Thursday, July 21, 2011
A Retroactive Diary From My First Concert Ever (Blink-182 at Jones Beach, 7/21/01)
Ten years ago today, at the then Tommy Hilfiger amphitheater in Wantagh, NY (Jones Beach), I attended my first ever rock concert. It was Blink-182, my personal hero's at the time, with New Found Glory and Jimmy Fallon as the opening acts. My dad took my Aunt Joy (blink who?), Bob (another Blink die hard) and myself to the show. The concert had everything a 13 year old kid could ask for- boobies, dick jokes and music from your favorite band. Blink-182 was my very own version of the Beatles growing up, and seeing them live was a dream come true. Below is my retroactive diary of what I remember from that night, 10 years later.
2:32: I'm in my tiny bedroom, frantically putting together a mixtape of my favorite Blink songs. This would be an essential part of my journey to the show, seeing that my families '98 Ford Windstar lacked a CD player.
4:14: The tape is complete. Duel sided featuring all of my favorite songs off of their first 6 albums. It still amazes me looking back now that I still used and made cassette tapes into the 2000's. That feels like the stone age to me now.
4:45: Myself, dad and Joy pick up Bob from his house. He is wearing a dark blue Blink-182 "Loserkids" t-shirt with a bunny rabbit on it. I'm wearing my "Take Off Your Pants & Jacket" tee. It's still unclear whether or not I knew what that saying meant at that time. But what I can say for certain is that when I wore that shirt to school for the first time in 7th grade, a few months prior, I was completely oblivious to the pun. As illustrated by my confused reactions to the disgusted looks I was greeted with by the teachers.
5:40 pm: Bob tells me he has to pee. I tell him we're not pulling over. No way are we going to be even a minute late for this show.
5:55: Bob still has to pee. Still, no surrender (pulling over).
6:17: Almost there but Bob can't hold it in any longer. He pisses into a Gatorade bottle in the back row of the mini-van while in motion. To his credit, he didn't spill.
6:40: We're in the parking lot. Bob and I joke about how we should offer the bottle of Gatorade to a stranger (lemon lime Gatorade is yellow, as is piss. This is how our 13 year old minds worked). My dad quickly shoots down that idea so we settle for our second best alternative- placing it open next to another parked car's driver side door.
7:04: We're in the arena!! Well, technically "amphitheater" since there was no roof. Regardless, we made it. On time. Just hours away from seeing Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker rock our world.
7:13: Standing in line for t-shirts, checking out the selection. Bob and I are intrigued by a t-shirt that simply says "LARRY HAS HERPES". We laugh (not having any idea what that means) but opt for the most standard and less confusing Blink summer 2001 tour shirt, featuring a jumping Hoppus on the front and all the tour dates on the back.
7:32: Sitting in our seats- Let's get this party started! Beautiful view of the water and beach from our seats. The stage literally looks like its floating in the ocean.
7:45: Jimmy Fallon (at the time only known from his SNL work) comes out and plays a few acoustic comedy songs. One was a song about a troll, sang to the tune of "Mr. Jones". This makes us laugh.
8:20: New Found Glory opens up with their song "Hit or Miss"
8:27: New Found Glory's fat bassist Ian Grushka takes his shirt off. He has man boobs. This makes us laugh.
8:50: Ian Grushka's shirt is still off. Bob and I are starting to get impatient. These guys were good, but we were ready for the main attraction.
9:18: Finally out of the darkness the word FUCK lights up the stage in fire behind Blink-182 as they break into their first single off of their new album,"The Rock Show". I have goosebumps and scream every single word. This song actually featured lots of great pyrotechnics, especially during the chorus when flames would shoot up in groups of three (ex. when they sang "FELL IN LOVE" "SHE SAID WHAT" and "SHE'S SO COOL")
9:29: Tom and Mark are going back are forth between songs, talking about sleeping with each others moms and getting peanut butter licked off their nuts by canines. God these guys really could have made a great stand-up duo.
9:34: Anthem Pt. II. A song that boasts the lyrics "If we're fucked up, you're to blame". The rebellious side of my 13 year old self loved this song.
9:37: "And that's about the time she walked away from me, Nobody likes you when you're 23" Whelp, look at me now.
9:40: Happy Holidays, You Bastard. A song about last minute Christmas present wrapping, ejaculating in socks, and Grandpa soiling himself.
9:42: Blink plays Happy Holidays again, only this time in complete darkness. My dad halfheartedly suggests we leave, fully knowing it would take two sets of the "Jaws of Life" to pry Bob and I from our seats.
9:54: I experience my first ever everybody put your lighters up moment during "Adam's Song." Somehow I got my hands on a lighter (none of us were smokers) and partook in the fiery tradition. I felt like a total badass. Then I remembered the song was about teenage suicide and that I was at a concert with my father, which brought me back down to reality. Quick tangent- In 8th grade science class I once broke a beaker while using my pens as drums to play the opening rift from Adam's Song. That bastard Mr. Koziol charged me $25 and threatened to not give me my diploma if I didn't fork over the cash. I reluctantly did the day before graduation. To this day I still wish I would have called his bluff.
10:16: Girls in the pit (GA seats) are flashing the band! That means that from my upper deck seats I can almost make out the shadow of the reflection of the shape of the side of a boob!! Talk about uncharted territory! Concerts are awesome.
10:27: Family Reunion. If this 45 second song were to be played on daytime television, the only words that would clear the censors would be "fart", "turd", "I" and "your mom". I don't know if I've ever seen my dad that tense before. My aunt Joy, the most liberal and open minded person I ever knew, even found that song to be in poor taste. Things were awkward for about 30 seconds, then I went back to having the time of my life.
10:32: We find out that Larry, from the aforementioned "LARRY HAS HERPES" t-shirt, is Blink's guitar technician. Tom tells all 11,000 of us that he Larry does in fact have herpes. My dad shakes his head in disgust.
10:33: All The Small Things. I remember being upset that at the start of the second chorus they didn't change the lyrics to "Late night, come home. Work sucks, I know. She left me roses by the stairs, the blowjobs let me know she cares". Something they had been known to do during live shows. Oh, the mind of a pubescent boy.
10:37: Bathroom break. "What's that smell dad?" Yep, reefer. This was the first time my nose got devirginized to the scent of that funny lettuce. It wouldn't have been a true concert without this encounter.
10:46: Travis Barker does a ridiculous drum solo, prompting me to consider taking up drums for next 5 minutes.
10:51: Stay Together For The Kids. Hands down our least favorite song of the evening. Total buzzkill, like seeing a condom in porn.
10:58: Roller Coaster. Believe it or not, but as a young teenage boy I was by no means a Don Juan with the ladies (middle school girls). Sans the rare, yet occasional truth or dare peck on the lips, I didn't have much luck or confidence. Which is what made this song so relatable. "Breathing deeply, walking backwards, finding strength to call and ask her." Anyways that was the last song of the night. Or so I thought...
11:06: SURPRISE!!!!! There's an encore at these things. Well, not so much a surprise to anyone who had ever been to a concert before, but to me a surprise. Blink comes back out with a vengeance, playing their other rebel anthem "Give Me One Good Reason". By this time I could give you fifty good reasons why this was the greatest night of my life.
11:10: "TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF" screams a jacked up Tom DeLonge as the band breaks into the fan favorite "Dammit". Bob and I lose our shit and begin jumping around all over the place, screaming the lyrics until our lungs bled. This was my favorite song during my middle school years. The one that first comes to mind when I think of that era of my life. Always a go-to on my discman/short lived mini disc player. As for high school I would have to go with "Black Rock" by O.A.R. College is tough, by I think it might actually be a 3-way tie between "You" by Lloyd and Lil Wayne, "Daylight" by Matt & Kim and "Crush" by Dave Matthews Band, with Daylight definitely being the Lucky Pierre of the bunch.
11:13: Dammit ends, the crowd cheers and Mark smashes his blue bass guitar into the stage before chucking it into the ocean. Classic rocker move right there. My heart tells me to run down and jump in to retrieve it, but my brain (and father) remind me that I'm all the way on the upper deck and that no such swim would be taking place. Reluctantly, I walk out of the venue and back to the car, smiling from ear to ear. Knowing right then and there, that this would be a night I would never forget.
Ten years later, that still holds true.
"Well I guess this is growing up"