10 April, 2006

Continuing My Missive About the Weekend...

Friday: I died.

Not literally. It was a very different experience...I woke up rather early and got all gussied up for a day of hard work and hard rocking. Nate picked me up at 7 and we headed to the Behrens' house. John was loading his car, so we all got ready for a long car ride and settled into the blue hatchback. The ride there was filled with conversation and music. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones are AMAZING!!! Duuuuude. We talked about music (duh) and traveling. John's interested in Japan, so we were discussing the possibility of a journey there. Said John, "Would you be interested in a trip to Japan?" I, thinking that he meant finding a group of people to travel with in Japan, responded with "Oh, yeah, that'd be amazing!" "Hehe...Well, actually, that question was directed at Nate," saith the John. Haha. Misunderstandings can be rather awkwardly funny. So John & Nate were discussing THAT possibility, and I got jealous, but it was cool :-) I hope they end up going, and coming back with cool pictures and interesting stories that would encourage me to go there some day.

We got to the Hoffman's house around 11:30, and surprise! No one was awake. Oh dear. John immediately noticed the 2-liter of Dr. Pepper Berries & Cream on the table, and we sampled the new beverage. Phillip came down the stairs, tousled and smiling, to greet us while Mrs. Hoffman lectured John on the importance of informing her of guests before they arrive. We mulled around a bit, and Mrs. Hoffman and Phillip were introduced to the Amazing Nathan. Brian pulled in the driveway and drove off...I forget the details...and we mulled around...and Steve got home. Then Mike. Then they started to pack the van. Somehow I was half a step behind the guys, so I didn't really help load much, but I labeled power strips and cords with Phillp after searching for Brandy. I rode to YMCA with Mike in a huge conversion van.

We got there a bit late, and found out that we'd have to haul the equipment all the way across the building, up stairs, and back down another hallway to the gym. At least there was an elevator. And we had a truck to wheel the really heavy stuff on. Nate, John, Mike, Steve, Brian and I took it all up there. I got to carry some heavy stuff and show off my knowledge of the proper application of force :-P

While carrying a speaker with me, Nate said, "Shannon, you'd make any feminist proud," and followed it with something like, "You actually get up and do stuff..." I wasn't sure how to understand this statement, although I now know Nate had only good intentions. It occupied my mind a lot during setup. My thoughts went something like: Am I too masculine? Does our culture consider it unfeminine to use muscles that way? I love using my "maaaascles," but I don't want to be masculine. Am I crossing a line? I really appreciated what he said about doing stuff since I try hard to be active in what I'm interested in, rather than just discussing it or serving the world's interest (such as conforming to a certain appearance). If anyone sees sin in this area of my life, please let me know.

So then we got everything in there and the stage got set up. We proceeded to lay out power cords, and Mike spent some time scratching his head and figuring out where we could get electricity and not blow the place up. Flipping switches was pretty exciting, but nothing exploded :-) A few hours into setup (with time running out) things got a bit stressful. I made it quite clear that I wanted dinner whether or not we had time for it, and I think that got obnoxious. Alternate plans and the passage of time eased the stress, and Nate was kind enough to get pizza for the crew. Thanks so much, dude! That pizza kept me from getting ridiculously angry or weak or whatever else happens when I get low blood sugar :-)

Soooo we got way behind schedule, and Pure Boss never actually practiced on the stage. But most of the stuff was working before the opening band, Screaming Silence, got there. I started to wander around and chase Phillip and greet old friends. I walked up behind Jess and put my hands over her eyes...she was quite astonished, and gave quite a hug when I revealed my identity. I love the Murphys! They are always happy when I see them and willing to giggle and talk. There was a group of girls who came, aged between 8 and 12, who absolutely adored the band members. They crowded around the stage asking for autographs before the band started playing. It was pretty cute seeing a bunch of little girls go crazy over my friends...like, dude! They're famous! :-P One of them, after getting an autograph, ran over to another friend squealing, "he touched me!" That just did it for me, and I totally fell apart laughing.

Someone (it was probably Brian) decided that the band was going to wear green golf shirts and suit coats. John had his collar popped, and while he was talking to Lisa I walked up and flipped it down under the pretense of giving him a back rub, Then he asked for more, so of course I couldn't just stop rubbing his shoulders. Eventually it got popped again (oh well) and Mike wanted me, anyway.

Mike gave me the job of spraying fog on the stage. The "other" John (a cool dude I just met) did the WMP animations/video feed/slideshow switching. Even though I was crouched beside the stage with a fidgety black box full of ashy liquid, I still tried to rock out & screamed when I could. I got the "other" John to scream with me! Way fun. I was watching the crowd, and noticed that few of the people I knew were getting into the music, so I took a break from the fog machine and left to rock out. I shoved a couple of people and got Jess to dance with me. Yay! That's the funnest part of being at a concert, and seeing people standing still with crossed arms makes me sad. I saw my brother rocking his face off from the beginning, and that was so cool. Mike, you had the hugest smile on your face :-)

And then I had to go back to the fogger. But since it was so fidgety, Mike gave me his tiny camera (it's the size of about 10 stacked credit cards) to take pictures. I switched between those jobs for a while. I got this SWEET shot of Brian rocking in a cloud of fog with a big spotlight behind him, sending rays into the fog. Soooo cool. I hope they get up on a website somewhere so I can see them!

Pure Boss did a few cover songs that were fun, but they began and (almost) ended the concert with "Ohio." They played some of my favorites, and I was able to rock out for "Straight From The Nails," my absolute favorite PB song. I can't think of a song on their album that they didn't play, and John played electric guitar for his "Time" song (one of his many songs that involve that dimension). He had some sweet new guitar licks in it. The band has improved incredibly since recording that album. Ridiculously improved. It was cool to see how they had improved. And I heard rumors of a 2nd album? (Can I help record? Pleeeeeease?)

After the concert Jess introduced me to Sarah, a girl who had come because she heard of the concert at her high school. That was cool to see Jess reaching out to her...I hope I hear more about Sarah in the future.

Then we took a bunch of fun, silly pictures of the Pittsburgh group, etc. I scrambled to find the electric cords and power strips that I brought, and didn't catch all of 'em. John graciously added finding them to his ridiculously long list of things to do...I felt bad for shuffling that off on him. I hope he didn't go nuts on my part to find 'em. Oh, and I left my sweatshirt in his car! How irresponsible of me. John, I know you're gonna tell me that I helped a lot, but still I want to thank you for doing so much to enable my trip there, and to clean up for me afterwards. Dude, up 'til 7:19 AM? Definitely not me.

The ride home was so cool. We sang songs a capella! That's quickly becoming my favorite pastime when with friends and we don't have much to talk about. Lisa, Nate, and Rachel sang with me. Lisa and Nate I have heard before (it was fun having a guy's voice in the mix). Rachel's voice I heard for the first time, and it is really good! I have never gotten positive reviews of my voice in the past, but apparently I'm not insufferable, so it was really fun. Heather fell asleep listening to her iPod :-)

And then home again around 2:30 AM. Oh, boy. As much as I wanted sleep, I wanted to crawl back in Lisa's car and do it all again. But, I had more waiting for me the next day...


Anonymous said...

Regarding feminism and muscles. It may be "unfeminine" in our culture to use muscles, but that's no reason to sit around like a blob while everyone else does the work! Women have been strong for centuries and in many places. "Her arms are strong for her tasks" Prov. 31:17 (NIV) "She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms." Prov. 31:17 (KJV) Keep in mind, this is the virtous, godly woman God is talking about!
This reminds me of issues brought up in a book called Pain Free for Women by Pete Egoscue. My comment will be too long if I describe them, but you can ask me if you're interested.
Regarding you personally, from my own observations, I have never thought of you as masculine.
-Heather Daley

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Heather, thank you so much for the encouragement! The book sounds very interesting, and hopefully I'll remember to ask about it next Sunday :-)