On occasion, I find myself aloft in the middle of mainstream music land, feeling like a tourist in my own backyard. Having so very little experience on this side of the performance coin, I observe with wide eyes and come away changed. This past weekend I had the good fortune to see ZZ Top at the Beacon Theatre, back stage passes and all. I would love to share with you some observations:
- They kick butt. Wow. Long grey beards and all.
- The digital, Light Brite looking, backdrop thing is sooooo not working. Except when I tried to take a picture of the HEARTS dancing across the screen and they morphed into a giant vintage car.
-The audience men wear their hair long so they can shake like girls. Or, so we thought until we discovered that she actually was a she, and not a he. If you are a man, and shaking your seriously long curly hair while wearing a black concert t-shirt, it adds metal street cred if you are a South American tourist.
-The macho audience, mostly dressed in thinly veiled versions of the most obvious rock stereotypes, doesn't seem to mind campy, white fur covered guitars and strangely choreographed dance.
But all of this was not as mind boggling as the serious mental pat down we were given before we were allowed to enter the bowels of the Beacon for the back stage meet and greet. I realize our handler was just doing his job, but it was an adult version of not being picked for the cool dodge ball team. After he ejected some un-attentive guitar dealer VIP idiots, we were advised to rescind our outstretched hand if in fact no one chose to shake it, do not ask to have any part of our body autographed, and basically don't speak unless spoken to. If the band wanted to see us after the initial viewing, our handler would tap us on the shoulder and we would retire to the inner circle, which was a few feet away from the outer circle, neatly ringing the glowing coke machine. This all seemed so divorced from the music of ZZ Top, and that made it all the freakier I suppose. I felt badly for the band, having to do this dog and pony show after every concert. But every girl's crazy about a sharp dressed man...