On Holiday: The Concert

So for those of you who don’t know, I spent some time away from Lamesville last week. It was beautiful. So beautiful that it can only be expressed through several blog posts. I’ll start with the concert, which was the reason I was to go to Austin in the first place.

The show in question was the Ra Ra Riot show I’ve been looking forward to since they announced it a couple of months ago. I mentioned my desire to see it and RJ said he’d get us tickets for my birthday. Since I still don’t have a job for various reasons, I decided to make a holiday out of it and stay for several days.

After arriving in the midst of rush hour traffic and (my first instance of) getting lost, I was whisked away for a quick dinner before the doors to the Belmont opened up. It was a really nice little venue, with an upper outdoor balcony, a lower teensy part-indoor balcony and a decent outdoor area where the stage was set up. Last time I saw Ra Ra Riot was at Emo’s and let me just say that the Belmont was moving up in the world.

The opening band was one called Pacific Air, and the singer’s voice reminded me of someone else but I can’t place who. The were pretty darn good, which is always a good thing for an opening band because it means you’re not continually looking at your watch wondering when their set is up. I’m actually listening to them on Spotify as I type this. I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing them again. Here’s a bit of their music for you to enjoy while you read.

Then they left and everyone who had been milling around the bar taking selfies with their iPhones started pushing toward the stage in preparation for Ra Ra Riot’s set to start. The crowd in the “pit” seemed very young, as evidenced by their little unlined faces, twig-like legs, and the big black X on their hands.

Because we are old, RJ and I stood on the little balcony where it was pleasant and we didn’t have to fight with people to see the stage. There was also a handy rail just beside us where I was able to place the empty glasses from the (several) vodka and Sprites I had. They were just so smooth, you see. Also, RJ was picking up the tab. And if there’s one thing my mother taught me it’s that if someone else is paying for the booze, you should soak it up.

Anyway, I got some great pictures. I can’t remember if this was “Oh, La” or “Is It Too Much.”

The show was awesome, to say the least. I was a little worried that they wouldn’t play much of their old stuff or have rearranged it to not have the cellist, but in a rare moment of the universe smiling on me they seem to have acquired a new cellist. This meant I got to hear pretty much all my favorite songs from all three albums, with the exception of “Kansai.” They never play “Kansai.”

SAMSUNGMy favorite parts were everyone singing and dancing to “Dance With Me” and their encore of “Dying is Fine.” When they played “Ghost Under Rocks” I actually cried because I couldn’t help thinking about my little Bucky. I think that song will forever be linked with him in my mind.

This was the first concert I’ve been to in over a year, and I missed it so much. Someone once told me I wasn’t allowed to say I have social anxiety issues because I love going to concerts, which is really missing the whole point. Live music is an amazing thing because you can be the most awkward, nervous person on the planet, but once the music starts to play you’re not just one person anymore. You’re part of this amazing group who has gathered from all over to dance, sing, laugh and share this vibe between the audience and the band. You’re not alone. And if you dance like an idiot, or spill your drink, or accidentally grab someone’s ass, it’s cool because you probably won’t see them again. It’s better than therapy.

After the encore, we made it back to my car in the spritzing rain and RJ drove because I’d been drinking. We got back to the house at a reasonable time and flopped into bed, where we watched Fawlty Towers until we passed out. It was a great start to my little holiday.

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