... goes to Bertrand. When, open-mouthed, after the first four members of the Scissor Sisters appeared on stage, he said, "My god! They are all gay!" HAHAHAHA. He proceeded to look rather shocked and perplexed for the next half hour. Somehow he had been listening to this group for months without ever having seen them in photos or videos.
But seriously, this was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. The band itself is excellent, their outfits were second only to Erasure, and there was no air conditioning so I think I lost about three pounds in sweat. Bonus!
My experience last night made me think about my favorite concerts ever. And so I present, in no particular order, my top ten. My only hope is that this list will change in the coming months and years as I see more concerts!
1. The Cure, San Diego Sports Arena, 1991. My first concert ever. I was 11 or 12 and my friend Lisa Padowitz got tickets and invited me. My parents wouldn't let me go but then caved in... only if they could go too. Fine. So they got crappy seats way up in the nosebleed area and Lisa and I were up close, surrounded by people in eyeliner and black and white striped socks. I fell in love with Robert Smith. At the entrance, the people who frisked everyone were surprised by my parents. After my mom entered, one security guard said, "Wow, I think that's the oldest person here." And the guy who had just frisked my dad pointed back at him and said, "No, that guy is." My dad couldn't handle the noise and waited in the car after 15 minutes.
2. U2, Madison Square Garden, NYC, October 22, 2001. I had already seen them twice, once at the LA Coliseum for the PopMart tour, and again just months before at Madison Square Garden. But when they came back just a month after Sept 11 for a benefit concert for the victims of the WTC attack, they played almost exactly the same songs, but with a completely different meaning. Not a dry eye in the house.
3. Pink Floyd, Palau St. Jordi, Barcelona, July 1995. I snuck out of my hotel room while on a tour of Spain with my symphony to catch this group I'd never heard of. Hey, I was young, sorry. I got in even more trouble than I'd been in the night before for getting stuck in an elevator in our hotel (we had 8 people in a 3 person elevator) but it was totally worth it. I had to be chaperoned for the rest of the trip. Hahaha. I heard they're coming back this summer, and I will most certainly be there. MONEY!
4. Erasure, Irving Plaza, NYC, April 17, 2005. I had a long-running Erasure joke with a colleague from Rockstar and couldn't believe it when that colleague (who works in Scotland) and Erasure (who stopped touring years ago) were both in NYC the same week. So of course I had to get tickets. Two guys and a synth, like one million gay-tastic outfits (some of which might not actually be considered "outfits" at all... more like "nudity"), half of the aging gay population of NYC, some of the greatest songs (arguably) of the 80s... what more do you want? To see them again the next night, of course! And I must admit, I was tempted. Now I wish I had.
5. The Killers, Los Angeles, E3 Video Game Conference Opening Party, May 2005. This was amazing because very few people from E3 seemed to realize that this band was playing the opening party. And, as a result, I was in the front row getting my ribs smashed against the stage, as one of my favorite bands rocked out to a VERY small crowd. Tickets to see them in NYC would've been impossible to come by, so I consider myself blessed.
6. Royksopp, Razzmatazz Barcelona, November 2005. Huy and I caught this dial-twirling duo from Norway at our favorite dirty, packed club in Barcelona. Their music means a lot to me personally, and it was amazing to hear it all live, smooshed between some of the most spectacular (and smelly) mullets I've ever seen. Also, if you've never seen Huy's dance moves... phenomenal.
7. Cake, La Paloma, Barcelona, November 2005. Yes, In one week I saw three concerts. (The third was Coldplay.) It happened immediately after realizing I hadn't failed my first term midterms, and so a week of celebration was required. Obviously. La Paloma is an old ballroom that, in it's heyday, must have been amazing. Now it's sort of cheezy. But I can only imagine the kind of parties you could have in a place like that... wow. Anyway Cake was great, and another band that would've been impossible to get tickets to see in the US. We spent most of the concert yelling, "We like your beard!" and "Wow! You're really tall!" They liked it. Or pretended to, anyway.
8. Prince, Madison Square Garden, NYC, March 2003. I bought these tickets from someone on Craigslist for an unreasonable sum. Wait, no, totally reasonable for the following reasons: I LOVE Prince, the concert was amazing and lasted nearly 3 hours, Nicole and I had an incredible time singing along to every song, and back then I wasn't a student, but a well-paid producer. Peanuts! Prince played an hour with his band (of which every member is ridiculously talented) and then disappeared for about 15 minutes, only to emerge through the floor on a stool BY HIMSELF with an acoustic guitar and play another hour of his hits completely alone. Unreal. Of course, followed by 2 encores with the band. Sweaty, sore-throated goodness.
9. Blink, SOMA, San Diego, 1995-1996. Back when Blink-182 was still just "Blink" and when they were still a San Diego secret, my friends and I went to see them at this dingy little dive four or five times, always with different opening bands: Pennywise, Circle Jerks, Rocket from the Crypt. I think my favorite concert was the one where someone decided to do a stage dive off a massive speaker and landed right on my head. I thought I broke my neck for a few minutes. At that same concert my friend Diana Fakrai got too close to the mosh pit and took a fist to the nose... broken! Nosebleed! THAT'S ROCK AND ROLL, SUCKAS!!!
10. Scissor Sisters, Espacio Movistar, Barcelona, April 25, 2007. So I've already mentioned the spectacular outfits (the lead singer stripped down to sparkly golden panties by the end of the show), the fantastic songs, and the sweaty goodness. But don't forget the broken Spanglish ("Ella es muy bonita... y SUCIO!") and the sight of Bertrand and Francesc boogie-ing down with what appeared to be all the members of the Village People immediately behind them. Stellar.
11. Guns N Roses & Metallica, San Diego, 1993. Every top 10 list needs an 11. How could I have forgotten this concert? My first year of high school... seemed like EVERYONE from my school went. They totally rocked, especially when they accidentally set the curtains on fire! And what's more, this concert took place only 2 years after my first one, but I managed to get there without my parents even knowing because I went with some friends who were juniors (oooh!) and had a car. So they will only know of my attendance at this concert when they read my blog. And THAT is ..... ROCK AND ROLLLLLLLLL!