Monday, August 27, 2012

Has anyone ever purposely gone to a CANCELED rock concert just to witness the disappointment of others?


This is the question I asked myself 10 minutes ago.  Some background.  Gig, her friend Derek and I were planning on hitting the Duran Duran show tonight at Stage AE.  So I get up to Pittsburgh around 4 pm.  At 4:24 pm I receive a text message from my friend Jean-Anne.  She was planning on attending.

Here are the texts verbatim...

JA text - Show is postponed, fyi.
Saf text - That sucks.  I just got up here.  Oh well.  They kind of suck anyway.
JA text - It wouldve be a fun night for me.  Nuts.

Odd that Jean-Anne wouldn't have hyphenated the word "wouldve" and didn't use the proper word "been" but that's not where I'm heading with this.

Here's a glance at our rockers back then...

And now.  Behold the ravages of time...

Actually, that's a pretty nice photo.  Although I would have preferred an even more decisively Asian backdrop.  Personally, I am a fan of Duran Duran.  I'll admit it.  Hell, many of us grew up on this shit.  Reflex, Rio, Save A Prayer...  many of these songs have showed up on my live sonofcd compilations.  I will neither be apologetic, nor will I feel shame.

Although my interest in the band has waned (I considered using the word deteriorated), they do have a rabid fan base.  Some of these parts are teeming with men in their mid-40's who eat, live and breathe the Double Durans.  Yes, I'm referring to the middle aged gay population that still frequents the Southside.  And I'd be willing to bet that some homos traveled vast distances to witness their heroes in action.  "Great distance" would likely mean anything less than 2.5 hours.  Canton/Akron area... yes, I'm lookin' right atcha.

So what will happen when these diehard, multiple Duranners show up and find out their evening of debauchery and fanciful night of enlightenment has been CANCELED?  Will their reaction be one of muted despondency?  Will they grow irate and demand refunds?  Will they rape (sodomize), pillage and plunder?  Will they weep uncontrollably?  Will they unleash a same sex, unified verbal tirade?  What exactly will they do?  That's the question.

In about an hour, I will unlock these mysteries.  Me and Gig are still heading down.  Weather-wise, it's simply too nice an evening to hang indoors.  She suggested some outdoor Smurf movie at Schenley Park.  I quickly nixed that.  Slightly worse than that option, Rusted Root (I call them Rusted Soot) is playing at the Allegheny County Fairgrounds.  For some reason, just knowing this makes me feel very agitated.

Sooooo.  For the first ever time in history, I will knowingly visit the grounds of a canceled concert for the sole purpose of witnessing the sadness and misery of others.  I will monitor their reactions and report accordingly.  I think this could prove interesting.  Some might find this whole experiment disturbing... but like I said, it's just too damn nice outside.


Well, it's the next day.  As I previously alluded to, we did indeed head down to the Stage AE parking lot.  Sure enough, there were stragglers here and there.  People were eating at the restaurants so the lot had about 100 cars in it, but one could easily surmise that something just wasn't right.  We went to the box office to get the official low-down and a young man (who might possibly be the owner of the black Jetta from the MMJ show) told us the show had been postponed.  We had 4 comp tickets so a refund wasn't an option.  But we did come away with this memento.

We brought chairs and set them up directly across the street from the box office.  This would prove a fine vantage point for eating our picnic dinner (deli sandwiches, Wavy Lays potato chips, stir fry vegetables and watermelon chunks) and observing the scene.  On the marquee it read "DURAN DURAN POSTPONED."  I was hoping for some human reactions akin to the five stages of death...

To be honest, most people just shrugged it off.  But a few would drive by the box office and their jaws would literally drop.  This was mildly amusing as we witnessed multiple "jaw drops."  And some wandered aimlessly in disbelief.  You know those videos of people returning to their homes after their domicile has burned to the ground.  Obviously, they have trouble coping with the grim reality.  It was kind of like a "watered-down" version of that. 

At one point, I suggested we hold lit candles and have a prayer vigil right next to the box office.  When people ask what we're doing, I would solemnly proclaim, "The Duran Duran tour bus was in a horrible accident on the turnpike.  The entire band is gone.  They perished amongst the twisted wreckage in a fiery crash."  Now that is one seriously fucking warped idea.  Back in the day, I would have considered this.  Nowadays, I mostly just observe.

We had a few conversations.  One guy told of us how he saw them out in California last year and paid $600 for an all access pass, meet and greet with the band, Duran Duran t-shirt, personalized coffee mug, etc.  I twitched and cringed, but somehow managed to hold my tongue.  A couple of ladies in their early 40's explained just how difficult it is to "get out for a night" with work, the kids and the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life.  Finally, 2 lot attendant cleaning guys hung out with us for about 20 minutes.  They regaled us with tales from the Kenny Chesney concert a few months ago.  Fans "shitting in 5 gallon buckets" and leaving behind mountains of trash.  "Those idiots were gross and disgusting."  This was easily the highlight for me.

By the way, the reason for the postponement - their keyboardist Nick Rhodes was ill.  Seriously, he's just the keyboard player.  Maybe you could get one of the roadie/tech guys to fill in.  Then again, it's Duran Duran - likely the most influential synthesizer band of all-time.  Even better than these weirdos.

You gotta admit one thing.  When you have a frank and honest discussion about 1980's high profile musical gingers, the conversation starts and ends with the guy in the middle...

10 years later it's the fucking reincarnation of Rick Astley.

That video never grows stale.  F'in timeless.  Now... witness the final result >>>

Happy Monday.

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