I don't go to concerts anymore. Part of it, I think, is that I've finally reached that point where it's potentially creepy. If I continue to go to the shows that I've gone to my entire concert-going life, I'm the old guy now, and I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with that, both as a role and as a way of reminding me that it's been ten years since I was sixteen. The only saving grace of the whole endeavor is that my youth was spent listening to music considered by most to be a fad. For most people, bands like Reel Big Fish were popular for just about a year, then no one cared about them anymore. Oddly, I never really listened to Reel Big Fish, but rather used it as an introduction to the wider world of third-wave ska. Hence, the people that tend to show up at concerts like the one I'm going to tonight are in the same mold, people who started listening to these bands in the late 90's and have just stuck with it since then. There's still more annoying (which I can see now) young people, getting in my way and misunderstanding the rules of etiquette (bands like the Pietasters do not require a constant mosh pit, and you look like an idiot for trying one in addition to injuring people who are trying to enjoy themselves), but I think that's just a function of going to lame ska concerts. Apparently, my tastes in music are woefully adolescent.
The last concert I actually committed to going to and then showed up at was, and I think I'm not making this up, seven months ago (Mountain Goats and John Vanderslice at the Portage Theater). It had been a while before then. And while I enjoyed that show, I need to go to something or I think someone comes and confiscates the band posters and setlists that I collected from going to shows at Club Laga, and alternately either helping the horn section of the band I came to see load their van (The Berlin Project) and attempting to wake my friend up because he may have just sustained a concussion against one of the bare concrete pillars (Hatebreed/Throwdown/God Forbid). So I'm off to see Mustard Plug, The Toasters, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Deal's Gone Bad and Green Room Rockers tonight. I'll likely be back later to report on how Mustard Plug is holding up (incidentally, one of the first concerts I went to, back in 1997, was Mustard Plug, Slick Olde Bishops and, though I hadn't heard of them before the show, a Tomas Kalnoky-led Catch 22), how Rob Hingley is dealing with the fact that while he's the only remaining member of the original Toasters and has been for some time, every time I've seen them in recent years they appear to be losing members and then just not replacing them, leading to songs written for an eight-piece band being played by four. And I'll report on who on earth the Green Room Rockers are, in the event that I show up early enough to see them (who starts a concert at 5:00 pm on a Saturday?).