Despite my immense and vocal fan base that regularly cries out for justice, I have never been even close to being treated like a celebrity. I have languished in my mediocre regular-ness for what seems like an eternity. Do not cry for me though, friends. Finally, after all these years, my suffering has ended! On Sunday night at the Fox Theater in Oakland, I got to drink from the sacred cup of whatever the hell it is that would make me more important than 97% of the people in my immediate vicinity.
After staying too long at Norodd's house so I could stuff more delicious pre-concert barbecue chicken and booze in my face, I was running a little behind schedule so I hustled over to the venue with all due haste. Amazingly, the first side street that I turned on to find parking had an open spot and my night was off to a great start.
I know that an open parking space is not like picking up Natalie Portman on 'Super-Low-Standards Night' at the local dive bar, but I intensely hate driving around trying to find parking. I usually just park in the first spot I find that is even remotely in the vicinity of my destination and walk the rest of the way, no matter how far it might be. Luckily for me, this spot was two short blocks from the theater!
Because I am a fantastic person, I had previously decided to sneak in my camera so I could snap a few photos for my hordes of loyal readers who could not make it to the big show. I had been incredibly nervous in anticipation of the security folks finding my camera when they searched me (the chances were high since it was only 'hidden' in my shirt pocket), but they just waved me in and told me to enjoy the show. Awesome.
I showed my ticket to the usher and he said 'down the right side, all the way to the front'. Now, I'm not the type of person who gets this kind of ticket often so these words sounded pretty fucking cool. And it was true! Each time I came to a new usher, they would point towards the next lower section and say 'keep going'. Awesomer!
By the time I got all the way down to the section right in front of the stage, I was grinning like a moron. Most of the concerts that I attend are general admission so I can get right up next to the stage if I desire, but this was a kick-ass seat RESERVED JUST FOR ME because I am better than regular people and I deserve it.
I had seen where my seat was supposed to be on the ticket website seating map, but I was trying to keep my expectations low because there was probably some sort of mistake and my seat was actually located in a hallway next to the restrooms or some fucking thing.
There was no mistake.
If you ever have the chance to be one of the 'special' people (not like protective pillows tied to your head and hands special, I mean the good kind!) I highly recommend it. When I turned around to look at the rest of the 'averages' that were sitting behind me I almost died. There was this sea of faces! Faces that I pitied for their not being a good enough person to deserve to sit where I was at that moment. Even the people in the row directly behind me were just a little bit crappier than me.
Thirty seconds later the house lights went down. Needless to say Elvis and the band taking the stage did nothing to relieve my idiot perma-grin. They sounded amazing! I can't begin to describe the quality of the music in any way that could possibly explain how happy I was that night so I will leave it up to you to find a more competent reviewer somewhere else who isn't a gushing fan-boy.
As a special feature of this tour, Elvis had listed a bunch of his songs on the Spectacular Spinning Songbook and was inviting selected members of the audience up to the stage to give it a spin. The song that the wheel landed on would be the song that the band would play. I would've probably pissed myself if I got a chance to go up there and spin it, but I desperately wanted to anyway. As we have learned previously, that night I was more important than 97% of the people in attendance of the concert, but this still left 3% to crush my dreams.
In the weeks leading up to the concert I tried not to think about the possibilities too much. I didn't really think I would get picked, especially if my seat was out in the hall as I feared, but secretly I kept hoping anyway. I even had a song lined up if I spun the wheel and it said I got to request a song. I had absolutely NO knowledge of there being a 'request' section of the wheel, but I thought I'd better be prepared just in case.
I would've requested 'Tokyo Storm Warning'.
or 'I Want You'.
or 'Indoor Fireworks'...
Goddamnit. I could never choose just one.
It turns out that there was a request portion, but the only person who got to make a request was Mr. Costello himself. Well if it isn't gonna be me...
Those goddamn life-ruining shitbird 3% bastards that got to go up on stage, after they spun the wheel, were offered a drink and a seat at a special (not the eating ping-pong balls filled with tuna special, I mean the good kind!) lounge at the side of the stage or they could dance for the crowd in a go-go cage. A surprisingly high percentage of people elected for the cage. Some were funny and awkward, one was beautiful and awkward, and one looked like a drunken cow when she fell out of the cage.
My favorite of the amateur dancers managed to lure Elvis into the cage with her for a brief dalliance before he slyly hopped out the other side. She was charming and funny and somehow managed to cage dance to a slowish tune about a husband cheating on his wife called The Long Honeymoon. When she had originally spun the wheel, people had cheered for the song as it came up because they had been told that it was her fifteenth wedding anniversary, the song obviously had the word honeymoon right in the title, and her husband was somewhere in the crowd. Often lyrics aren't listened to because people are simple.
I feel like I should say more about the music, but my abilities to describe what I heard and how delighted I was are lacking... let's see, um, Great Songs. See what I mean?
Maybe I could explain it a different way.
Elvis played a song that I always love on his live recordings, and don't think I've ever actually heard in person, called God's Comic. It is a beautiful, tragically funny song that has this part where traditionally a live audience is supposed to shout the phrase 'Now I'm dead!' back at Elvis after he sings his line. This is not a hit-single type of song and apparently not a whole lot of people around me knew we were supposed to participate. So on the first time through, almost no one near me, besides me, sang the line. It didn't get any better the second time either. Normally this would encourage me to pipe down and not sing it at all the next time through. I'm definitely not the singing by myself type.
I sang it louder each time because I was so happy that night.