Sunday, February 26, 2012

and the beat goes on

anna and i, along with our great friends b. and c., just returned from a concert by the english beat [or the beat, if you will, outside of the u.s.] and i'm too amped to go to bed. the beat, led by dave wakeling, has been doing their thing for over thirty years now. wakeling and co. have their sound down cold! fucking rocking.

a few moments of history. we grew up with the 2-tone revival. both anna and i love the second wave of ska bands like the specials, madness, selector, and the beat. i'll even dare say that the beat is one of anna's favorite bands that she grew up with. so as a birthday gift i bought tix for tonight's show and we invited b. and c. because they are also great fans of the band. b. is a huge, huge, i mean ginormous, fan of ska period.

well, here's the thing. anna and i returned to music a few years ago and started going to shows. mostly we choose to stay away from the crush of the crowd and listen to live music in the back where we can sit, or stand, coolly and fervently enjoy the show. not this go around. somehow we managed to get to the front of the stage. my right ear is blown out because the p.a. was on my right. we were right in the sweaty, swelling crowd. there were some difficulties, particularly from a rather obnoxious woman who wanted to dance like a rabid chicken and invade everyone's personal space.

but this is a rock show. for the over forty set. but still a rock show. i lost myself with the crowd. i've not felt such abandon in years. so when the band played classics like 'mirror in the bathroom' and 'i confess' i was literally out of my freaking mind. it was wonderful. wakeling has a great voice and his songs are tight constructions of adrenalized dance pop. he's been doing this for a long time now and he's an expert at bringing down the house.

my hearing will come back. i hope. we stopped at the merch table and i bought a t-shirt for anna and a just-published book about the 2-tone revival titled dance craze: rude boys on the road! how the specials, madness, the selector and co. conquered the world by garry bushell [countdown books, 2011] signed by wakeling. that's right, bitches. i got a signed copy by the man himself. as for the man. the dude looks like his in his mid-50s. but he carries it well. rock&roll might never die, but it certainly can grow in to middle-age. there was even an old punk rocker wearing a black leather jacket, plaid bondage pants and with grey-white hair who staked out some prime real estate at the front of the stage. i don't know who he is tho i'm sure he's a veteran of the punk rock years and i might've recognized his name if i had the chance to ask him. i didn't. all i could do was admire his fashion sense because i'm a middle-aged punk too with the grey hair as well. it's come down to that. i think my next collection of poems should be titled earrings and hearing aids.


At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a great time.

At 11:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for inviting c and i, Had a great time !

At 8:52 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

it was a wonderful time ryan.

hey next time, b., social d.!


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