Fantastic Shoes

I’ve never been a very good fan.

I have a hard time wearing things on my T-shirts.  I’m not a big chanter, screamer, “Oh my God…” type of person.

I do, however, love music and there have been two times in my life that I have slept on a sidewalk for concert tickets.  Once in junior high for the Jackson Reunion Tour and the other in college for R.E.M. tickets.  Those two moments were the closest I’ve ever been to fan-tastic.

The Jacksons cancelled their concert, even though I had a roach crawl across my hair just to get floor seats, so I’m not discussing them.

R.E.M. was worth every yucky moment.  They were energizing, super talented and my gold standard fan memory.  After eating bad food and enduring a lingering sidewalk piss smell throughout the night, we stumbled to the box office and secured 5th row seats.

My friend, Tara, touched Michael Stipe’s shoe.  We told that story over and over again just to let people know exactly how great our seats were.  It was a terrific night, but I learned a few things at the R.E.M. concert.

I don’t like most fans. Stipe began singing Everybody Hurts, for those of you not familiar, it’s a slow sort of heart wrenching song, and girls were screaming and crying and I could barely hear over the, “I love you Michael!!”

I wanted to smack them and I’m pretty sure if I had been of drinking age, something would have gone down.

Hard to smack a total stranger without some liquid courage and nineteen year old Tracy certainly wasn’t drinking under age.  Okay, maybe I wouldn’t have even slapped her. Maybe I’ve never slapped a stranger in my life.  So, not the point.  Moving on, the point is, I was mad.  I paid money to hear a band perform, not listen to some crazy nut scream and carry on.

I prefer to listen to music in the context of my own life.  In other words, standing there on the sticky floor, listening to What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? I realized I’d rather be driving in my car.  I would prefer it be just me and R.E.M. cleaning my apartment or studying for a test instead of all these other people singing along with them.  I wanted to say, “Could you shut it?  This my favorite part and your voice is awful.”

And finally, the total adoration thing at concerts annoys me.  They’re musicians, they’re a band.  Stop shaking and crying and being…dumb.

Michael Stipe, and R.E.M., are very talented song writers.  He is a mesmerizing performer, but he’s not gorgeous.  I don’t want to take a shower with him.  Why do people need to do that, make someone that’s so much more into an object?  Why are you screaming, “I love you” and why are you grabbing your friend and telling her, “He’s so beautiful!”?

He’s really not and they’re starting Orange Crush, and I didn’t sleep on the damn street to be distracted by you and your posters.

The posters…don’t even get me started.  I know, this isn’t a very generous post.  People go to concerts to have fun and clearly, I’m no fun.  This is why I stay away.  Maybe I’m just not a fan of people?

Sigh…that’s probably true too, but fan-tastic people really are the worst.

My thoughts from the laundry room.  What’s That Smell?


15 thoughts on “Fantastic Shoes

  1. Hah! Loved every word of this. I used to go to shows all the time, and on more than one occasion, I was obnoxious and rude to the obnoxious and rude 6’2″ dude who decided to stand in front of me (even though there wasn’t any room) and I’m 5’2″. My husband is a musician and I haven’t been to one of his shows in at least two years (that kinda makes me sad, actually). Thanks for sharing your REM experience. (I almost met them once–at a party, but they left just before we got there. Instead, I got to meet Natalie Merchant who looked at me like I was a freak.)

  2. This brought me back to my very first concert- Korn. One I would never go to, personally, but my brother loved them and it was his birthday. Luckily, my cousin, who was in her twenties and far more concert experienced, suggested we move off the floor and into the seats second-song-in. We watched people tear clothes, body slam and leave with bruises and cuts. It may just be me, but that is clearly not fun. Our group enjoyed the show from afar, silently bobbing our heads and applauding.

    It’s about the music, pure and simple.

  3. I’ve always been a fan of concerts but I’m more of an on-the-lawn kind of venue girl than big arenas. What I HATE is what you described so well, those that feel the need to sing OVER the artist. WTF! I’m not a violent person at all but I could pop a b*tch for that. My other biggest concert grievance is people that choose to stay in their seats and get pissed when you get up to move to the music. What the hell are they there for??? I feel music as much as I hear it…it’s damn near impossible for me to be still. ESPECIALLY while being sung by my favorite artists. Great post 🙂 I’m glad the prompt triggered this memory 🙂

  4. I had no idea what the prompt was all about until I googled it, listened to the song and thought, “Oh duh. I know this song!” Despite not remembering the song title at first glance, I’m into music but hate hate HATE concerts for all the reasons you mention!

  5. I’m pretty sure we were separated at birth. I’ll have to look into that:). And yes, you nailed it. In the kitchen, doing dishes, dancing and singing my heart out is always best. No shower with Michael Stipe. But maybe an “around the bonfire” conversation, yes?

  6. This is one of many reasons I’m not an avid concert goer either. The other main reason is parking and being stuck in traffic coming and going. Sigh. Oh my gahd I’m no fun anymore!

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