Saturday, June 16, 2001

...the space between

The company I work for has a luxury box at Foxboro Stadium. They raffled off tickets to people in the corporate officewho would want to go to certain shows this year, and I won tickets to see Dave Matthews Band. I love older Dave Matthews stuff, not fond of the new album... but hey. Luxury box. Free beer. Comfortable and safe surroundings for my daughter to go see her first concert, and a band she actually likes. I figured this would be an ass kicking 9th birthday present for my best girl... so I decided to take her instead of my husband (who, by the way, dislikes DMB greatly...).

The kids and I spent the afternoon at a pond, and I got a killer sunburn. I always remember to put sunscreen on them and not on myself. It was monkey hot that day, and I really wanted for us to get out and have fun swimming and sunning. My daughter and I left for Foxboro at 4:30. When I was much younger, the need to get there before noon to tailgate, eat, drink and puke in the parking lot was a lot stronger.... I felt that if we got there before the opening artist, Macy Gray, was finished, and before DMB started playing, that'd be good timing.

We got to the Foxboro area at about 6pm. Parked in a motel parking lot for $20 and walked the mile to the stadium. Again, it was super monkey hot, there were tons of drunk college students... and my 9 year old daughter right there among them. She seemed completely oblivious to their behavior, which made me feel good. She had the binoculars in hand, and was enjoying listening to the songs that the tailgaters were blasting from their cars. The parking lot area brought back a lot of memories for me, being a drunk stupid college student once upon a time... I honestly don't remember ever being THAT drunk and stupid though.

She asked for a slushie (turned her mouth horrid blue) and we got to the stadium, the luxury box, the beer, the pizza and the whole 9 yards before Macy sang her "signature song" which I can't stand. We had binoculars, a view of all God's creation, and it was refreshingly cool up in the box with the window wide open, and the cold beer and good friends from my office to hang out with.

Dave and the boys took the stage at about 8:20, earlier than I expected. With luxury box tickets you also get tickets in the stands, our tickets were right on the 50 yard line (had it been a football game) in the very low section of the first tier above the floor. After DMB took the stage, they were about 3 songs into their performance, I suggested we go down to our seats to see what the view was like there.

We fought the crowd, made it to our seats. Someone was in them, of course, so I made no big deal of it and we just stood beside the drunk college students who were in our seats. The row of drunk college students in front of us had a guy in the midst of them who looked like he was going to hurl. He'd stand up straight, sing along, wave his arms, yell "Wooooooo hooooo!" and then he'd bend over at the waist, fix his hands upon his knees and breathe heavily for a little while, hunched over forward in vomit-position. I kept a good eye on him... I didn't want him to do a lightning fast 180 degree turn and slather my daughter with spew.

Jessica noticed the pot smell, and I asked her if she was bothered by it. She said the smoke itself, not the smell was bothering her. I asked her if she wanted to go back yet, and she said she wanted to stay there a little while longer. I got the impression that she was kind of nervous, but it was exciting and weird at the same time. The band went into "Sattelite" and had a woman singing in some one of the many African languages (Dave's big into his Africa roots), and it was very pretty. Jessica was fascinated by the stage backdrops, they looked like tree trunks, made of taut canvas, painted in a way that made them also look sort of like snake skin. She eventually started applauding and "Wooo hoooo"-ing along with the crowd, and was getting into it.

Aside from the fabulous music, the crowd watching was the best part. I watched this tall, black security dude behind our row of seats keep a tube-topped, drunken blonde-floozy from scamming her drunken ass down into our section. He was a riot, not putting up with her drunk ass shit as she drunkenly begged him to let her go "back to her seat" and she didn't have her ticket because she "dropped it" somewhere when she went to the ladies room... and dropped it because there are tiny tiny pockets on her little tiny white shorts and no pockets on her tube-topped entombed boobies. Something happened behind her, and he turned his attention to the frackas, and she tried her drunken damndest to squeeze past him with all the determination and strength youth could muster. He thwarted her attempts with a "What DO you think you're doing?" Then she started cursing at him, yelling at him... "That kinda talk isn't helping your cause, young lady," was his retort. She slammed her foot down and screamed through her teeth, like a 7 year old.

It struck me right there and then that she was more childish than my own 9 year old.

I laughed.

My daughter eventually wanted to head back up to the booth. Even at 5' 1" she felt too short to see anything well. So after another two songs we pressed our way back to the luxury box entrance, and went back upstairs.

The stadium broadcasted the show on the jumbo-trons (four of them) and closed circuit tv in the boxes. We were the only people up in the booth for a while, then other people started filtering back in. One of my friends from another department sat with my daughter and shared binoculars. He asked her how old she was, she answered; he smiled and said "do you know how lucky you are?" She replied, "I have an idea."

We left before the encores, which bummed me out but we needed to get out of the Foxboro area before the crowds tried pouring out. The drunk and ridiculous crowds. Plus, Jessie was showing her tired side, and would have minded a long trek back to the car. We got a ride from one of my co-workers, who dropped us off right by our car, and we were home in an hour.

Boyd... kicked ass.
Dave and the boys played a lot of stuff off the new album, and I wasn't overtly impressed with the playlist. They did play an unbelievable rendition of "Bartender," which I've only ever heard played acoustic by Mr. Matthews himself (an mp3 of Austin City Limits lives in my "soundtrack of my life" mp3 folder), and a rousing rendition of "Lie in our Graves" where Boyd Tinsley performed a 15 minute "fiddle" solo that had the crowd writhing with joy... I never would have imagined that a "fiddle" solo would get 60,000 people that frenzied up. It was so amazing.

I think if Mr. McCune, my elementary school music teacher, had told me there was something more to violin playing than classical music I might have stayed with it. I mean, if I knew you could bend notes, play frenetically, rip the bow across the strings like Boyd does, man... I think I would have enjoyed myself more at it.

I really wanted my daughter to see a live concert. And this was a great one to go see. (I just wish they'd done "#41/Say Goodbye", "Two Step" and "Rhyme & Reason" that night, and there was just too much stuff from the new CD, which I am not particularly fond of). It was a great show. And I am glad my daughter's first big rock concert was mostly spent in the luxury box, with a bird's eye view of all that's wrong, funny, crazy and good about college/high school kids. I think she got a musical and social education. It'll be one she will rightly remember.

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