Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Saturday night was the concert I wanted to see all summer. The Foo Fighters were playing at University of Pittsburgh in Oakland at the Peterson Events Center. I'd never been there but knew it was a high-end, state of the art venue. I was supposed to go with Stollar, but she had to bail. I think she had to run her boyfriend a bath. No big deal. I asked Jess if she wanted to go. Couldn't get out of work early. Then I asked my favorite ex-neighbor Meredith. Couldn't get a hold of her. Then, I figured that I'm a big boy. I've been to Pittsburgh over 500 times. I'll just accept the harsh reality that I'm a LOSER and head up all by myself. I left around 5pm. Pittsburgh is a mess these days, with the North Shore closed and single lane traffic coming off the ramps of Oakland. I wanted to get up there early and perhaps do a little tailgating. I parked on the street and headed to The O. Snagged a corned beef sandwich and ate it en route back to the car. Snagged a lower level single ticket for $20 off some dude. I then ran into my favorite scalper - Tim. Hung out with him for a while. He wasn't making shit, so we just discussed the nature of the crowd, how there was no tailgating scene and how the venue is really sharp, but it seemed like people were gathering for a church service, not a rock concert. I sat on the steps and watched the procession outside the main entrance. Way too orderly. People were barely even speaking, let alone partying. I thought to myself - is this really a Foo Fighters concert or did I get the wrong night and it's Enya or Bjork or Michael Bolton or some other fuck?
I ran into some Shadyside guys who hang at the Tiger Pub. They praised my foosball skills even though I was the first one eliminated in the tournament earlier in the week. I had a good partner too. We just couldn't git'r'dun (Shady Hole Cracker Town style). Sometimes these things happen. I also saw Lou and I'm guessing his girlfriend's kids.
Anyway, I decided to skip the opening act Supergrass even though I like them. Instead, I decided to focus on my water bottle of cheap red wine. I went in at the break and went toward my seat. Just as I'm about to sit down I run into the indomitable couple of Kerri F and Mike Vis-Wis. I hadn't seen these two in a few years. We talked about old times and I showed them my 1992 drivers license. That's always a good way to get the party started. I resemble a dirtball convict with oversized shaded glases and some kind of ill-formed mullett. Then, I saw Kevin R. and his buddy behind me. So, even though my loserdom status was evident, at least I felt like I was amongst friends and part of the normal concertgoing crowd.
The week earlier, I had hosted a party and we listened to The Who tribute concert on VH1 featuring Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Incubus and a few others doing Who cover songs. The two songs that stood out were obviously from my two top bands. The Foo Fighters and the lead singer of Supergrass did a version of Bargain that I just couldn't get out my head for a week, Pearl Jam did The Real Me which also kicked varying degrees of ass.
I was very tempted to google the setlist from the Cleveland show the previous night. I had resisted temptation but was too curious to see if they'd play Bargain. Anyway, I succumbed and just like Jehovah or Ezekial or some religious freak once said, "Lo and behold, there it was." BARGAIN - the second song of three in the encore. Well, no skipping out early on this one. I figured I'd exit just before they closed the show with Generator. That's cool because I'm not a huge fan of that song.
Our seats were pretty good. Standard lower level, directly across from the main stage. As expected, Dave Grohl was in standard form. Screaming his lungs off at just about every opportunity. For those who've seen the band, they know what I'm talking about. "ALRIGHT, ARE YOU READY, HERE WE GO, RRRROOOOOAAARRRRR." If you've seen them, you get it. If you haven't; Well, just stick with your bubblegum Good Charlotte emo-pop shit because you suck and I find you loathsome. They had an acoustic stage set up right in front of us. They played a few tunes a little over halfway through the show on that stage. Marigold is a killer tune. Skin and Bones is not. And they played another poor one which the drummer sang. Grohl had an amusing anecdote where he spoke of his family and band members which were from the surrounding area outside the Burgh. He mentioned a cheap hotel in Breezewood where they'd go on family vacations. You know, the kind of hotel where you eat a large bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken while the hookers venture in and out. Much funnier than my rendition.
As expected, the entire show ROCKED. I'm actually glad they played indoors. It had been a while since I'd seen a real rock band in an summer indoors arena style show. Pealr Jam at Mellon arena 2 years ago was probably it. They ripped into Bargain near the end. Definitely the highlight among about a dozen highlights. I bolted immediately and zipped out of Oakland in record time. Back in Wheeling to hit the Alpha and the Ho with a friend. My evening ended around 4am. There's a few hours in there that shall remain unblogged. Whew. What a night.
So here's the moral of the story. Even if you're a loser, try not to lose out.

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