04 September 2009

Going Solo

If you know one thing about me, it's probably that I act on impulse. I've long ago learned this is not always a positive. I mean, one should really look to see if there is water in the pool before one takes a dive, but I don't really have time for all that. Sometimes, I just have to do what I want to do, no matter what.

If you know two things about me, the other is that love me some Nine Inch Nails. It's been bugging me that I've stayed so broke and couldn't afford to go to any of the last Nine Inch Nails shows. I missed the NIN/JA tour with Jane's Addiction. And, now, they were in town to do the last shows...forever. I know. Poor me. But, five months ago, I thought I'd be in a better place.

Last Tuesday, in an effort to get to a better place, I was at happy hour with a friend. As I finished up my discount martini, and she went and she went out to feed the meter, I checked Twitter from my BlackBerry. Once again, when I was nowhere near my computer, Nine Inch Nails released tickets. [Insert litany of expletives here.] We finished up our chat, our drinks and $4 edamame, and then she took me home.

There, I opened my laptop and logged on to the site. One last pathetic try for tickets. I checked Thursday's show. Sold out. I tried for Saturday's show. Sold out. I wasn't even going to try for Sunday's show, their last, because that had to be sold out...and it was in Glendale. Yes, I appreciate the irony of it being at the Echoplex, but the drive would be a buzz kill. That only left Wednesday night, the next night. Available. I took in a breath. At $65 a ticket, I couldn't afford one let alone two. And I knew that none of my friends would be up for something that late notice at that price that didn't come with seats. So, I did the unthinkable and bought a single ticket.

Going to the movies alone is one thing. Having a meal alone is another. Going to a concert alone was...weird. I called two friends I thought might be up for it, or actually going. By the time one tried to buy tickets, they were all gone. I was indeed going solo. This, for me, was the ultimate single-gal act.

I didn't really have time to dwell on that, though. I had to figure out what to wear. Jeans were obvious, it was shoes that would be the challenge. I no longer own General Admission footwear. And open-toed sandals are not appropriate for this kind of gig. Much to my chagrin, I put on a pair of Nikes and then found that I no longer own jeans that are made for sneakers.

The compromises one makes to see one of her favorite bands perform one of their last shows ever should not be underestimated.

The entire drive over to the Palladium, I debated on whether or not I would squeeze to the front of the stage. I'm the kind that can and would. I'm also the kind who doesn't really like the general public, or having them sweat or breath on me. Then again, I do love Reznor, and this would be one my my last chances to really get my punk on. Decisions, decisions.

The last time I had been to the Palladium, it was for a charity show I had won tickets to. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mike Watt and Eddie Vedder performed. I ended up next to the barrier, right from center and separated from my friend. It was this event that brought to my attention that "slam dancing" and "moshing" were two, totally different things. Slamming was organized chaos that had the pit and the perimeter. Moshing just happened wherever some eejit wanted to do it. And he was doing it all over my platforms! This was also when I realized punk was dead. I told a guy just over the barrier, "Next time security goes to the center to break up a scuffle, take my hand so I can get over the barrier. I want to get up on stage." He looked at me and said, "No." What? That's when I said, "What the hell are you doing here? There's no such thing as 'No' at a gig!" Meanwhile, my thigh was being molested by some drunkard I had to keep elbowing. Two other guys finally came over to help me out, scared away the perv, and we enjoyed the rest of the show. Chivalry lives, even in bondage pants.

Upon that reflection, I was happy to take my place off the floor. To the right of the stage, only equipment between me and the band. Trent would face me (yes, me) while he played keyboards. It was the perfect place. No one was crowding, molesting, or even spilling beer. It was, dare I say, civilized. And, I could have worn my sandals. Lesson learned.

Another lesson learned is that there is no graceful way to exit a crowd surf. In spite of doing it about eight times throughout the night, this one girl never ended hers well. The highlight of the night was watching two girls get tackled by security when they tried to rush the stage, making the wrong decision to do it over the equipment and computers. If you are going to do that, 1) you should have a good game plan, 2) you should be in better shape; speed and agility are everything, and 3) stop when the guards get to you, unless you want to end up ass over teakettle. Know the risks, people.

The show ended without an encore. Reznor was quite sick, but gave us his all. So much so, they had to reschedule the remaining dates of this Wave Goodbye Tour. My ears are still ringing (I took out my earplugs...I couldn't resist), which can't be a good thing, but it does make me smile. This is just confirmation that a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, even if she has to do it alone.

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