Wednesday, October 31, 2007

ted leo rocks my personal casbah

this week, it seems, the universe has aligned itself in such a way that everything really is going my way. one example of this was manifest in tonight's activities; a stroke of luck had ted leo adding concert dates in los angeles, another stroke had me find out about them two days ago, and yet another stroke sent every one of the students in my class tonight home for some reason (and telling me about it in advance) so i was free to go to the show!

for those of you who don't understand, ted leo and the pharmacists are certainly in my top five favorite bands list, and i was absolutely blown away when i saw them live at stanford in february. the chance to see them live again was, in short, mouthwatering. (editor's note: if you don't know ted leo, i'd start with "counting down the hours", "me and mia", or perhaps "under the hedge" for a fairly accurate introduction to their rock/slightly punkish style)

my ears are still ringing and my eyes are drooping, so i fear my analysis of the show won't do it justice. however, let me say that it was, in pretty much every way, the perfect concert experience, in spite of my going alone and being sleepy, hungry, and a bit uneasy about being in downtown los angeles past midnight. it was at el rey theatre on wilshire, recently remodeled and beautiful with its velvet and chandeliers. i found free (!), safe (!!), close (!!!) street parking, with a pleasant brisk stroll getting me to the theatre 45 minutes early (in spite of nasty traffic). the venue has a lovely cafe, which actually offers appetizing vegetarian options (huzzah!), so i was able to eat. the first opening act (redundant, i know) was quite good: shortstack, from the d.c. area. the second was bizarre, and i wasn't really feeling it: quasi. now, i will say that i was slightly bummed at how late the show ran...i thought it started at 7:30, but it turns out doors weren't until 8, show started at 9, and ted didn't even appear until after the second band, i was getting a little exhausted. thankfully, el rey has lovely, comfy, plentiful seats lining all the walls, so i just chilled and waited for ted while watching the acid trippish light shows. finally, some random person starting talking to me, which i was happy about since i was alone and bored out of my mind. nice gentleman from russia who knew nothing about anything but had plenty of opinions nonetheless. after he got tired of me, i stared at the walls some more, pondered the merch booth, somewhat dreaded what would happen next...

you see, the last time i was waiting to see ted, i was sitting patiently front and center in kresge auditorium on stanford's campus. the auditorium, designed for lectures but equipped with a small stage, has approximately two feet between this front row and the stage. perfect. i got there early enough to secure this beautiful post, and suffered through a few terrible (and some awesome!) songs to make sure i wouldn't lose it. looking behind me, i saw the (lame, uncommitted) stragglers relegated to the back rows. ha, i said to myself, with just a hint of smug righteousness.

until ted started playing.

at that moment, every snot-nosed freshman who had been previously sitting in the back rushed to the front of the room and stood literally in front of me and partially on top of me, bouncing up and down in front of ted. worse, they were bouncing...and didn't know the words. THESE WERE NOT REAL FANS! these were IMPOSTORS who also thought it was okay to wear wooden wedge heels to this concert while jumping in front of/on my unprotected toes. ow. i almost got in a fistfight with a particularly rude girl who consistently elbowed me after stepping in front of my seat, then had the audacity to mock me and tell me i didn't know how to enjoy a concert. ugh.

shortly after this show, i went to see the faint, another band i really enjoy, at the house of blues in vegas. long story short: more snot-nosed kids, this time with swoopy bangs. i was knocked off my feet for almost the entirety of the show, fistfights kept breaking out, and everyone was stupid and mean. my toes got severely bruised, i literally couldn't keep my balance (much less see), and i decided i hated concerts...what was the point of dancing around like an idiot and getting hurt?

then, of course, i realized i have become An Old Person. that, however, is a different matter.

the bottom line is, i was scared to get beaten up at the ted leo show again. however, i am thrilled to report that his fans in l.a. were just as awesome as he is. the band played an AMAZING set (i love love love all of them, but especially chris, the drummer who looks exactly like my brother and grins demonically while talking to himself through the show), lasting about an hour and a half with the encore. i knew every song and sang along happily, could see perfectly, and didn't get bumped once, but everyone was still really into it and even dancing along (just...reasonably). i even sang along with "hybrid moments", which he sang with nicole from tra la la, and fantasized about him someday asking me up on the stage. also, couldn't help thinking he was singing a few songs (timorous me, anybody?) just to me, but...his eyes being closed kinda broke that dream for me. oh well.

he said many funny yet witty things, like he always does...dedicated a song to lance, his friend who passed away this past week...made a joke about how the whole band was going to dress up as chris to surprise him (beards for all!), but the real surprise was that they were just all lazy. anyway, i got a lot more out of the songs seeing them live...some of them i really connected with in ways i never had my faith in concerts was reaffirmed. little dawn is my new theme song.

bought my mom a shake the sheets shirt at the merch booth (she named our new puppy "mia" after her favorite song on that album, "me and mia", which i'm totally stoked about). got myself some pins; one will be donated to darryl in gratitude for him turning me onto them. ah, thing you've ever done with your life.

finally got home in spite of stupid freeway closures and stupider detours not having signs telling me where to go...thanks to my mom and my gps, i ended up winning that battle. take that, caltrans.

am now exhausted, and have 13 major things to do before friday morning, so should probably get some sleep...although, who am i kidding, i won't wake up anytime other than 9:30 no matter when i go to sleep or set my body is just totally rebelling at this stage. "all nighters? nope. waking up early to study? not happening."

ah well.

long as i keep up the grades i've gotten so far this semester, i won't complain. ;)

next time: updates on the prospectus and NCA, since i know you're all DYING to know. sneak preview/hint: I'M FINALLY DEFENDING! MONDAY AT 3! THINK GOOD THOUGHTS!!!

and with that i, the happiest of clams, promise to hush until i get some sleep. ;)

*set list from memory and out of order: the sons of cain, me and mia, army bound, where have all the rude boys gone, the high party, the unwanted things, annunciation day/born on christmas day, bomb.repeat.bomb., the angels' share, i'm a ghost, a bottle of buckie, counting down the hours, colleen, who do you love, loyal to my sorrowful country, little dawn (with interlude of "one more time"), hybrid moments (misfits cover), timorous me*


Anonymous said...

No "Suspect Device" cover? Bummer!

frescasaurus said...

well, i'll be. i didn't even know "suspect device" was a cover. i've never even heard of stiff little fingers...

but no, as i recall, it wasn't played. :(

flipped cracker said...

i was at that concert too. loved it! but i was also bummed they didn't play suspect device.

here's a video i took of timorous me