Cavort to the Music (Live)
By Dwip May 17, 2005, 6:30 pm Comments (5) RSS Feed for this post

We might even find some robot slaves, too, if we’re lucky. Because, as we all know, we’re all about robot slaves and free food and all that.

However, we are not all about driving on I-5 between semis, nor are we about Continental Airlines, which is perhaps the worst airline I have had the misfortune to take in recent memory. But the tickets were cheap, and I got to sleep on the plane, so whatever.

As it happens, I ran into a couple of guys from Portland while trying to make the train ticket machine spit my $3 back up, both of whom had made the same midnight flight from Portland to Houston, then to Philadelphia. Small world.

To make a long story short, I eventually arrived at the right train station, whereupon Regina’s mom picked me up, and we drove through some ludicrously nice neighborhoods to snag Regina from school. Two things should be noted here briefly: Firstly, everyone where Regina lives builds in stone, and plants trees. Small forest animals are in favor of this sort of thing. Too, her school does both of these things, and also dates from 1785. Small forest animals with degrees in history approve of such things.

Anyway. I forget what the conversation in the car involved, but we made it about 5 minutes without mentioning squirrel aliens. I was proud of us. Or maybe it was only 4 minutes. Whatever.

In any case, I was then driven to this fantastical neat house, fed awesome Chinese food (oh the horror! The horror!), and hauled off by Regina to meet her FOCUS friends. And to quote the IM:

starflier06: well, friday night if you’re up for it we’re going to Heather’s.
starflier06: But please please be up for it.

And so I was. And so it was that I met Heather, and also Alan and…Brendan? and got to show off my mad mini golf skillz (or lack thereof), and to be called new and interesting variations on my name (much more amusing than it sounds). And then, on what felt more or less like the 7th day, we slept.


Originally, Day Two was going to involve large amounts of cultural indoctrination on both our parts (and I quote: TontoMarius: Huzzah! Be the first kid on the block to have a re-education camp in their own home!), but we didn’t reckon with Regina’s mom, who was like “Bright sunshine! Warmth! Go outside!”

So we went outside. For values of outside == downton Philly, but outside nonetheless. Amongst other things, we saw the obligatory large covered market, the enterance to Chinatown, the outside of the Constitution Center, the Mint, the Free Quaker Meeting House (Of, amongst other things, Betsy Ross fame), the Christ Church Burial Ground (wherein various interesting folks are buried, including Ben Franklin, five signers of the Declaration, assorted Revolutionary types, and the first headmaster of Regina’s school), Betsy Ross’ house, Elfreth’s Alley (the oldest continually inhabited street in the US), Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell, where Regina and I got our pictures taken, after going through airport-style security, which is the only place to date where I’ve had to take my belt off to get through a metal detector.

Amongst other entertaining episodes, I got to watch Regina cavort with birds, and we saw, in quick succession, an inflatable lobster on an inflatable telephone and the forerunners of our robot slaves. It’s a Dali thing. Just flee in orderly terror towards the nearest exit and leave it at that. Also, pretty much all the US Customs agents we ran into around the tourist stuff were dicks. Except the guy in the museum. He was cool.

Quoth Regina: “It’s kind of fun being a tourist in your own city.”

But alas, there’s only so much time in one day, and we had a train to catch. Somewhat misfortunately, however, we missed the train we wanted, inducing in Regina a cute frenetic panic, which almost got us both killed by like three assorted cars, but did, in the end, get us to the train.


And then, well, we went to the concert.

A U2 concert.

I’ve been waiting 8 years to see a U2 concert.

Now, you should realize at this point that the tickets Regina originally got were for the cheap seats way the hell up in the back and top. However, since her dad is cool and has the corporate hookup, he managed to get tickets for one of the boxes. So, you know, great view, easy food and drink access, and a private bathroom.

However, we learned in that first hour and a half an important lesson of concert going: Unless you REALLY like the opening act, be fashionably late like all the other smart kids. It’s not that Kings of Leon was BAD, so much as their sound sucked so I couldn’t hear a word they were singing, and they were keeping me from, you know, U2. So we’ll remember that for next time.

Also, watching them set up is exceedingly boring, though watching the crowd go wild at everything they thought might possibly be the band was pretty funny. Regina, being wiser than I, was like “Why ARE they cheering? U2 probably won’t come out until about 9:15.” Damned if she wasn’t right, too. Lights went out about 9:15, the band comes up on the stage, and I’m like “… … … … OMFG!!!!!!!!! ITS U2!!!!!!!!!11111oneoneone!!!!!” (Not that this showed, apparently, since the far more exuberent Regina kept wondering if I was having a good time)

Then they started playing City of Blinding Lights. This was cool, not so much because I LIKE City of Blinding Lights (though hearing songs I don’t like live seems to jack the Awesome-O-Meter way way up), but because of the waves of unadulterated glee coming from a certain girl in the audience (who, it must be noted, happens to like the song just a little bit).

That having been done, they launched into Vertigo and Elevation, both of which were freaking awesome, and got me into the whole foot-stomping-to-the-beat-singing-along thing pretty well, which couldn’t quite compete with the 40-something guy in front of me, who was not only bouncing to the music, but punching his fist in the air in time with the song.

Too, it should be noted that U2 had an awesome light show going, including colored lights racing around the edge of the stage, assorted bright lights to flash the audience with, and some hanging curtains of lights that did everything from flash to scroll the flags of Africa. It was, as Regina’s dad noted after, a show in and of itself.

So, Vertigo and Elevation, surprise of surprises, rocked. Then they launched into Electric Co. Holy crap. If I have one regret about this whole concert, it’s that I will never, ever get to hear that song done that well again.

*Insert U2, standing on stage, surrounded by huge crowd of groveling rabbits*

An Cat Dubh and Into the Heart, by contrast, are part of the more shrugworthy part of Boy. They were neat, and Bono pulled these, call them 6 year old, girls onto the stage and walked them around, which was cute, but.

I don’t remember much of Beautiful Day, Miracle Drug, and Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own, except that Beautiful Day was very good, and Bono was going into Save the World mode, complete with those flags I was talking about earlier. If Bono wasn’t who my less cynical self wanted to be when he grew up, I might have been annoyed. Instead, I settled for the sing along.

Love and Peace or Else, though. That was cool. But I was always a fan of the rockier stuff.

Not, however, Sunday Bloody Sunday, alas, but they still did it well, and it was cool. Bono also did this little speech about how SBS “no longer belongs to Ireland, it belongs to America,” which I suppose was a good segue into…

Bullet the Blue Sky. Which, like all renditions of Bullet, was awesome as hell. Bullet is, after all, Bullet. Bono also tossed in a couple verses of the old Civil War tune When Johnny Comes Marching Home, which was especially cool, not in the least because I very much like that song.

They played Running to Stand Still live. Running to Stand Still is teh own. End of discussion. You are welcome, however, to discuss the dedication of the song to “The brave men and women of the American armed forces.”

Pride is pretty much Pride, and Where the Streets Have No Name is pretty much Streets, live or otherwise.

And, honestly, I expected the next song to be With or Without You, which I desperately wanted to hear live, but it turned out to be One. Oh no. Wasn’t that horrible. (Sarcasm? Huh?)

And then the band left the stage. And fools rushed out. Regina and I, however, being smarter than your average small forest animals, stayed put. Whereupon the video screens began doing 1992 Zoo TV-esque stuff with the little Zooropa head guy, and the band came back and played Zoo Station, and all right thinking rabbits were enthused greatly, because Achtung Baby is in fact the best U2 album.

Regina looked fairly confused when they started playing the Fly, but I, being wise in the ways of Achtung Baby and revelling in the flashing of random words on the screen straight out of Zoo TV, corrected her. And then I went back to stomping my feet, head banging, and screaming the lyrics while the female parts of the box leaped around, and the guy in front of me did the fist in the air thing.

Figuring they weren’t quite awesome enough for playing the Fly, they then played Mysterious Ways, which was obviously great. Because has that song ever been played and not been good? No? Ok then.

Then they trooped on off the stage again, but the lights stayed off, so us right thinking small forest animals stayed put while fools once more rushed out. We were thusly rewarded with a second encore which started with halfway decent renditions of All Because of You and Yahweh.

And then they played 40. Anybody who knows anything about U2 concerts knows that when they do 40, it’s time for the sing along, and that’s about what happened. Even after the band left the stage, the lights came on, and we were trooping out to the parking lot, there were STILL people singing “How long to sing this song.” It was one of those moments where I felt really great about being a U2 fan.

So after the music’s done, and I’m done rocking out, and Regina’s done dancing around and clapping and such, I look over, and her dad’s standing on the stairs of the box looking bemusedly at us. And he says to me “Good show?” And I’m like “That there was good times.” “Worth flying across the continent for?”

“Oh yeah.”


And then it was Sunday, and despite threats of rain, it was still bright and sunny and in the 70s. Quoth Regina’s mom, “Bright sunshine! Warm! Good! Get out of the house!” (Notice any trends?)

Like we needed an excuse to go to Borders. Regina, to her credit, at least picked up a book. Me, I settled for getting the dual disc version of With Teeth, along with the Rattle and Hum DVD. That done, there was cavorting in parks. Alas, no deer to be seen, though we did discuss how to cavort with deer when no deer were to be found. Regina held forth in favor of animatronic deer, though I was more in favor of genetically engineered deer for different environments, such as the aquatic deerphin.

And then Regina was subjected to, variously, homework, parallel parking, and new music, while I cackled evilly and Evil Overlordishly stroked my moustache while waving a tape measure in a deceptively nonthreatening manner.

We both badly need a basketball refresher course. Regina’s dad, however, does not.

And then, after various other cultural indoctrination, during which it was discovered that A), Regina is much smarter than I am; and B), I have in fact become an evil influence upon even such things as class notes (“…can dominate with its awesome industrialized military!”), I inflicted Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure upon Regina:

Her: *giggle* “This is a really stupid movie.” *giggle*

Me: “Yes.”

Her: “Oh, THAT’S where you got that ‘thanks to great leaders…’ quote from!”

Her: “When did they make this thing, anyway?”

Me: “Like 1989.”

Her: “Oh. I was like, 2 or something.”

Me: *pondering about how he’s owned the tape for almost 15 years*

And the crowning moment:

Her: “If I ever start quoting this movie in real life, we’re in trouble.”

And then came sleep and a trip home, involving one of those surreal moments where you’re arriving at PDX while having Fight Club flashbacks (“You wake up in SeaTac, LAX…”), thinking “I was on the other side of the continent this morning. Wow.” And everything you’d done seemed like something that happened to somebody else a long time ago.

But that’s why we have the camera. And IM.


Humor, Movies and Television, Music, Photoblogging, Random and Ravings, Trips Comments (5) RSS Feed for this post
Comments on Cavort to the Music (Live)
avatar Comment by cyborgsuzy #1
May 18, 2005 at 5:05 am

Wow, I remember going to see the Liberty bell before they put all that glass up, and there was one security gaurd… who let a blind guy touch the Bell.

And would you learn to shrink your goddamn image files? Some of us are still RESNET bandwidth whores, here. :P

avatar Comment by cyborgsuzy #2
May 18, 2005 at 5:55 am

…and after all that talk about Phildelphia and concert descriptions (and I do hate you, btw), this is what my brain grabs at. Whatever.

avatar Comment by Whir #3
May 18, 2005 at 11:41 pm

Just when you think no one can catch up to Dwip in terms of sheer bizarreness of thought process, you see something like that.

avatar Comment by Marechal #4
May 20, 2005 at 12:01 pm

What did Gaius Iulius Caesar do in Morocco?

avatar Comment by Dwip #5
May 20, 2005 at 1:33 pm

I can’t actually remember him doing anything, which is actually kind of the point.