Here's the deal. I'm just about to turn thirty. The big three-oh. My so-called friends keep asking me if I'm "okay" with it (like I have a choice), and I am. Really. Or I was, until I went to the Tenacious D/Weezer concert and realized that I'm actually a grown-up with one foot in the grave. For this, I will never forgive JB or KG.
If you don't know who JB or KG is, then, sadly, you're less cool than an aging Gen-Xer. Jack Black (who played Barry in "High Fidelity" and Zero in that
"Lightning Boy" episode of the X-Files) and his bud, Kyle Gass, make up Tenacious D, which Jack describes as being "like a Smothers Brothers for the Dungeons and Dragons misfits set." They're funny as shit. To give you an idea, here are a few song titles: "Fuck Her Gently," "Karate Schnitzel," and my personal fave, "Double Team."
My husband (damn I sound old) gave me The D's self-titled CD as a present. It has been in his sole possession ever since, much like the hardcore porn and SuperNintendo he gave me.
The CD rocks, so I got us tickets to the Tenacious D/Weezer show in Fort Worth. Now I'm not a huge Weezer fan. It's not that I don't like them; I inevitably like all their songs on the radio, but I haven't gone so far as to actually plop down my hard-earned money for any of their CDs. They haven't quite broken through that "pay to play" barrier.
The concert was at the Fort Worth Convention Center on November 27th. That night, the Dallas/Fort Worth area was under a "severe winter storm alert," which, for those of you who live in climates that actually experience winter, means that it was going to dip into the low 70s. But we fought the blizzard and made it to the concert.
Here's where I started feeling old. We got in line to be searched for cameras, tape recorders, and anthrax, and everyone there is twelve years old. I'm serious. So I'm feeling like someone's mom or something. Very uncool.
One thing I did notice, when I wasn't focusing on my impending mortality, was that, despite the consistency of the crowd's age, there was a real diversity among the kiddies: there were D&D'ers, metal heads, mini-frat boys, goth types, regular kids. A real mix.
So we made it to our seats, which were not as good as I thought they were going to be, but good enough for some freeloading teenagers to try to steal them. We reclaimed our seats, and the guy in back of us started bitching to
no one in particular about how he drove all the way from Oklahoma and now he wasn't even allowed to drink a brewsky without a Texas ID. "Next thing you know, they won't even let me smoke in here," which was particularly funny because it was true.
Turns out, we had gotten there just in time. Within five minutes, Tenacious D took the stage. (Luckily, we missed Jimmy Eat World, or as I like to call them, Joanie Loves Chachi.) The D put on a great live show---they started out with "Wonderboy" (the only song of theirs that can be played on the radio without wacky sound effects bleeping out every other word), and then went through their best songs.
What was clear from their live performance is that these guys are not only incredibly funny, but are really talented musicians. Their only instruments are guitars (not counting the skinflute or whatever it was that Jack played later in the performance) and both boys kicked ass, particularly Kyle. They did some dueling guitar riffs that were pretty cool. My favorite part was when Jack broke out this electric
saxophone type thing and played some eighty-ish, Axel F/Harold Faltermeyer ditty while Kyle danced. That was the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.
The only thing I didn't like about The D's show was that some of their ad-libbing with the audience seemed overly prepared, but that's a small criticism. Overall, awesome show.
During all this, I'm looking around at all the little kiddies, thinking I'm old, and then something quite miraculous happens: a group of senior citizens (okay, late thirties) comes in and sits down in front of us. They're all dressed in black, trying hard to be young and hip, with their squarish, 1950s Weezeresque glasses and their cool opera binoculars. Wait, opera binoculars? Yeah, this one oldster actually whips out this teeny, tiny little pair of binocs, like he's at the race track or the Met or something, and passes them around to his oldtimer cohorts. Very, very sad. And despite the fact that my hair's in pigtails and I'm wearing my very best pair of Sketchers, I don't feel so pathetic after all.
After like an hour's wait, Weezer took the stage to thunderous applause. They sounded great, even though I later learned they were breaking in a new bass guitarist. The best part of the show, though, was taking place a few rows over, where this kid was sitting on the edge of the balcony, obviously waiting to make his move to the open-seating area eight feet below. Now, you have to imagine this all in one movement, like a choreographed dance: the kid saw his opening, jumped down, and the security guy that was standing two feet away the whole time took the kid by the arm and escorted him out. Ah, sweet youth.
Although Weezer sounded really good, overall their show sucked. Sure, they played all the crowd pleasers like "Island in the Sun" and "Photograph." But their light show consisted of two spotlights periodically blinding the audience and a picture of a sun flickering behind them. I don't require full-blown KISS pyrotechnics, but come on. The shoddy presentation could have been forgiven if they had shown just a little interest in the audience and given us a shout-out. Even a "Hello, Cowtown!" would've been acceptable. But they didn't talk to us. Not once. Which was very uncool, even for Buddy Holly wannabes.
So that's it. That was the last concert of my carefree twenties.
One last thing. On the drive home, still grappling with the meaning of my imminent birthday, I asked my husband, "Do I look old?" He paused thoughtfully and replied, "It depends on what you mean by 'old.'"
Happy birthday to me.
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