Our Nights at the Rock Show  

Posted by H in ,

Lately, G. and I have been feeling older. We're in our twenties, and still we had a strange feeling lately of being much older. Not in a way that we look down on our friends of the same age, don't worry. But it kept bugging us, as we felt as we most of our life was already gone. And that's a pretty depressing thought.

Your life. Is. Gone.
It's over. Terminated.

But on the hand, it can be quite satisfying. It's not that you've missed all the opportunities, it can be that you've achieved lots already. Though G.'s been having bad days lately [Her Shattered Confidence], I can say without a doubt in my mind she's had a pretty amazing life, from all sorts of perspectives.

But still, we had a weird sensation. The one you have when you end up talking with your grand'pa on the back porch during one of these really heavy summer nights, where the air is so thick you can't sleep and feel uncomfortable, no matter what you do, both physically and mentally.

And then we saw a chance coming of blowing off some steam, as a rock festival was happening in a nearby area. So we took the bike, and drove our asses down there, for a few days of rocking it out, as the not-so-kewl-kidz don't really say anymore. Spent the first night preceeding the festival with other bikers in a huge camp, drinking, chatting, smoking, burning tyres. G. being the sweetheart in wolves' clothing (though sometimes it's the other way around, actually) that she is, she usually does a good impression on that crowd. That impressed me a lot back then too. You can see that she is not really from that scene, but she manages in that pool to control the flock pretty much as well as anywhere else. Guess she's a good shepherd. If she says we're all going to have a good night, no one would contradict her and ruin it, and let her decide. Or leave without a groan. I even see old-time bikees melt in front of her. Probably with a few ideas going through their minds, but not going any further than that. So I spent most of my time either chatting with her around a fire with some folks from various places, or talking mechanics and road-physics and the usual bikers' war-stories with guys and chicks from all horizons, while she started the most spontaneous crowd dancing I guess that tiny town had seen in a while. Always love these kind of gatherings.

The festival began the next day and we were off to see a few bands, most of them which sucked pretty much as you would expect from a festival's setlist. That's how it's got to be. You can look at it with the eyes of the artist and see the originaly and beauty and , or just accept that it's at the very best OK, if not mediocre, but that it doesn't matter at all because it still is about having fun and not caring.

At such venues you just have 3 ways of acting. The first option is for you to be overly active and bug half of the people around you, wanting to show your enthusiasm and how cool you are. In here you'd recognize, well, all of you at least at some point, even if only for a day, when you were teenagers. Or later, because some people are even late when it comes to stupidity, while some others decide to be first even in that race. You know, they're the once you see yelling all the time, saying things like "This is soooo cool" and "they're the best rock band evvvvaaaa, man!!" Yeah, these annoying ones. Recognize them ? Well, they can still be funny to be around, admit it. They would be a good 50% of the crowd.

Then you've go the other end of the spectrum, people who behave like old farts, no matter how old or young they are. They think the previous types *have to be* the idiots they imagine, and that themselves are too cool to act in any way remotely similar to the aforementioned idiots. They'll be approximately 20% of the gathered flock.

And finally, you've got a smaller part of the audience. The 30% left, who think they of course don't belong to one group or the other. Well they do, they just don't know it, and piss and moan at both sides. Tight-asses, tss... Well, we probably fall in this category. We think we're too old for the first category, and to young for the second one, though age doesn't matter.

But we can recognize when we need a good fun, so we really forced ourself a little bit to completely let go for 2 days. Dancing, shouting, singing, slamming, stage-diving, head-banging. Of course, a festival is not complete if you don't have some theme to rant on. Usually any cause will do. Global warming. Civil wars. Conspiracy theories. The latest murder. An (in)famous rare bear in a random zoo. Pick one. Usually go for something extreme. It has to be extremely left wing or right wing. You cannot pick a centered and balanced theme, or people are unhappy. They need to rant. No: if the theme is anywhere remotely related to protesting against some major decision of your government, you cannot express any kind of support for anything remotely good that same government has done to cut them some slack. That's just not PC, you see. So that festival was not an exception and had its decent activist (or not so active, like I said, it's mostly about the ranting, isn't it?) theme.

The beauty of such events is that you meet either people who are as crazy and blind-sided as you about one theory around the main-topic, and you end up in an ephemeral BFF situation, or you meet your perfect nemesis for the week-end. Or you fake it to provoke one or the other just for fun. I love poking the bears, even the ones playing in my camp, especially when I know they have absolutely no clue themselves why they picked one side instead of the other. Come on, it's just fun, and questioning a stance is just helping them. It's part of the
ecosystem. And G. likes to hunt on young preys.

What can I say, she's a bit of a hunter. She likes to spot the idealist prey. When I try to talk to her about it, she doesn't want to admit it, says that she truly sees interest in most of the people she approaches for distant or (really) close social relationships, but she always walks away with a smirk. There it is, I didn't lie: that girl has a devil inside when it comes to sex.

So she picks up random strangers we end up fooling around with on the first night, and she would pick up other ones for the second night. And depending on the effect, we end up sharing cups of coffee in the morning, or they leave in the middle of the night because the devil kicks them out, once satisfied (more from that hunting-hunger
point of view than from any sexual one, though definitely a collateral factor).

It's always interesting to see how the lives of people connect.

In 2 days, bikers exchanges tips and tricks for things as varied as mounting rearview mirrors with chinese chopsticks, young activists switch sides or embrace more radical or more tolerant viewpoints, educated and non-educated teenagers go home with humbled or pumped-up memories of unexpected sexual encounters to relay and emphasize at the next high-school or university lunch-break, old-timers go home with revigorished memories of the good and bad old times and hope or despair in the future, bands move on to a next venue with built-up expectations for their next cheering or tomato-throwing crowds, and wondering if they again will end up in tents with weird but welcoming couples engaging them in either enthusiast conversations or mute sex.

And all it takes is just a cosmopolite crowd, a sweet-but-devilish escort and her idiot.

Ok it's mostly about the cosmopolite crowd, as it allows the two other elements to be replaced interchangeably with any other similar individuals.

I just like rock shows. Rock makes me alive. Rock makes me young. Look at Iggy Pop. There you go! OK, you can switch rock with any other genre, probably, as long at it moves you in some way. Even any other medium. Go to a quantum physics workshop, if that's what makes you tick.

And though each of these shows or festivals are inherently the same (the same 3 categories of people listed above, the same types of encounters, ...), they are all different. All kids (or old people) who go to their first show (or they ten or twenty first shows) always thing they're the bests in their lives. But after a while it just mixes and melts, memories and feelings are the same. You still compare one to another - so that you can have something to talk about the next time you run out of topics on mechanics with bikers. "Remember that '97s show in X, where that band trashed the shit out of the stage and fatty-mary puked her guts out?" - but you build know every time a little more what to expect as a whole, and what tiny detail makes the whole difference.

Well that's just rambling, it's just that: experience. As with anything else. As in experience to be a good lover, an expert in your field of business, your area of study.

I just like perfection, and when practice makes perfect while making fun at the same time, it's never bad.

So remember, all you need is a cosmopolite crowd, a sweet-but-devilish escort, and her idiot.


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