the more that you give, the more it will take

LJ asks: “What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?”

Best: The Quannum Projects tour in spring 2004 with Adrian C. I bought the ticket to see Blackalicious – learning the ways of Lyrics Born, Lateef the Truth Speaker, the Lifesavas and watching DJ Shadow scratch on a DVD player were a bonus. Now that’s value add right there.

Worst: I haven’t been to any real stinkers, no absolute nightmares of sound and violence. Most disappointing was probably Ambulance LTD at the Paradise, only because they had no energy whatsoever. And even that wasn’t bad, as I discovered We Are Scientists at that show. I get to say I Saw Them When, my one gem of true indie cred that I cling to desperately.

Funniest: Definitely the near fistfight at the Guster concert. Never have I wanted to yell, “Would you smoke some fucking dope and chill out?” more than at that moment.

Southernest: Lynyrd Skynyrd, summer of 1999, Arlington Proving Grounds, MD. Kids with rat tails waved banners of skeletons in Confederate uniforms clawing their way out of the ground. A girl in her twenties sat on her dad’s shoulders; her arms ended in stumps at her elbows; in the wooden fork splinted onto one of them she chain-smoked Marlboros all night. The Marshall Tucker Band opened; every time Doug Gray closed out the refrain of “Heard It In A Love Song” (“… heard it in a lo-o-ve song / can’t be wrong”), he ad-libbed the line “ain’t gonna be wrong tonight!”; literally every time. A forty-year-old woman hit on me. Johnny Van Zant namechecked Columbine before launching into “Saturday Night Special.” Their encore was – but you know how this story ends – the nine-minute “Free Bird.” It was the first concert I’d ever attended and they’ve only grown better since.

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