29 May, 2006

Blast From The Past

I'm publishing this mostly for posterity's sake. I wrote most of it the week following the concert (which was April 15), but because of life's events, I never had time to smooth it out and publish it...

Well, well, well. After going to the Pure Boss concert, I was feeling pretty grumpy about Monday morning. Nate reminded me of a Switchfoot concert that he and John were attending the next Saturday, and asked if I wanted to go. Though I initially declined to attend, I called my parents and asked for their blessing on such an impromptu trip. I was torn between wanting to have another blowout weekend and wanting the $30 to spend in Europe. Oh, well. The call was made, and I'm still waiting to see if I'll need that $30 in Europe :-)

I suffered through another week (school has become excruciating, as it once was). On Friday I made impromptu plans to see The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe at the $1 theater with friends, and unexpectedly added a Rita's Ice and Taco Bell to my "entertainment" bill. This was certainly proving to be a blowout weekend, especially in the finance department! On Saturday I woke up at 7 and immediately popped open Jakey (the lappy) to work on a paper. Around 1 I started to clean the bathrooms and prepare for the concert & road trip. Nate and John arrived and we finally left. I got to be navigator, and we were only lost once :-P

Road trips are my favorite form of relaxation. On this road trip, we had comfortable leather seats, good music, good conversation, and a relatively open road that became flat as time progressed. I think John was having a ball, since he was in a moving car, but not driving :-) What did we talk about? Random stuff. I mostly remember the Weezer album we listened to, though I pulled up a few random memories of Ohio and my childhood there. We didn't have a dominating convo topic.

We arrived after touring the city in a roundabout way and found parking for $5 (woot!). After seeing the huge line waiting at the concert venue, we decided to skip the opening band in favor of dinner. A policeman had suggestions for a close, quick restaurant so we wandered around the hockey arena to find Chipotle's.

Chipotle's is a good restaurant! I really enjoyed the steak fajita I had. I wasn't paying attention to the guy making it, so when he asked what kind of salsa I wanted, I just repeated the last word he listed. It happened to be "hot." "Oh, good girl!" he replied, giving me an approving look. "Oh, uhh, yeah, sure," I said, smiling uncertainly, not realizing what I had said until that minute. It was actually quite good, and since everything was kinda clumped in my fajita, I only needed water about 1/2 way through. Then I needed two glasses. But this was providential, since the water would stay in my system long enough to stave off thirst during the concert. One of the bites I took was heavenly...the perfect mixture of rice, steak, salsa, cheese, etc. I finished the whole fajita, despite being full earlier, just so I could say I did :-)

We walked to the concert, Nate got our tix, and we realized that the concert started later than we expected. Ergo we didn't miss the opening band (LoveDrug). I wouldn't have minded missing their rather monotonous set, but I got my neck warmed up for some heavy-duty headbanging before Switchfoot came out :-)

Switchfoot had quite a different atmosphere this time around. They were much more laid back, almost to the point of being absentminded or careless at the beginning, but the music didn't suffer much. The drummer pulled a cartoonish move and played a song on a child's drum set that was on top of the bass amp! So funny. Jon Foreman was extremely casual and personal with the crowd that night, which was definitely a new aspect. He took his own sweet time when it came to arrangements and singing. At one point he left the stage and wandered around the audience, carrying his mic stand with him! Nate and I gave each other astonished, bemused looks as he walked within arm's reach. I did not reach out to touch him, though I could have. That would have been too close to worship, in my opinion. This was the one point of the concert where peopole actually got close to each other! *eww!*

The crowd seemed impassive, which was frustrating. At one point I was jumping, and my arm brushed some guy's head. He turned around with an annoyed look and smoothed his hair. Umm...it's a concert, dude. Were you expecting personal space? I could understand the weird looks at my screams (I actually asked John to let me know if I was too annoying), but an accidental brush? Anyway. John was definitely rocking out. Nate had a goofy smile on whenever I turned in his direction, so I'm sure he was having fun, though he never got to crowd-surf :-) I ran out of oxygen about halfway through the concert, and had to take a breather for a few minutes, and there was no real moshing, but I really enjoyed it.

Switchfoot played a new song. I don't remember the words, but it seemed rather formulaic in style. I shall have to pay attention if I get to hear it again. Jon sang another impromptu song about Ohio that was pretty witty...with harmonica, too! I like harmonica :-) My favorite song was We Are One Tonight. Jon introduced it by saying that unity rarely comes without conflict, and as I paid more attention to the words in that context, I heard it! "the whole world upside down...I don't wanna fight about it now...these scars will heal." It was cool to ruminate on that as I rocked out when the instruments came crashing in. Easier Than Love was an interesting moment in the concert for me. I couldn't really enjoy the song since the lyrics describe a constant, ugly struggle of mine. God took that emotion and completely turned it on its head when the band played On Fire later in the night. It was an incredible song, and I just totally ate it up. Another incredible moment, as I sang with hundreds of people, was realizing that we were acknowledging a being greater than us and declaring our own transience and weakness. That was really cool.

The concert ended and we made a run for the door (except for John's brief convo with a large sound man dressed in purple). Thus began the dark ride home with a beautiful moon on our right. We talked about the concert a bit, and John reiterated his passion to produce such music and emotion in other people. I tried to ask some helpful questions (I don't know if they were or not), and it sounds like John is really serious about this. It'll be interesting to see where God leads you, John! :-)

We stopped for water and I got a popsickle thingy to soothe my throat. Ohhh, so good :-) John fell asleep soon after that. Eventually Nate was showing obvious signs of drowsiness, so I asked if he wanted me to talk his ear off. "Sure," he said, sounding rather amused and interested. I decided to talk about theology, and turned to devotions since Nate had been encouraging me to pursue a regular devotional time with God. We talked a bit about Hosea & stuff, and the rest of the conversation is buried in the hazy, half-remembered recesses of my mind. But Nate stayed awake, so my purpose was served.

We got home and woke up John. I offered the use of our basement as a place of repose for John, and of course he responded, "I'm one step ahead of you, honey." Gahh! He keeps SAYING that! And I know it's just to be annoying, but...it works! Anyway. Nate got home safely. Church followed soon after.

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