I went to First Avenue to see Panic! At The Disco last night because I am a fan of theirs. Conveniently, my 17-year-old is also a fan of theirs, so I had an automatic date. This worked out perfectly because all night long people were confusing me for a parent who got hooked into taking their kid to a concert. The truth was, she was a kid who got hooked into going through her parent's treachery. Don't tell.
I'm just going to come right out and say it: She's not a fun date, my daughter. I mean I'm sure she's a fun date for people her own age, and I know that she's a fun person in general, but for me? Meh...there was nobody with me to make, or listen to, commentary about other audience members, or have a drink, or, if enough drinks were had, sneak a cigarette break. My kids are not the biggest fans of my humor (remember?) and would throw me down and step on my head for smoking. Freaking buzz kills.
The evening started a little like last year's June 11th concert (Justin Currie) with my companion having mixed feelings about taking a taxi to the venue. Last year, my best friend's girlfriend almost didn't let her go because of it! To no one's surprise, the cab ride was uneventful, then. This year, my daughter told me a story about how a friend of hers was driven to a secluded area and mugged by a taxi driver...in India.
Not interested in driving downtown or attempting to find parking on a game night, I said if it bothers you that much, as soon as you get into the cab, text the name of the cab company and the guy's license number to everyone in your phone book so they'll know who to go after if you don't show up where and when you're supposed to.
Needless to say, the transportation was uneventful. Again.
We arrived to the longest line I have ever seen outside of First Avenue, and, it was not just one line, but two--one going down 1st Avenue and the other doing down 7th Street. Was I glad I bought tickets on the day they went on sale? Yes.
And...for those of you just joining me who have never read one of my concert "reviews" before, I should disclose at this time that I don't actually write concert reviews. I can tell you about the uber gross couple that was hanging out in our general area, doing their best to breathe only each other's exhales, with their faces never more than an inch away from each other. I can tell you a lot about them. But I don't remember what anybody on stage was wearing or if they hit an off note or anything like that. It was a very good show. Sorry. When I go to see professional musicians, I expect them to be...well...professional. And they were. And I don't know it that's wildly newsworthy.
Now more about the uber gross couple. Seriously? Ew. I'd say that they were between the ages of 16 and 20, and I'm not kidding--their faces were never more than an inch apart. He kept sniffing her hair around her ear and lilting up his nose like he was sniffing some other dog's ass and she kept one leg wrapped around him the entire time. I'm sure the after-show sex was awesome for them, but everyone in their vicinity suffered for it during the four hours of foreplay--and now that I mention it, four hours of foreplay can only really lead to some anti-climactic sex, not matter how, er, climactic, it was. I kept telling myself that one day, they would be grown up enough to exercise a little decorum, but then I'd catch sight of them out of the corner of my eye and think, no, they're just revolting, and at their age it's too late to smack it out of them. A future tragic love story in the making.
But enough about them...
At one point in the evening, my daughter asked me what the venue was used for when not holding concerts. I drew a bit of a blank.
"I....I mean...what? You're asking me what First Avenue is used for?"
I opted out of the history lesson. "Music," I replied. "That's all that happens here."
Because of the venue's history, I half expected somebody in one of the bands to bust out a Prince song last night, since it wouldn't be too much of a musical stretch for any of them. The cover that Panic! opted for instead was completely, and awesomely, unexpected: Carry On My Wayward Son. Yeah, yeah....sorta lame that it was dedicated to the parents, cuz it's an old song, but that song is way the hell older than me, darling, so you can keep your dedication. A damn good cover, nonetheless.
Not far from me, a dad who ate that Kansas dedication right up, kept snapping pictures and video of his kids enjoying the concert in between taping and photographing most of the show and marveling, yes marveling at the fact that large groups of people knew all the words to the songs by one of the openers, Fun. I'll admit to never having seen or heard them before last night. I'll admit that here. However, I would have never have shown any astonishment that other people have heard of them while everyone around me was belting out all of their songs at the top of their lungs. That's just nerdy, and not the good kind of nerdy.
We wrapped up the evening with the obligatory stop at the merch table, and, t-shirt procured, spilled out onto the street, grabbed the first cab with an empty back seat and were home before 10:30. Wow, kid concerts end early! Crazy.
Oh, and I lied. I will mention a thing or two about what actually happened on stage. Fun (The band, I mean...) is truly excellent. Truly. I mean it. I don't care if you're 14 or 44 like me. Well worth the price of admission if you get a chance. I kept thinking how I would describe them to my best friend who wasn't there with me, and all I could think was a cool, modern, Queen, but that doesn't necessarily do them any justice, so forgive my limited reference. I thought Scissor Sisters, a little, too, but that's not really it, either. They're just...Fun. Duh.
Lastly, regarding the (noticeable, by me anyway) lack of material from PATD's previous album in the set...I get it, I get it. It was a slight bummer that it was like they went from their first album straight to their third and Pretty.Odd almost never happened, but honestly that album was fairly different from the other two and not a lot of those things would have fit so neatly into the set we saw. Not one bad song was played. I'm not going to lie--the first time I heard the new album, I was worried, because I loved Pretty. Odd soooooo much and thought, what have they done? That sound is gone! But hearing songs from albums 1 and 3 snuggled up together really illustrated a continuation of a Panic! At The Disco sound, and I'm not about to begrudge them that.
And now, I'm off to do the 2 hours of yoga and hot bath soaking that it will take to erase the pain that 4 hours of concrete floor standing causes to an ancient body. Maybe next June 11th I will have recovered enough to take another cab ride downtown.