There is something rotten in the air. A dead noise. Volume is cranked up and lips are moving at the beat of the strum. Nothing much comes from it. It is the sound of being halved and it runs the whole night.
Each souvenir booth is neck deep. At least three spot the arena with lines banking out a dozen from the table, and the same in breadth. Not a structured line in sight. Branches of arms weave up and around somewhere toward the tills. It’s a half hour from the back before a chance to see what T-shirts and other merchandise are worth the base twenty-five dollars.
There was a time when watching Foo Fighters play as headliners of the Big Day Out meant being punched in the shoulders as a couple of idiots kept slapping on stickers from some marketing brand again and again.
Supermarket consumerism—living life from the belly of a shopping trolley—is the theme of the 90s. Right there on the bumper reel looping in the lead as the crowd gathers about, clip-clopping into their eventual seats. Over in the distance a shimmer of gold as a man in parachute pants and fishnet shirt gets mobbed for his MC Hammer costume.
A man in ruby red takes a few minutes to lick the bald scalp of a man who looks on with a straight enough face. His chewing gum offsets the discomfort expressed in his throbbing temple veins. Smack smacking the jaws, the gum chewing more and more exaggerated. He's trying to keep still, cool, but his eyes want to bug out. And then the spotlight moves off the forehead now in a waterfall of sweat.
Do not take directions from Jason Mraz if you see him on a scooter. He'll lend you some, but they're not necessarily going to be where you want to end up. Peace be with you in your new found journey.
The difference between a cockroach and a guitar pick splashing in grapefruit juice is hard to split. Of all the drinks in all the comedy clubs in all the States, this Australian comedy band from Sydney ends up washing their pick in this one.
Rain on the city streets, people splish-splashing around and heading long into each other with their umbrellas down and for the charge. Partial shock and slight dismay at the fact that Utopia Records is no more. Or at least no longer in the underground location at the foot of the escalators into the George Street cinemas.
Genius. Staples right through the envelope and on to pierce the corners of both tickets. For safety, for security, for making sure the little tokens keep together like all good waffles should. Woman in the vest does things the hard way, yanking them every angle, forgoing any decision to pluck out the legs.
Kiosk are on stage first.
Dead lights on the main show off noodles and lines drawn in a Java 3D program. Off the lip of the stage is the console operator, a George Khut. Connected via a chest strap to the laptop, the man breathes in and out to quiet suggestions such as "take sips of air" and "breathe in hard." Swimming in and out and out and in, the lines represent the constrictions and relaxations of the diaphragm, as best as they can relay the information. A relaxing visual feast of nothing, the start of the Song Company's production of Drawing Breath is enough to knock out those eager for a nap.
There is a funeral or a party for Goths out the back. Everyone's in black. Apart from one pair of legs, it's an all dour sensation as the ensemble step out one after the other. First one, then two and then a flock of seagulls.
Easily flustered by traffic on the way in, all cares and woes were lost once Cake took the stage. That unmistakable guitar filter that they use filled my brain and the rest of the night I watched in more than moderate awe.