What a great week. I’m tired but hap-hap-happy. With the random things that happen to me – why don’t I go to more shows? Last night was Ludo at the Liquid Lyrics Lounge in Madison. Noelle and Brandi met me there – nice to see them – I’m so glad I made it out despite the previous night’s exhaustion. The Ludo boys were super cute and excited that I was there (if you’re reading this, hi!) – the show was a lot of fun and I’ve been listening to the album since I left.
Thinking about shows and Almost Famous the last two days. From an interview with Damien:
“When I go onstage, and I get this from when I went busking, I love the gigs most of all when I get so lost inside, that the audience doesn’t matter. But actually I’m doing it for them. When I go see someone play what I want to see is someone who is not trying to impress or entertain me – they do what they do so truly that I am lost in them, because they are lost in themselves.”
That is why I love music. The scene in Almost Famous that always, always gets me is towards the end – Fairuza Balk’s character is talking to Billy Crudup about “the new girls” – how they don’t take birth control and eat all the steak – but more importantly that “They don’t even know what it is to be a fan. Y’know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts.” And at that point, I’m reduced to tears. I know – I know. I know what it is to love a silly little piece of music so much that it hurts. How else to explain the visceral memories of Amsterdam, the fact that I’m still writing and rewriting those days and adventures – the way the right chord sequence or soaring voice will just rip my heart out – the way I get totally lost in the moment, in a concert, in a cd – the way that “Sister Awake” transfixes me every single fucking time? Sometimes I find it incredible that I didn’t/haven’t ended up in a career that involves music because it is in so many ways the currency of my memory.
So, in honor of all this, my top ten shows:
1. The Tea Party – Melkveg, Amsterdam – 9 February 2000
Hands down the best musically – on the list – front and center – my whole body shaking
2. The Tea Party – Nighttown, Rotterdam – 10 February 2000
After Amsterdam, before the jam, having spent the entire night out with Trevor – my last Tea Party show for so so long
3. Damien Rice – Park West, Chicago – 23 September 2003
Amazing – the album means so much to me that the intimacy of the show only heightened the emotional effect
4. VAST – The Metro, Chicago – October 2000
My first VAST show – Jon is commandingly intense and insanely beautiful – feels like he’s only looking at you.
5. Tool – Alliant Energy Center, Madison – 8 September 2001
A driving, pounding intensity – several thousand people held in their sway – just dancing and moving near the front, letting the music move me
6. The Tea Party – Brixton Academy, London – 6 February 2000
A night of such joy – the first night on the list – so so many people there for Queensryche that leave raving about Tea Party.
7. VAST – House of Blues, Chicago – November 2000
VAST is headlining a sold out show – up front in vinyl – the music is fun, the audience is better, a guitar pick from Jon and a bag of pretzels from Justin – they remember me next time.
8. Pigface – The Rave, Milwaukee – December 2001
What a great time – always unpredictable, always super cool – Seibold and Curse and Godhead – and oh fuck, they’re playing “Suck” and the entire venue is bouncing and screaming.
9. Arlo Guthrie – Milwaukee – April 1999
He plays “Amazing Grace” and Kevin and I just cry.
10. The Tea Party – Barrymore Theatre, Madison – 17 November 1997
The first introduction to The Tea Party and the bass is so heavy I have to go outside or get sick. Moved physically before emotionally – the beginning of great things.
So my conclusion is that there needs to be a better term for “female fan that follows a band around but doesn’t necessarily sleep with them” than “groupie.” I’m not a groupie, not even with some of my sketchier band-related adventures. I like “band aid” better – but there has to be something better still. I’m a fan. That’s all.