it's been a hard clay's night

24 June 2013

Don't Bother Me

Old 97's - Turner Hall Ballroom - Milwaukee - 20 June 2013

     This night's show in Milwaukee was a reunion of sorts, but truly, most shows are. There are several faces I can count on seeing at a Wisconsin gig. Casey, Colin, Jenna, Courtney, Carey, and actually a few others, whose names I haven't yet learned. The difference this time around was that I was already in Wisconsin when show time rolled around, so there was a minimum of fuss & rush. K-star and I were long overdue for an adventure, and this time, we got some bonus Emily! It had been far too long. We've been to Turner Hall before and it is a great space. A bit too many stairs to traipse up, but we got it done. The openers, Trapper Schoepp & the Shades were impressive, despite my feeling very old watching these sweet young things rock. Thanks to Carey for hepping me to that jive. I enjoyed them thoroughly and look forward to more!  So we waited and mingled, basking in the excitement of what was yet to be. Ken came down to say hello to the contingent on his side of the stage. He watched some of the opener's performance before slipping away through the crowd.
    Again, they prefaced the boys' entrance onstage to Queen's 'Fat-Bottomed Girls' and then the crowd got all wound up. Rhett was a grinning fool and we were off and running. Early on though, there were tiny hints of something strange bubbling under the surface of things. Somewhere from behind us, small projectiles made their way over our heads and onto the stage. Apparently, it was just debris and not a note of request or somesuch nonsense. Hmmm. Then, an empty cup that Rhett actually had to slightly dodge due to it's trajectory. He was not amused. I turned around to look for the offender, but really just saw the regular sea of happy flushed faces, slick with perspiration. I did notice a kerfuffle off to my right somewhere near the front. Minutes later, a burly, inconsiderate forearm shoved between me and my right-hand neighbor-fan. In a millisecond, I discerned that it was not an accidental fall or shove; it did not stem from my friends behind me. It was some fugly troll who barely met my own stature. The lunge made absolutely no sense, as the wild hand was grabbing towards the monitors and not much more. WTF? I harshly shrugged him off my person and I made certain he felt that it was unwelcome. No sooner than that, I got popped in the back. Enough to hurt, but not harm. Are you fucking kidding me, Guy? I spun like a banshee and looked this fucker dead in his eyes and queried, "DID YOU JUST FUCKING HIT ME????!!" To which he actually answered a curt "NO" and before his vowel sound ended, I very loudly and not at all politely, said that I "would knock out all of his fucking teeth if he touched any part of me again." How exactly I would truly go about doing that, is a mystery that we may never solve. It was the closest I've ever come to getting violent, as I tend toward the pacifist sensibilities. But I will not have my show NOR my person be adversely affected because some asshat doesn't know how to conduct himself. A girl behind him, who seemed to be just a show-goer, grabs the jerk by the scruff of his shirt and yelled "you're done!" and dragged him somewhere behind her. It was awesome! After that, I turned back to the stage. Perhaps a song later, during Ken's solo, Rhett hustled over near Ken and bent over, speaking emphatically to someone in the crowd. He returned to center-stage and during the next break, people were gesticulating at this asshole and trying to get Rhett's attention, because the kid wanted to apologize. Rhett leaned over and said very seriously that, fine, he accepted the apology but what the fuck was his problem? He then offered the evidence of the empty cup and assorted crap that had been tossed onstage. Then, thinking better of continuing to engage, he abruptly stood up and marched back to the guitar tech and stage dude, where it looked like he pretty much insisted that the guy be ejected. And so it was. Two or three bouncers came to clean up the mess and we cheered and continued without another thought. Poor Rhett got awful close to having his game rocked, but after having solved things, he seemed to shake it off. This doesn't often happen at a show, it was said the guy, (an alleged dentist, which I thought was funny, re: knocking his teeth out...) seemed to be pharmaceutically motivated. It mattered not to me; he is lucky to have left the premises with un-kneed balls. *sigh*
     The evening continued. An errant guitar cord spilled a drink at one point, but the tech was quick to towel up. Ken and Rhett took turns towering and teetering above us in between the front monitors. The temperature wavered between perfect and only mildly uncomfortable. There was an unfortunate incident of the pedal?/cord?/guitar? not working right before Ken's solo in Every Night is Friday Night (Without You) and he expressed his regret afterwards claiming it's a really fun part to play. Awwwwwwww. I should mention that Rhett had a fancy new guitar, you can see it in the pics. Ken was also rocking a red/orange loaner Landric Custom guitar, along with his own Landric Custom, the glittery green, among his others. Ken changed it up many times that night, K-star called him Cher, hahahaha! The big Timebomb finale was outrageous, with Ken actually on his knees in front of us bashing away on the guitar. Hands from every direction were grabbing at his knees
     We were enveloped in the vibe, you know the one. There were now only cool, considerate people around us.  I did indeed bring the iPad to take photos. It was still a bit too dark, but the pics are OK and for the most part, better than the iPhone. There were the captured moments of some of the boys clearly realizing some silly girl in the front was actually using an iPad to take photographs. Those are definitely my favorites. It was a very similar setlist to Bloomington, a nice mix of things.
     When it was all over, I was resistant to being brought back down to Earth, but there were friendly folks who actually wanted to celebrate that asshole getting the boot, and to say thanks to me for being a considerate show-neighbor. That was awful nice, Milwaukee, thanks. The lady next to me had gotten the nearest setlist and was trying to tell me that another was still stuck to the stage. I think my enthusiasm+ iPad gave me away LOL I told her I was OK, having taken a pic of her setlist (oops, i deleted it) and then the ushers started to shoo us away from the stage.
     I wandered about to see those that hadn't stood within our crowd. It's always nice to catch up with hugs and expressions of joy from what we had just witnessed. I always love to see the others with the same syndrome, we will repeatedly see the same band-itis. This is our group therapy LOL

    Things ended on a high note, and we girls were within walking distance of our hotel. Another successful outing :) Milwaukee was still bustling with nightlife. The almost full moon lit the night sky. Off to bed. "This is the moonlight, the very same moonlight, so how happy can I be?"

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