There is wisdom to be found even in the most unlikely of places. Case in point: the final night of the St. Patrick's Day run for Irish punk/folk/drunken hooligans the Pogues after returning to American shores after 15 years. Bandit King of the Indie All Ages Shows Sean scalped two tickets, and it was with a cautious mind I agreed to go see the show. Got to the new Nokia Theater in NYC (connected to the MTV building) around 8:00 PM. Nice place, really spacious with huge bathrooms, multiple alcohol and snack bars, and a decent stage. My thinking ran thus - I listened to the Pogues when they were big back in the late 80's and early 90's during college, so my fear of having to deal with hundreds of young head-full-of-ass kids should be at a minimum, despite the 16 and over requirement on the ticket.
Wisdom: What's worse then having to endure a long show in a damp and dank hall with hundred of people at least 15+ years younger than you? Having to do the same with hundreds of very large, sweaty half-naked drunken Irish guys going to a Pogues concert.
First band up was (I think) Shadowking and the Unity Squad. We walked in on the last song, which was a bagpipe/funk extravaganza of Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) by Sly and the Family Stone. Believe it or not, this rocked pretty hard, and the bass player was slammin'.
After a pretty quick set change, we were exposed to the Towers of London. This was unashamed cock rock circa early 80's England, and while it was fun, the audience wasn't feeling it. I would have taken a pic or two, but it was at this precise point I realized another nugget of...
Wisdom: What I remembered as "slam dancing" and "moshing" from my time doing it (again, years ago - I'm no spring chicken) was people expressing their love of the music via slamming around against like-minded individuals in an attempt to connect with each other in a way that was both primal and introspective at the same time. No, really! I remember the thrill of listening to Rollins, NIN and others, throwing myself around in the pit. Every connection made with another human being was an exclamation that I was alive, that I was "in the moment," and that others shared the same passion I did. The second someone dropped, they were helped right back up.
Apparently, this form of expression has now been bastardized by assholes and frat-heads who use simply use it as a lame excuse to beat the living crap out of people, with no regard for safety or the music that is supposedly inspiring the pit in the first place. I hope these people die.
...Okay, sorry. I feel better now. Not enough to remove the wish of death on these cretins, but at least better enough to explain that, since this mindless behavior was going on, I was unable to take a pic of the Sex Pistols-inspired filth (in manner, not music) that Towers of London inspired. So, to make up for it, here's a picture I drew to commemorate their set (thanks go to Microsoft Paint):
I know. The nod to Picasso is welcome, thanks!
Okay, after that the Pogues, despite the abundance of fat naked man-flesh swirling about in beer soaked violence was pretty enjoyable. Shane was, as always, completely indecipherable. They played all the big hits. Here are some pictures.
Belting out to Sunny Side of the Street.
Shane's voice gave out after every second song, so the rest of band took turns handling vocal duties. Although I would have preferred Shane, Here's the 90 year old guitar player rocking out badass to Thousands Are Sailing.
Pogues go supernova!!! Humanity is toasted!!!
We fade out on Fiesta. The crowd leaves to spew havoc on the city streets. Myself, bruised but happy, return home to a night no alcohol and wheat snacks.