Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dear Guy at the Gangstagrass Show

Concerts started to get tiring for me in high school after I hit a growth spurt.  I hated having to stand on the periphery, or along the walls of the club, but if I stood in the open, I would sooner or later be kicked in the head by a crowdsurfer.  That, I have since found, was only true when I was a lowly small sized gigantor, topping out under 6'4".  Now, with my superior full sized gigantor height, I have become a force of physics, or some science involving shapes.  I have created the Cone of Greg.

The Cone of Greg occurs at any show now when I stand anywhere towards the middle of the floor where I might actually get a good look at the band.  Since the average size of a normal person is roughly a foot shorter than me, the same problem that used to lead to me getting brain-kicked now allows me a completely unobstructed view of the stage.  Observe a scientific table made by scholars:

That beautiful red triangle is the completely empty space behind me at any given show.  People have simply decided not to fight it, and they go to either side of me, leaving a triangular shape about ten feet behind me, moving to the point where they can again see over my head.  I have parted the sea of jerks.  I don't get elbowed, crowded, sweat on, spit on, or licked unless I ask.  It is glorious.  And, I can see where this is going, but I never stand any closer than less that halfway between the back wall and the stage, so I am not purposefully blocking people.  I just feel I should get to stand somewhere near the stage too.  Every once in awhile, though, some poor soul flies into the restricted airspace of the Cone of Greg, beyond all logic and decency.  This is one of those stories.

I recently caught Gangstagrass on the first date on their new tour.  I missed the first opening band due to a delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant, and cigars in front of the venue.  When my friends and I got inside, the very talented The Walkaways were just starting.  Roughly fifty people were scattered around the spacious room, while another sixty to seventy were content to stay in the outer room, sitting around the bar drinking imported beer and comparing ironic t-shirts.  These people were dead to me from the word go, and my compatriots and I enjoyed the elbow room while we watched a solid band play a solid set.  All good things end, however, and when Gangstagrass took the stage, hundreds of people crammed into the room and pushed for the front.  I didn't give an inch, and reliably, the Cone of Greg formed by the end of the first song.

The set was going amazingly well, even though they hadn't played their awesome cover of the spiritual "O, Death", or their big hit, the theme song to the show Justified.  A group of drunken idiots to our left caused some issues as they tried to hit on the only woman in the group, but otherwise, the crowd wasn't bad.  I got cocky, and though that I was going to have a issue free evening.  The gods laughed, and as the band got ready for a new song, a Pabst scented wind drifted over my shoulder, and the words "PLAY FREEBIRD!" were shrieked into my ear.

I turned to find a man a few inches shorter than me, holding a cheap beer and wearing chef pants and a hat with the brim pushed up like a neck bearded, white Spike Lee.  He thought the Cone of Greg was custom built for him, since he was tall enough to peer over my shoulder.  He stayed roughly six inches behind me, and again bellowed his command at top volume into my ear, then stumbled away.

Are we seriously still doing this?  I understand, yes, Gangstagrass plays some down home music, much like Skynyrd did.  However, no one has ever found this funny.  There is a group, formed by the lead singer of The Decembrists, called Musicians Against the Calling Out of “Freebird”.  It has become that bad.  Why don't you people just sit at home on Facebook and wait for someone to screw up so you can tell them that they are drunk and should go home?  How about we start yelling "WHAZZZUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP?" again?  Let's have dogs lay with cats and let's just let society implode upon itself, because maybe things have finally gotten so bad that they will never get better again.

The only small solace I can take is the coda to this story.  During the second encore, the band got into a very long jam song, so I went to get a soda and use the restroom.  I had some blessed peace in the empty restroom until Mr. Chefpants Von Stupidhat stumbled in.  He waddled up, went to the urinal directly next to me despite the fact we were the only two there, then started talking to me, thereby breaking ALMOST EVERY RULE I HAVE. His drunken, goon tongue was able to push the words, "You're the only one taller than me" past his goon teeth and out of his goon mouth.  I was having none of this, and love messing with a drunk moron, so I turned quickly and said loudly, "What did you say to me?!?!?!"

He did not yell.  He wasn't even scared.  He got a very sad look on his face, hung his head, and said, "I'm sorry."  Then he lost his balance and almost fell into the urinal. 

Sometimes, things do go right.

1 comment:

  1. I have the exact opposite problem due to my extreme vertical limitations. Although, I was once saved by my own gigantor guardian angel when a crowd at a Beastie Boys show tried to consume me. He picked me up under my armpits and carried me over to the side of the field before wordlessly setting me down and wading his way back into the thick of things. Ever since then, I've never complained about a tall person in a crowd. You never know when one of them might come in handy.


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