Well, for those of you who didn’t know, I just completed a whirlwind tour with the Barenaked Ladies. Haha. I wish. But I did just get back last night from my trip back home to Chicago, where I saw BNL for the second time in a week. The previous was last weekend in Austin.
I went to this show with my sister Katie, and our seats were freaking amazing. We weren’t on the ground level, but this turned out to be even better because everyone usually stands at their shows (unless you’re an asshole, and I’ll get more into that later) so we didn’t have to stand on our tippie-toes to try to see over anyone. We were about five rows up on the second level, VERY close to the stage. Of the four times I have seen them, this was probably the second-best seating I’ve had. I was very enthused.
Now. Back to the beginning.
I left Wednesday afternoon to drive up to Chicago, where I stayed with my sister and her boyfriend at their apartment. It rained the ENTIRE time. I am not joking. From the time I left Murfreesboro until I got to Merrilville, Indiana, it rained like the dickens. I had to pull over several times because I couldn’t see. In Indianapolis it was raining so hard I couldn’t see the sign to know which way to keep on I-65, and ended up taking a short but not the end of the world detour. By the time I got to Merrilville, I had been on the phone with both of my sisters, who were calling my mom, trying to look at the radar to know when the rain would end. There was no way in hell I was going to navigate the construction on the south side of Chicago in rain so hard I couldn’t even see well-lit or well-paved roads, so I stopped and got a hotel for $80. Let me tell you, that was the best money I spent the entire trip. The next morning I was on the road by 7 a.m., and made it to Katie’s by 9, where I unloaded the computer, stereo and printer I brought her and then crashed on her couch for the rest of the day.
The concert was wonderful. I don’t know what it is about those guys in BNL, but they’re awesome. Their lyrics are so clever and self-deprecating and dark and smart, they just inspire me and make me hopeful. That’s kind of weird, I guess, but I love it. After all I have been through in my life, relationships, work, family problems, etc., they are one of the few bands I have been able to keep for myself. (Let me explain that statement: I always, always associate songs, groups, lyrics, etc. with certain people, places and times of my life. Certain songs or artists have been ruined for me because they become associated with negativity in my life. BNL has always been just mine.)
When Katie and I first sat down in our seats, some people sat down next to us and asked if we would switch seats with two of their friends (actually I think one was the chick’s sister, I don’t know who the other was). The husband said he wouldn’t do it (thanks for pointing that out dude, why the hell are you asking then?), but tried to insist that “their seats are closer.” Closer to what? we asked. Sure, their seats were closer to the ground level, but they were about ten seats farther from the stage. We told them no, but suggested they ask the people next to their friends if they would switch with them. They didn’t seem to like that idea (DUH! BECAUSE OUR SEATS ARE BETTER!) but said they would try. To no avail, and alas they were sitting by us. The wife seemed pretty pissed, but Katie and I pretty much decided she could kiss our asses. There wasn’t a two-ticket limit, and it wasn’t our fault they didn’t all order their tickets together. I paid $120 for those tickets and I’ll be damned if I’m moving. Plus, the guy was wearing a Lynard Skynard shirt that Katie saw at Target. That should be illegal.
And speaking of annoyances, for the first half of the concert two girls behind us were singing every word out of Steve and Ed’s mouths–at the top of their lungs. I could hear them better than I could hear the band. I wanted to say something, but we didn’t want to get drinks poured on us. We tried turning around and giving dirty looks, but that didn’t seem to faze them. Then Katie noticed them complaining that the people behind them were bitching at them to sit down. So a plan was born.
We turned around and struck a deal: If they would stop singing so loudly, Katie and I would stand up so they could in turn stand. Then, if the people behind them (namely, “that redhead bitch,” according to our one row back seat mates) bitched about them standing, they could blame it on us (“Well, we can’t see because those two girls in front of us are standing.) Katie and I were prepared to tell the redhead bitch to fuck off if it meant no more pedestrian singing. “It’s a good deal!!” exclaimed the chicks, and the deal was born. We stood, with the two girls following suit after a few minutes. No more loud singing except from the glorious mouths of Barenaked Ladies. So thank you, girls in section 111, row E, seats 7 and 8, for allowing us to enjoy our concert experience as well.
The douchebags next to us (remember Lynard Skynard Target Shirt and My Sister is Entitled to Your Seats Even Though I Could Have Bought Four When I Ordered Them?) left after the first encore song (DUH everyone knows BNL does three encores) so Katie and I scootched down a couple of seats for a great view for a few quick photos. (Cameras were barred, but Katie somehow managed to sneak hers in. We had to be pretty quick about taking pictures, though, as security was about two rows down from us.)
The concert was a blast; again, they sang my favorite song (Call and Answer) as the last encore, and I fell in love with Steven Page and Ed Robertson all over again.
Friday was family day, where my parents surprised me and bought my Christmas present early, the new iPod Shuffle. Now, I absolutely love, adore, LIIIIEEEEBBBEEEE my iPod Photo, but I am so overprotective of it that I am always nervous about carrying it around in the gym, especially when I don’t have pockets. This way, I can just clip the bad boy on my shirt and voila. Plus it’s just fucking cool that I have a 1 GB mp3 player that clips on my god damn shirt or wherever the hell I want to put it.
For dinner we all ate (and drank. Wine. A lot.) together and had a good time, but then Katie and I took Emily back to her apartment (stopping at the liquor store first because, after all, we couldn’t just stop drinking) and played Scene It, where I was robbed of a victory by a thumb-wrestling competition and Citizen Kane. Just wait, Junnhi. It’s on like flan next time I see you.
Saturday morning we woke up and got bagels, headed over to Super H Mart, a Korean supermarket (where, seriously, we were the only white people there. We stuck out so bad, being 5’6, 5’7 and 5’8 and blonde/auburn headed.) I got a shitload of Korean and Japanese candy, and then headed home, glad that it only rained a little bit on the return trip home.
When I got home, Ian had a bottle of (really good) wine waiting on me and started cooking me dinner. It was really, really good to be home. I’m looking forward to the holidays, but more importantly, looking forward to being around the house, around my friends, around Ian and the cats, and around town for a while.
Tags: BNL, Barenaked Ladies, Chicago, Allstate Arena