Thursday, June 13, 2002


Last night, I met Bonnie at The Annex after she got off of PIRG and we went to go see the Blush, the Bangs, and the Makers. Once we got inside the club, things proved to be real weird. The Blush was already playing and no one was dancing. Not one person. No one was even up against the stage. The people at the front kept at least a five foot distance between themselves and the stage, and everyone just stood around like they were in an art museum or something - as if this were not a rock show, where there is supposed to be a visceral reaction to the art, where there is supposed to be an active particiaption by the audience in the energy that is created by the band. These people were so lame; the band was cooler than a motherfucking polar bear's toenail, rocking the free world like there was no tomorrow, and yet no one was dancing. Bonnie explained to me that this is how it is at all of the shows she has gone to, and related some funny story about how she went to some indie show in high school and decided to dance anyways, and got food thrown at her. I imagined some similar thing happening if we decided to dance amonst this crowd of "passives," as the Faint might say. So, we stood against the wall and watched this really fun, danceable band finish their set.

After their set, we went to the bar, since we are now 21 and all, and got some beers, drank them, and went back to the floor when we heard the Bangs getting ready to play. These girls were so rock and roll, and they were none too happy about the Madison crowd keeping their distance from the stage, and ordered everyone to take a million steps forward. People looked around at each other to see if other people were going to move up, realized that they should, that if they all did it at the same time, they wouldn't be weird or whatever it was they were fearing, and they all stepped up to the stage finally, making me feel a lot more comfortable since I have never in my life been to any show where people do not press themselves against the stage. Still no one was dancing though, even though the music was so rock and roll and so damn good. The Blush decided to liven things up, and started dancing up front, across the floor from us. No one was dancing by Bonnie and I, but we decided to buck the line of dopey stares and tense bodies, and started to self-consciously dance under control. A slight movement - our bodies still restrained by some sense of decorum. The Blush was still not very happy to be playing to this Madison crowd, they wanted their little Olympia hipsters that would probably dance and show some sign of being alive. One of the girls asked the other if she should turn up the bass. And the other one, the really bitchy one, said something like, "Oh, I don't think we have to worry about that with this crowd." Then after another song, the bitchy one, was trying to make some joke about Scorpio guys before she played her song about them, and no one responded at all to her asking if there were any Scorpios in the crowd. And so, she said something like, "I was trying to make a joke, but I guess that went right over the heads of Madison." And she said it in such a mean way - I couldn't decide if I liked her for her bitchiness or if I thought she was a pompous meanie.

Anyways, after their set, it was back to the bar until the Makers started to play. We downed some more beer and went back out to the floor, where we pushed our way to the front against the stage, which wasn't even really pushing at all - we basically just walked up to the front. The Makers took the stage and were so rock and roll type rock and roll. They were decked out in leather and cowboy boots, looking very glam hard rock, with the big hair and everything. Now there was no one between us and the stage so we couldn't see that no one around us was dancing, and we just went wild, and danced so crazy, and headbanged, and jumped around, and had a good ol' fashioned rockin time, realizing that Bob Seger was so on the money when he said, "Still like that old time rock n' roll - that kind of music just soothes the soul." The lead singer danced around like Steven Tyler and did all these sexual things with his tight half-way unbuttoned shirt and his tight tight rock star jeans. There were some drunk girls behind us that loved to scream, "Take your clothes off" and make "whoooo" noises, which I all too eageraly echoed. We danced up a storm and didn't really care that only a few other people also were - the show was just too damn cool. Then at the end of his encore, the lead singer came over and started singing and gyrating in front of Bonnie and I, and I yelled along with him and he leaned over so that I could yell into the mike with him, and boy oh boy did I ever, and that was me yelling into the mike with Steven Tyler, with Axl Rose, with Brett Michaels, with all those long haired hard rockers I loved to yell along with. And then the show came to a close, and Bonnie and I walked home from the Annex, thinking of how cool it would be to be a rock star and how much we wished that we still had some pizza left at home to eat.

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