Monday, December 08, 2003

Top Five Live

In ethics today, we discussed pleasure and offensiveness. It was a sort of lovely discussion, the kind where I can't quite formulate anything to say (except to point out that, at least for me, rock shows are effectively the same as attending a sporting event in that you can shed certain social controls, etc.) but I end up thinking a lot.

Side note: my neighbor's fucking neglected dog is barking again. I'm surprised the fucker still has the ability to bark, it is so constantly noisy. I'm glad we are moving, or that I have moved, for all intents and purposes. I receive mail at the new address. My stuff is there, except this desk and computer. I sleep there. It's nice. Anyway.

So I was thinking about that feeling of freedom that comes with being part of a throng of joy like that, the energy. It's what keeps drawing me to live shows, it's why I have to dance and enjoy the show by participating. I wanted to say things about some of the bands I've seen that exemplified the notions we discussed, like TchKunG! and the controlled anarchy, or Jason Webley and the marches down the middle of the road. One girl brought up how people were being jerks at the Red Hot Chili Peppers show and security got involved, though, so I didn't think this was my crowd to listen to that.

Not that I want to be a snob--even though I am--but normal kids getting rowdy at a funky pop band (they are pop now, dudes) is fundamentally different from the mild insanity at a good punk show. For reals.

God, I wish that fucking dog would shut up already.

Anyway, here's my top five live shows (bands I've seen multiple times grouped together) that get this kinda feeling, and how, and why.

  1. TchKunG! - They are fucking anarchists. It's incredible, the sense of freedom and rebellion that comes when you're part of a mob that's shouting to tear down the government. Even if I don't honestly embrace those politics (I am a lefty, but I'm not an anarchist by any means), I did for the duration of the show. It's liberating as hell, ironically, to be part of a group all saying the same thing.
  2. Jason Webley - There were two shows in particular (of the dozen times I saw the man) that made the disparate crowd feel like a loving family: The Birthday Show and the Halloween Show of 2001. The Birthday Show involved eating a giant tomato cake and made me want to give the man a hug afterwards (which I did). The Halloween Show lead us all on a long trek down the middle of University Way to the water, where we set stuff on fire and bid Jason farewell (forever, once again). Webley has fallen out of favor with me, however, after a Halloween show that put a nasty taste in my mouth and I was too exhausted to follow anymore.
  3. The Gossip - I've said it before, but Beth Ditto is one of the only performers who makes me want to put as much into my enjoyment of the show as she puts into performing it.
  4. Radiohead - When Becky and I saw them on the Running from Demons tour in 1998, it was the first big concert we'd been to, and it was nearly transcendant in that regard. The band is fabulous live, of course, and we danced and sang along and did everything possible to enjoy every last minute of it.
  5. I'm having a hard time coming up with, for now, it's four.

Sooo...I'm off to the new place again, this time with Josie and her laundry. Woo hoo for afternoons with friends!

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