lie, I kind of half-expected them to follow us outside after the show and start shit with me again, so I spent the rest of the show trying to put together some kind of game plan in my head, which was basically just COMING IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL.
And then running.
There were like six of them!
Well, four. Those vagina dancers were way too drunk to fight.
All I know is that I haven’t felt this way in a long time. Because I don’t know about you, but I try to live my life without getting stabbed or thrown in the slammer.
I was down about it all day yesterday at work. I only told Glenn, Todd, and Wendy because even just talking about it made me feel so shitty all over again. I’m so glad that these things happen so rarely, because I would probably never go to a show again.
When I saw Chooch after work, I asked him if he told his friends about going to see The Summer Set.
“No, not really,” he said, because his school friends just don’t relate to these things. “Well, I did tell them about how that one girl spilled her beer on my leg.”
UGH GREAT. MOTHER OF THE FUCKING YEAR.