nostalgia and angst over concerts.

Last night I went to the Red Hot Chili Peppers / Foo Fighters concert.

The opening band (The Bicycle Thief. Run, don’t walk from this band, yo.) played a messy cover of “Champagne Supernova” and then followed with an attempt at covering Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees.” When the singer couldn’t hit the first high note, they stopped playing and after a moment of silence, just decided to play something they wrote instead. Because the audience hated them as much as they hated us, they did that cool rock star thing where you turn on all of your instruments and then put them in front of the amps and walk off to deafening feedback. That way they don’t have to wait for us to not clap. Isn’t that great?

First of all, this concert was in the Erwin Center. After the opening band, that was my only complaint. The Erwin Center is used for sporting events. It has chairs nailed to the ground. There is no dancing, no moshing, no crowd surfing. You sit in your seat and you listen like a good kid. In fact, that’s just what everyone did during the Foos, even when Dave was running around the audience (up and around the Mezzanine area) because he couldn’t believe we were stuck in seats. As he ran around the exterior of the arena you could see hundreds of teenage kids chasing him. Our view was through the stadium doors across from us, and the image was straight out of a Foo Fighters’ video. It was hysterical.

And as I sat there listening I started thinking about how these two bands have always held memories for me. The Chili Peppers were a big part of my high school years, and the Foos were when I was just getting out of college and dating Eric for the first time.

Big Me“– Dave played this one slowly, I assume to make sure no one pelted Mentos at him anymore. Dave looks just like one of my really good friends in this video, when his hair is pulled into the braids. I always miss my friend when I see this video, as he was my first love in high school. (Foo Fighters)

This Is a Call“– I love this song. It always gets me pumped up, and I think it was actually the first Foo Fighters song I ever heard. (Foo Fighters)

I’ll Stick Around“– Eric has confused this song with “This Is a Call” enough that now I do too.

My Hero“– Back when we first bought The Colour and the Shape, we would play it every day while playing NHL 98 on the Playstation. This song reminds me of playing that game next to Eric’s side, and having Jagr check Gilmour into the boards while Eric says, “Baby, I’ll be your hero.” (The Colour and the Shape)

It also reminds me of the first time I went to Pittsburgh, when Eric’s brother and best friend were playing pool with us in the basement of his mother’s house. The song came on the radio, and as I busted out with the “Kudos, my hero” they thought I had made it up. I said it was either they were giving his hero props, or his hero was Greek. “Kudos, my hero, make me baklava” became the new lyrics. When I finally found the lyrics online, I was pleased to find out I had pegged the words correctly. Kudos.

Everlong“– This is my song with Eric. So, there you go. (The Colour and the Shape)

Monkey Wrench“– I couldn’t get this song out of my head until I bought the album. Last night, they opened with it. (The Colour and the Shape)

 

And I realized that most of the songs off of There Is Nothing Left To Lose aren’t full of memories yet, and I like that. I get to make the new ones now.

The Chili Peppers came out with the energy I expect from them, but unfortunately there was no nudity, props, fire or innovative costume design.

They mostly stuck to songs from Californication, much to the pleasure of the girls sitting next to me that admitted they only knew that one album. It’s an okay album, sure, and it’s much better than the things they had been putting out when John had left the band, but it’s not what you want to hear the entire time.

Not one song from Mother’s Milk. Damn shame.

From Blood Sugar Sex Magik: “Suck My Kiss,” “Power of Equality,” “If You Have to Ask,” “I Could Have Lied,” “Give It Away,” and of course, “Under the Bridge.”

That album reminds me of so many moments my senior year in high school. I remember sitting on the steps outside the photography lab reading the liner notes. One of the first theatre trips I made (to Austin, actually) we sang songs and I listened to the album on some headphones I had borrowed from a boy who had a crush on me. We all had Red Hot Chili Peppers t-shirts. I had the circular poster from this album. I hung it on my ceiling in my freshman dorm.

From Uplift Mofo Party Plan: “Skinny Sweaty Man” and “Me and My Friends”

The girls next to me thought I had purchased their new album before it was released in stores. I realized that if I told them that this album was released in 1988, they might come back with some sort of statement like, “Really? I was three back then.” I kept my mouth shut.

Those old songs off Uplift Mofo remind me of my best friend my freshman year in high school, and how much she influenced my tastes in music and friends. I had forgotten until last night that she used to have people put chewing gum on the ceiling of her bedroom, and if you visited her house, you had to put gum on the ceiling. Now it sounds really gross, but back then we thought it was the coolest. Some people would make the gum form their names. Others would just squish it all together. I remember the weekend that I made my masterpiece– the Red Hot Chili Peppers symbol. It took nine packs of gum, but we did it. Our mouths hurt and my neck was killing me from straining it upward, but it always got a compliment when someone came into her room, and they were always amazed to find it was made with chewing gum. Well, amazed and disgusted. (Tyson, do you remember that? I had completely forgotten.) I remember someone else had put a sun, and I think we moved on to Nine Inch Nails symbols. Oh, I remember now. I also did the “Jane’s Addiction” logo. Yeah, I may be the cyber princess now, but my earlier media was bubble gum.

(“Wasn’t it that way for all of us, pamie? Wasn’t it?”)

So, yeah, the concert made me a bit nostalgic, a little bruised, and quite a bit old. But I don’t care. Not really. I just wish I could have moshed.

And I still bought t-shirts. I don’t care how much they were. I did want the RHCP panties, though. I wish I had brought more cash.

Leave a Reply