Thursday, April 06, 2006

Gorillaz in the Mist (of My Joyful Tears)

An artist's (my) rendition of the concert last night. No photography allowed!

It's been a long while since I've been to a concert. I think the last one I went to may have been The Killers at Jones Beach, which was so thoroughly disappointing that I almost gave up on live shows forever. (Actually, the last concert I went to was Bon Jovi, which was so vag-rocking I'm pretty sure I sprained an ovary.) I mean, what's the point? Usually the artist is in such a big venue, that even if you're first in line to buy a tickie, you'll still get stuck with the shittiest seats in the arena (as is my experience.)

Which is why, when I found out that the Gorillaz were on tour, and that they'd be playing at the ever so intimate Apollo Theater on 125th street, I had to go. HAD TO. There wouldn't be a bad seat in the house. Plus, seeing Damon Albarn live would be momentous for me, a die-hard Blur fan and lover of all things quaint, tiny and British.

Tickets went on sale while I was at jury duty, but I didn't let this stop me. I logged on to a govt. pewter and even though I was on Ticketmaster the moment they went on sale, I still ended up with balcony seats. 8th row, center, so I wasn't really complaining. I had tickets to a concert! An exlusive one!! With techie bits and whatnot!

Our seats were riiiiight above the main guys left shoulder.

Then the reviews came out. Panned. Their first show on Sunday night had multiple difficulties, and apparently the band wasn't strong enough to carry the show without all the bells and whistles. I was, how do you say.... crushed? Mind, body and soul? But I marched on, planning my outfit and coiffing my hair as if it were my wedding night and I was a 16 year old virgin. Tonight was the night.

And thank God I wore that gown! What a scene -- I love attractive crowds, and this audience really delivered. Plus, they had a full service bar! Not just beer! Oh, ladies night indeed. My friend Lang and I took our seats, and still mustered up a handful of exhuberance.

Before the show began, I was scanning the crowd and noticed a familiar face in one of the balconies. "Lang... Lang is that Dennis Hopper?" "I think so! I saw him too!" We stared and stared. "It couldn't be!" I argued. What would he be doing here? The man had Hopper-esque features, but looked very refined, older and handsome. I'm pretty sure he could feel the boiling-hot laser beam rays of our stares, because I swear to God he looked back at us. "I think it's just some guy!" I would say. "Some guy named Dennis Hopper!" two minutes later.

I mean, he was out of jail, right? I think it's him.

We wanted to ask the people around us, but figured that would be sooo plebe. "Excuse me, yis thyaaat Dyennis Hyopper??" Because I am a maniac, I told our neighbors, who responded by not making eye contact with me for the remainder of the show.

2 drinks in, and the show started (an hour late, natch.) I pulled out my digicam to take a snapshot, and felt the cold hand of death GRAB my arm. "Put that away or we will TAKE it away!" barked security, a girl who could not have been over 18. Seriously, I think she left a mark. I put it away, and then watched for the next hour as security marched up and down the aisles like HAWKS, shining flashlights on people who had their cameras/phones out. It was like some kinda crazy Terminator sequel, and was a definite distraction, in the sense that I was convinced a machete was gonna swing down and Steven Segal my head clean off.

More importantly: The music. I cannot stress ENOUGH how fucking AWESOME this show was. And I'm not using the word "awesome" like a teenager describing his latest rainbow party. I'm using "awesome" the way the word would apply to one of the Wonders of the World, or the Parthenon, or Zeus himself. The music was pitch perfect, there was a huge orchestra, special guests, small dancing children, a GOSPEL CHOIR (which I swear, if I was ever to convert, it would be solely to watch live gospel on a weekly basis. Never has my cantor's singing made me believe in a God like gospel does), and, of course, Damon Albarn. And cartoons, and puppets, and lights!!

More fun than this even!

And.... DENNIS HOPPER! Indeed, Mr. Hopper came on stage to read the lines to the song "Fire Coming Out Of The Monkey's Head." I lost my FACE. MY FACE!!! I mean, this is the SAME guy who played the villain in my favorite movie "Speed", as well as the good guy in my other favorite movie "True Romance"! "WE WERE RIGHT!" we chanted, whilst giving each other mini middle-aged-soccer-mom high fives. We made it clear to our neighbors that we had been right. We danced in joy!

Of course, it wasn't until today that I realized Mr. Hopper actually reads the same part on the album (which I had never matched up), and that we were, in fact, the official douchebags of the night. I wish people would tell us next time we're blessed with such an honor.

ALSO: Ike Turner was there.

In an equally distracting outfit!

There's one last performance tonight, which you may be able to still buy tickets for off of Craiglist. Gogogogogo!!! You won't regret it! (If you're not in NY, MSN Video will be broadcasting the concert live tonight. You MUST check it out.)

And breaking news: The Gorillaz might not exist after this tour! As if you needed any more reason!

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