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Wednesday May 03, 2000, 01:17

so there was this concert. it was a good concert, i thought, as far as concerts go, but i am now left strangely dissatisfied.

(i would like to note that the show itself was really neat, and they did some amazing things with video screens and big images of drops of water and fire and people underwater and fields of flowers and the lighting was fairly interesting and i have to learn more about morpheus systems because they look cool and all. but the following is all about how i'm a picky bastard.)

wow! nine inch nails in town! we have to go see them! neat. tickets were purchased, for seats, not the general admission in the bit and get stompd on seats. this seemed like the right thing to do at the time. we're getting old. we don't want these little angry 14 years olds beating on us. etc etc.

the show itself was good. performance-wise, it was everything that i wanted a nin show to be, with the lighting being interesting, though not the spectacle i've heard it's been in the past, and with some really cool video things. we got to see the keyboardist get really upset at his instrument, bang on it a lot, take a flying leap at it to have the keyboard and attached stand/arm to go pivoting off of the platform where said keyboardist was standing and deposit him and his instrument on the floor at which point the running crew deftly maneuvered the arm/stand back into position and replaced the keyboard while trent and the keyboardist were still beating up the now dead one on the stage. also, many guitars were broken.

i'll have to say that while it is all part of the act and whatnot (i can only assume that these people aren't so full of rage that they break things willynilly), i found it laughable when the bandmembers would raise their instruments up over their heads and bring them crashing down to the ground. or when mic stands would get thrown around the stage. "look at me! i'm so bad! and i'm breaking things."

i mean at one point trent actually poured a bottle of water over the keyboard, seemingly just for kicks.

but i think that the thing that's really bothering me about this experience is that i wasn't in the pit getting my ass kicked. not that i don't need a good ass kicking, but that's not the point. the point is that by standing in the stands, watching the show and watching the mob of people down below, i was detached from the experience.

to me, live music is similar to live theatre in that there is something very real about seeing people on a stage performing for an audience and playing off of the audience. in the case of live music, however, it's much more a matter of the crowd and the audience reacting to the performance. i don't know music. i know when i like what i hear, and i knwo what i think sucks. but i don't know that some particular song sounds better because the keyboardist is really "on" tonight. it just doesn't hit me like that.

what i do know from concert experiences is that there are all these people who are expected to yell and scream and take in the music and spit back out their emotions. and i know that that's the important part to me. the music is the catalyst for the human spirit or some such thing.

the most impressive moements of the show tonight, for me, weren't the lighting effects (some of which were cool), but were rather the times when i felt that the entire venue somehow just clicked. there were the seas of lighters in the darkened arena. and for "hurt," there was a echo surrounding every word sung, not from some fancy micing, but rather from the sound of every person in there singing along to the song. an echo, a slow rush of air surrounding his words, coming from the audience. produced by the audience as a response to the performer.

it was really magical, and i don't think there's anything i could possibly say which could properly describe the experience. even moreso because i'm not even sure if it was something that actually happened or if it was just something that i imagined, stemming from my own singing along.

so i missed out on the sweaty moving mass of people in the pit. i miss that. i miss the moving and the feeling like a part of this big thing. experiencing the music and the people and the lights and the heat and the smoke. and avoiding the fist to your jaw. i think i just didn't leave the show riled up enough.

which is the other thing. the final notes of "hurt" having faded away and the applause still going, the lights of the arena were flicked on and people started streaming out the doors. there was no sense of closure. no sense of "we just were part of this thing" for me.

which is really what the entire concert experience is all about for me.

...

of course after all this talk of people and group collective experiences, i went rollerblading this weekend, by myself. it was a wonderful thing, and i was finally hit with that rush of whatever it is you're hit with when you realize that the pain from exercise is really a good kind of pain and your struck with the awful realization that your gym teacher in high school might have actually been telling the truth.

then again, i did sit down on a bench in the park to listen to some music and had a completely non-interactive non-experience with the woman sitting next to me, which is sometimes almost as valid as an actual human contact experience.

...

waiting for the subway yesterday, i saw a girl standing down the platform from me. she had to pull her skirt down as it kept on inching up her legs, leaving her, it would seem, rather uncomfortable. the train approached, i got on and we sat almost facing each other for the about four stops. she got up, walked towards the door and adjusted her skirt on her way out.

as she walked out the door, the man sitting closest to her slowly tracked her movements with his eyes. making only subtle adjustments to his head he watched as she walked down out, along side the train, and out of sight.

i can't help but wonder what it must feel like to have people watching you all the time just because you're wearing a skirt.

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