Thursday, September 11, 2008

That's Entertainment!

Last night's Paul Weller show was without a doubt the greatest concert I've ever been to -- but probably not for the reasons you'd think. As always, Michael and I arrived early and secured a good spot (near the front, stage left). As always, two OBNOXIOUS GIRLS arrived much later and decided to stand directly in front of us. Well, let me back up. Michael had gone to get beers and these two girls were pushing their way through the crowd to try to get to center stage. When they got in front of me, I didn't really care so long as they kept it moving. Others ahead of me did mind and stopped them, so they wound up in front of me. There was ample room AND I was feeling charitable -- plus they were shorter than we are -- so I decided not to be a jerk about it. Big mistake. Michael comes back with the beers and these two girls start singing along and dancing around. Fine. But the blonde was drunk and was carrying this HUGE pocketbook and began bashing us and everyone around her with it as she danced. After doing it literally a dozen times, Michael -- and I commend him for his restraint -- very politely tapped her on the shoulder and asked her if she could be careful with her bag because she was hitting people with it. Does she apologize? Does she stop? No. She gets right in his face and screams, "I'M JUST TRYING TO HAVE A GOOD TIME HERE!" The show was in full swing and Michael and I were just trying to have a good time, so we bent over backward to not be nonconfrontational and even took a step back to give her more "dancing" room. But instead of being thankful for our largess, she proceeds to flail about ten times wilder and begins smashing us again with the bag.

Suddenly, this guy in glasses (see HERO photo, right) comes along and because we've backed up a bit, he decides to make his move into the opening. Fine, we thought. He can stand next to this crazy bitch. Well, within seconds she had bashed the new guy ONCE, TWICE, THREE times. Before Michael and I could even be grateful that this poor guy had come between us, POW! He bumps her flat onto the ground!!!!!!!!!!!!! And then pretends to not know how she got there!!! And let me tell you, this bitch was DOWN FOR THE COUNT! I know it may make me sound pathetic (I honestly don't care), but I can't remember a happier (and prouder) moment in my life! I don't think I've ever seen such instant karma. Quickly, security came running over trying to figure out why someone was lying on the ground. I was concerned that people might have thought this guy had done this for no reason, so I patted him on the back so he knew he had a supporter. But I was wrong. Within no time THE ENTIRE AREA was lauding him as a HERO for putting an end to this bitch's selfish behavior (remind you of anyone?) and urging security to throw her out on her ear. Sloppy's friend convinced security to let them stay, so My Hero proceeds to stand RIGHT NEXT TO HER all night making her completely uncomfortable. Witnessing this whole thing left me in awe, and reminded me that I'll never be a true New Yorker. This guy was all business -- no questions asked. He KNEW that she KNEW what she was doing was rude, but she put herself above everyone else. He was not having it. I admire that so much. (God it was hilarious -- and did I mention GREAT?!)

Oh, and there was a concert. As expected, Paul was in fine form with an excellent band (sadly, no Steve White on drums though). He did a lot of songs from the wonderful new album, "22 Dreams," including my FAVE "Sea Spray," plus "All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You)," "Have You Made Up Your Mind," "Echoes 'Round the Sun," and the title track. Other songs I remember include "Blink and You'll Miss It" (the opener), "Brand New Start," "Wild Wood," "The Changingman," "Broken Stones," "You Do Something to Me" and "Come On/Let's Go" (but no "From the Floorboards Up"). (There were other solo songs, but that's all I can remember.) He made my night (even more so) by doing a raucous version of "Shout to the Top" (which he dedicated to someone named Sherrie or something like that). Sadly, that was the ONLY Style Council song. (I read he did "Speak Like a Child" in Tokyo, where TSC were once as big as the Beatles.)

We got THREE WHOLE Jam songs -- "The Butterfly Collector" (what a treat!), "Eton Rifles" (wow!) and, of course, "That's Entertainment," which was kind of ruined by letting some midget named Kelly Jones (of Stereophonic fame, apparently) sing most of it.

I know I already blogged about this, and I know I knew what I was getting myself into. But seeing Paul live is an awful lot like seeing another famous Paul (McCartney). You keep hoping he'll do Beatles songs. Or if you're me, you'll be hoping for Wings. (How's that for a strange parallel?) But of course he's gonna do all that stuff off "Memory Almost Full" that no one wants to hear, and maybe a couple of the ones you do. I know it's a solo show. But it almost feels cruel to stand up there NOT doing the songs that would make people SO HAPPY. (The difference in the crowd's reaction between "Eton Rifles" and, well, any of the solo songs was like night and day. And NOT DOING "Town Called Malice" just seems sadistic to me.) Closing the show with "All You Need Is Love" was sweet enough I suppose (even if he didn't do ANY of the covers from "Studio 150"). My night had already been made by watching that chick get what was coming to her -- a first in my lifetime -- so the music was merely icing on the cake. But, hey. Couldn't you have done "Silly Love Songs" instead?

"Shout to the Top"

"The Butterfly Collector"


Anonymous said...

"Instant Karma". So *that's* what John Lennon was singing about! I love it Kenneth. Like you, I hate it when stupid people get away with things. Good for "Hero".

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I laughed. I cried. I cried from laughing! Had I been there, I would have bought Hero a beer just for being that. I don't think she'll forget this concert any time soon.