Dispatch from the fourth row, slightly to the left of center stage, fully in sight of Flea's own personal nostril hairs:
When I was 12 I saw Whitney Houston from the balcony of the Erwin Center. She had a cold and could barely sing, and her skirt was so small and tight, she couldn't walk up the steps, but rather had to be lifted onto the stage by two burly roadies. Kenny G. opened. I was struck by how incredibly tall he was. I kind of liked Kenny G., but frankly would have preferred to be at Barbie on Ice.
When I was 17 I saw the Pixies and U2 from even higher up in the same balcony. I learned that I may be fine outdoors, but I get wonderful vertigo in enclosed spaces, and that Bono's radius of animal magnetism can encompass a small city. He may have been just a distant dot, but he was a sexy dot.
I've seen Dave Matthews, or a tiny bouncing figure purporting to be Dave Matthews, from the lawn at the Blockbuster (or whoever it pimps for now) Pavilion twice. I saw They Might Be Giants at the Tremont, and Hole at a similar small venue in France. I don't remember the They Might Be Giants (I might have been stoned) and Hole was godawful. It was two days after the anniversary of Cobain's death, and Courtney was clearly off the wagon. And her rocker.
But I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who I can honestly say I've loved since high school, last night from the fourth row. I had to get a little juiced to recapture that adolescent willingness to get swept away by the music, but juiced I got and swept away I was.
Periodically my 32 year old self would swim to the surface and remind myself that I probably ought to have a few Doan's and a few Tylenol before hitting the sack, as it had been a long time since I last pogoed or headbanged, and periodically that self would wonder what a mother of two toddlers was doing there, but then I remembered that Flea has kids about the same age, so it's all good. We're all just getting old together.
Gnarls Barkley opened, and, if the sound had been better mixed, they would have been pretty darn awesome, too.
He Who Looks Hot in Jeans kept analyzing Frusciante's technique and insisting he'd seen better drummers and trying to get me to rate the show on a ten point scale. "Dude," said I, "It's the best show I've ever seen, I don't care which parts weren't perfect."
"Yeah, well, that Flea guy's a pretty good bass player. But I saw better lights at Pat Methany."
"Dude, shut up!!"
We had to go to a backup babysitter, because the one we actually like wasn't allowed to stay out that late on a Tuesday. Which is just as well as we came home even later than expected. Upon arrival in the driveway, we realized we spent all our cash on t-shirts and beer and didn't have enough left for the poor girl, so I'm going to have to slope over there later today with a 20.
Got to bed by 1am, then Bear woke up at 3am and flat out REFUSED to go back to sleep. I sat up with him for two hours, glaring white-hot half-drunk glares of impotent rage as he burbled around, happier than a pig in shit to have the living room and Mommy to himself and to be on the back end of an ear infection. I passed out on the couch and woke up at 6 to find him in a similar prone stupor in front of the television, the frenetic colored light cast by Boohbah bathing his features. I chucked his butt in bed and slept till 8. Both children and self were astoundingly late.
My feet hurt, I sleptwalked through my entire morning, and I need a nap (which I won't get). We easily parted with $700 for the total evening and I could care less. I'm definitely not too old for this.