May
13
2010

From underage to overpriced

Am I seeing things, or is that tiger leering at that innocent vocalist?

Every Enthusiast knows that nothing—nothing—goes better with booze than music. Especially live music.

Sure, I might have made a similar statement about drinking and air travel in a previous post, and I meant that one, too. It’s just that I mean this one way, way more. And don’t you dare think this is the final, super-definitive statement about “nothing going better with alcohol than…” that you’ve heard out of this Enthusiast. After all, what goes better with enthusiasm than loudly proclaimed, sweeping generalizations and over-blown, oft-self-aggrandizing, defiantly definitive statements which are always forgotten entirely until sobriety returns, rearing its dehydrating, leg-muscle-spasm-causing, sinus-duct-pinching presence? (Hangover symptoms may vary.)

Many of us Enthusiasts have been on this rodeo circuit for many, many years, despite little restrictions like the “law” and, additionally and prior to that, our “parents” or “legal” “guardians” telling us that we had to be over 21 (or whatever your country of adolescence’s legal boozing age is) to ride this liquid freight train straight to Enthusiasmville.

Nothing could ever stop this Enthusiast, for one, from getting wasted before seeing all my favorite bands play live. We all liked a lot of what we now realize are hilariously bad bands as we trundled awkwardly through middle and high school, so I’ll spare myself the added shame and you the boring—the way that other people’s pictures of themselves in front of C-List tourist monuments are boring—deets. This blog is about alcohol enthusiasm, anyways.

Concerts meant long, sweaty lines of washed-out dyed green hair, and tattered, baggy black tee-shirts emblazoned with imposing logos and sharp, cracked white or raised silver lettering. And acne, and loosely-laced skate shoes. Then there were the shoulder-tap acquired plastic jugs of bottom-shelf, ice-clear liquid-panty-remover, poured gingerly into dumped-out and more discrete plastic water bottles that we could slyly swig from in line. All of this burning through our throats, and chased by M&Ms or crackers and the intense desire to get super wasted before it was our turn to get padded down by security on our way through the stadium and/or venue and/or pier gates. Enviously, we watched our elders lined up at beer-fueling stations, or aside long bars, ordering and receiving that which we’d only carried in with our bloodstreams. So cool with their big plastic branded cups and/or fancy little glasses with their fancy little twin straws. By the time your or my mom and/or dad arrived to collect the sweaty teenaged music lovers, splitting headaches and joy waltzed hand in hand into the blissful sunset of our fuzzy brains as we raced down highways, home.

Last night I got drunk at a fancier-then-I recall-from-being-a-tipsy-15-year-old venue in San Francisco. Pushing past crowds towards the wrist band line, where ID shares were exchanged for rights to buy pricey cocktails, I wondered—was this what I had lusted after, when secretly guzzling seared clear liquid from those plastic lips in preparation for lights up, ear-splitting, cheering, shoving, encore? These short, flimsy receptacles lousy with warming ice cubes, infused with the faintest splash of the essence of vodka or bourbon?

Maybe you just don’t know what you got, until it becomes wildly age inappropriate to participate in it.

And we flashed our IDs to have our wrists festooned with paper bracelets, and we pushed our way past heavily-perfumed, shot taking, bumpit-ponytailed women to swig that which we still and always, lust after.

 
—Josey

Tiger lusting after rock star photo courtesy of Easystreet.