But enough about that. All is right with the world again...my mood and my attitude is almost completely turned around. All because of one show. Goddess Bless Concrete Blonde.
kespernorth and I misjudged the time that the doors would open, and thus stood in the chilly Seattle drizzle for about half an hour...but no worries. We joked about our lives and about the world in general with others in line...the anticipatory vibe was incredible. All types, from teeny-bopper to time past, from creepy to conservative, were present. Finally, admittance was gained.
If you have never been to The Showbox, it's a fairly intimate setting. A good-sized hardwood floor, with raised areas left and right in back with tables and chairs and an extremely well-stocked bar on either side. We grabbed a drink and wandered around, looking for a place to park ourselves for the time being. At this point, we ran into some friends on Bjorn's, and talked lightly of this and that (a shout out to kitters, cheapdialogue, highndry, and magikgrrl). Eventually, the opening act, Mojacar, took the stage. Spanish dancing and music, very nicely done. With their exit, Bjorn and I began to insinuate ourselves into the crowd, getting as good a view as possible.
And then, an angel and her cohorts took the stage. I refer, of course, to Johnette Napolitano, Jim Mankey, and Harry Rushakoff.
Opening the show with "Beware of Darkness" was a masterstroke. It set a beautiful tone to the evening that I didn't expect. Johnette was beautiful as always, black jeans, black t-shirt over black long-sleeve, light skin shining under her shoulder-length black hair, hanging unassumingly around her face. She almost seemed to hide behind it sometimes, other times choosing to leap out, showing every ounce of the energy and emotion she exuded. A smile that was worthy of anything asked for, and as sweet as the finest honey. My Gods, is she sexy. I would happily follow her around for a lifetime, if she let me. I know, I'm a sick, stalking fanboy, but we all have our crushes/desires. Jim, stoic as always, played his axe like it was a part of him, splitting the air open with a sound that was distictively his. Every now and then, his little knowing smile would escape...Harry, what can be said against him? The thunderous beat kept it all together, never missing a step, never pushing beyond what could be handled, always, always in control.
The set ranged across their albums, from new songs like "Roxy" and "Violent" to classics like "Your Haunted Head", of course hitting the songs that they knew we all wanted most of all: "God Is A Bullet", "Bloodletting", "Everybody Knows", "Days and Days", and closing their 3-song encore with "Still In Hollywood", Johnette pushing her voice so hard and the crowd response so wild that it literally scratched out the stacks. She joked between songs about 'not really being ready for tonight', as she stumbled over words. She laughed at the crowd-surfers, saing how she couldn't do that anymore, that her 'joints just couldn't take it'. When someone yelled out 'We Love you!', she responded in kind, gushing about how good she felt, and how she loved us back, and how she 'could never really express just how much, so she was just gonna shut up now and play'. Even when she blew the lyrics in "Joey" (which was mixed with the classic "Whiskey In The Jar"...incredible!), getting the verses out of order, she got a lopsided, self-deprecating smile, and carried on. And no one cared.
The show itself was beyond incredible. As "Bloodletting" started, the crowd started bouncing, not quite moshing, but definitely creating it's own tide. I took the opportunity here to bounce my way further forward, and managed to get close enough to shake hands, just briefly, with Johnette (HELL YES!!!), and was washed back with the next song. 2, maybe 3 songs in, I was already drenched in sweat, my hair hanging in little ropes, my voice starting to go hoarse from singing along to each track. The crowd continued to surge and eddy. I was shoved against strangers, they were pressed against me, we all felt it all. And I didn't care.
There was another small, special highlight to the evening. Before everything started, Bjorn and I were sitting there with our drinks...well, being guys. Watching the women, commenting, allowing jaws to drop and tongues to loll at the passing of particular examples of extreme pulchritude (remember that one tall one, bro'? Woo...). One in particular that we saw, well, my eyes had to be picked up off the floor, they bugged out of my head so. Long, dark, wavy hair, big brown eyes, maybe 5'8, body to happily die for, a face like she might be an angel placed on earth, a smile to prove it. Well, I noticed after I had bounced around in the crowd for a while that I was next to her (didn't actually know it was her until later that night, at the time just thought 'YOWZA'), and that was all cool. I was actually more into the concert, so it was more a notice than anything else at the time (can you tell I'm sorta resigned to being single?). During "Days and Days" though, as we both danced in place and sang along, at one point, completely impromptu, she threw her arm around my shoulder and we continue dancing! Well, never one to turn down an opportunity, I slipped my arm around her waist, and we spent the next verse, dancing together, singing our hearts out, and laughing, smiling, sharing the groove. We broke the clinch after that verse, but I confess my attention was split for the rest of the show between the angel onstage and the one that was dancing next to me. As we left the show, I was already planning on saying something to her, outside, and Bjorn, who apparently had been witnessing this from just behind, suggested I do just that. Unfortunately, I lost her in the crowd (but man, did I try!), and by the time I did see her come out, she seemed to be in a hurry. So I let it go. On one hand, it was nice to have that moment, shared between strangers, and not have any kind of pressure or potential rejection afterwards. On the other, she's been on my mind since then, and finding her is next to impossible. Well, we'll see...cherchez la femme!
Outside, we were the unfortunate witnesses to the only down note of the evening. A drunken asshole nailed a pedestrian, and in running away, sideswiped a parked SUV. Some people closer to it tried to get him to stop, but he would not. Still, the cops have his license plate, and the pedestrian was conscious and moving, so I think all will be OK, and his ass is gonna be jailed.
We ended up going to Minnie's, a diner/cafe open all night, where 01flux and steveness joined us (goddesss, the food was incredible!). Through the windows, we were witness to a couple cops nabbing some guy for DUI, and in a spirit of giggling foolishness, we we ended up making signs to hold up, saying "Can You Smell What The Cop Is Cookin'?" and "SPD 3:16"...we thought about doing one that said "Layeth The Beatdown", but the cops were already glaring at us with fire in their eyes by that point.
Other quotes for the night, courtesy of Frank and Bjorn:
--"Well, I could always just trip one of them for you."
--"You want another target, a military target, then NAME THE SISTER!"
--"Cigarette Bandolero? You'd be popular at cons."
--"I don't need a cigarette case, I have my shoulders!"
--"My standards are, if they would look out of place in the 16th century, then it won't work."
--"I'm sitting down, my butt hurts."
--"We've decided to give you a beatdown, but we're still friends. It's nothing personal."
All is right with the world, my friends. Even broke and single...all is OK again.
(*very happy sigh*)