The Bright Eyes show was full of 14-year-old girls smoking cigarettes, their gay boyfriends, and not enough emo tears to gratify my fancy. While wristbands for alcohol were highly enforced, everyone seemed to pretend not to notice that these adolescents were not well-versed in polite smoking. The older brother who bought the Camels for the girl sitting next to me should have also explained to her that blowing her smoke directly sideways (without enjoying it first) was a ridiculous move. I have never seen so many emaciated and well-groomed boys in my life, either. It was a sort of pleasant dream. We sat in the balcony, though, where it was easier for me to sneak a single gin and tonic, which I definitely needed in light of the horror of the second act.
M. Ward came on first, though, and he was amazing. You've got to admit that when you critique your favorite music that usually the first thing that flows to mind isn't simply "impressive musicianship," but this guy had the glaring talent. He called attention to the guitar, and had all the grace of Jeff Buckley and the roughness of Bob Dylan. I sound hokey, but I gradually adopted the kind of seriousness in watching him that I used to apply to my observation of my very talented viola instructor. I was prepared to buy his CD and actually support him, but by the time the concert was over, it was so definitely over. I'd already bought my MAXIMIZED EMO Bright Eyes shirt (just for your sake, Brian), so I was satisfied. Okay, I'll just say it: sparsely-drawn girl, hair in her eyes, holding a violin--in the rain--, a snake at her feet. I hate it when that happens.
The second guy--whose name I intentionally forgot--blew. His voice was pleasing in trio with M. Ward and Connor, but on his own, he launched so deep into country that I started whispering sarcastically to a pained Meghan, "Enter Garth." The concert flowed seamlessly with the mere sharing and switching of guitars. Everyone knew everyone's music and there were no annoying intermissions--still the show lasted nearly 3 hours, which was great.
And it's true, Connor Oberst is emo-fantastic. Dressing in the way Rivers Cuomo made even cooler in the nineties. His guitar work was less impressive, but his voice, live, had this surprising capacity for yelling and softness that I didn't really expect. He played a lot of new stuff. He shared a bottle of red wine. He was in a rare friendly mood in that he actually responded to audience interjections, which turned out to be a bad idea. Some kid persuaded him to dedicate his next song to "Celia, from Dan" which was cute, until in every pause, Dan yelled, "Thanks, Connor! I love you, Celia! Celia!" No one forced him to shut up (Connor ignored him at this point), but the more sedate group from the balcony yelled languorous "Fuuuck you"s: so uneffective, and yet so sincere.
After we pushed our way out of the Vic we ended up pushing ourselves out of shitty Clark's, and then I suggested El Jardin (!) for mediocre Mexican and margaritas (which, I forgot, fall out of a machine). I ended up drinking my own drink and most of Meghan's, which made the trek home almost lovely. Parts of the red line were down, so we took an alternate (purple? brown?) line the distance that the subway usually takes us and had a cool view of downtown. Waiting for the 55 took under 10 minutes and I "kept" myself sober enough to meet a snotty physics major whose major errand of Saturday was to come upon used physics books. Oh, U of C (not unfondly).
Tonight, my dears, is the season and series finale of beloved Sex and the City. Preparations included disguised flirtinis and maybe brownies. I will laugh and maybe cry, and if the last scene is of Carrie walking, thought-laden and fashionably dressed, down an emptied New York street, I will curse the writers for too much cliche. It's my suspicion, though. (The Big scenario was set up so deliberately that I'm suspicious it's fake. In regard to that, I think she will discover both lovingly and sublimely that they have all the time engaged in a "divine friendship" that takes them to sex, to relationships, to beautiful walks in the park. But we'll see. The rumors that Samantha dies seem the most unbelievable. Oh, and we all know that nothing earth-shattering will happen to Charlotte, beyond motherhood through adoption.)
And I am a little hungover, but ahead on homework.