Saturday, October 22, 2011
The jayHawks at The Beacon 10/21/11
In a little while I will be up at the local high school for the homecoming game, soon they will start the bon fire and burn the effigies of Qaddafi and Bin Laden. Not so. That was a joke. Last night I saw the JayHawks with Erik. It was the spur of the moment event. Each time I hear the band on WFUV, I’m curious if they’re coming around. So, I bought tickets. I don’t know the history of the band. I know they broke up and are back together. The original line up played the Beacon. I think that's what we saw. The opening act was Roseanne Cash which I have to report we missed. Traffic on the 59th St Bridge crawled into the city. The bridge is free, saves $9 in tolls. We found a spot on the street, saving $27. These amounts floated in my head since I shelled out $100 for the two tickets though Erik drove and he said he’d pay me back. For dinner we splurged and bought a Recession Meal ($5) at Papaya King, 2 hot dogs and Papaya juice and headed up to get into the theatre. There were scalpers outside. The show was not sold out. One was ready to give us two tickets for the price of one. Next time I may scalp. The crowd was older than I thought. The venue was ornate. The last time I was in the Beacon was to see REM on their Little America tour for their second album, Reckoning. Erick bought two beers, $17 and we went in. The band wasn’t on yet. The crowd was better dressed than us, the middle aged woman were - beautiful - in dresses, men in sports jackets and we stood there in our sweat jackets and scruffy hair. We took our seats after I bought a round for us. The stage was sparse, no back drop, just the stage lights. A drunkish gentlemen sitting next to me asked, “What’s your favorite JayHawks song?” I don’t know any. Here’s the deal, I have this fear of being put on the spot like that. Reminds me when I was in 8th grade and hanging out with Bob Pelton at the pizzeria in East Northport, MaMa Jean’s II. We don’t know where the first one was. This girl came up to me, some hippie chick who was in a grade older than me and asks, “What’s your favorite band?” I don’t know why but I wanted to impress her and I said, “Led Zeppelin.” I guess this was the answer everyone in the place was giving her so she wanted some validation - I knew what the fuck I was talking about. This brings me back to drunk fuck sitting next to me. She asked me all of these decades before, “What’s your favorite song by Zep and don’t say Stairway to Heaven.” It was the only sing I knew the title of. She pointed her finger at me as if she knew I was talking shit. I said nothing back to her. Should have asked her why she wanted to know. Why do you care? If I was 46 back then I may have: instead of getting embarrassed -when she asked me who my favorite band was. If I was honest and said, Boston and their song Don’t Look Back it would have been a closed door case. I was the ass and I was an ass last night since I fumbled out, “Ah, I don’t know any titles…I like what I hear on WFUV. I think they sound cool, sort of like Big Star.” Drunk fuck had a blank look on his face and said slowly, “I like their song, Blue.” I nodded and turned my attention back to Erik. Here’s the review for the show. Good. Most of the songs were off their new CD, which I’m listening to as I’m typing – the song Stand Out In the Rain “Where you going all alone…were you gone.” It was beautiful, since the lyrics brought me back to a distant moment when I was in the rain with an old girlfriend. They have a sort of Neal Young twist as well. They played High Water Blues with the singer removing his guitar and holding the mic and appearing so awkward, like when a teacher performs with his teachers band in front of the students at the school's variety show. He danced a little, and knew he couldn’t dance and then kept his attention on their keyboardist who would reassure him with a slight smile from her lips. It’s alright honey, just go back to the guitar. No, please don’t pump your fist…oh, there you…go. Since I’m not a huge fan and there were at least twelve huge fans in the audience, who waited after the show for some of the members to sign their CD, I felt like I was wrapped in a sort of distant quasi culture. I’m curious to learn more about the musicians. The drummer sang lead on one song and was in perfect harmony with the lead guitarist. After the show we crawled back on the 59th bridge back to Queens, and I made it home this morning like a rock star at 2:30. The college kids at corner house were holding a huge party, but I put a end to it with a call to the cops since I wasn’t going to confront fifty drunk college kids and their plastic cups filled with warm beer. The cops came and silence rose into the night for some sleep before the sun rose over our house.
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