Yesterday was Locofest. I might have mentioned it before... well, anyway, it was yesterday, which was Sunday. Saturday was hot and nasty, so we were worried that Sunday would be unbearable. As it turned out, it was cooler and overcast. No rain, just overcast.
Now that you've heard the weather
I am old. No, I'm not toddering about with a cane, but I am in my mid 40's and yes, I have sadly reached the age where I listen to a lot of music that the "kids" are listening to and say, "I just don't get it!" I'm not complaining, I figure that's a right of passage, that every generation must have music that the previous generation just doesn't get. It's cool.
So, I was a bit cautious about going early to Locofest, because it featured up and coming local talent, a lot from the Bostan area, some from elsewhere. I was more than a little worried that in my opinion, all these smaller bands would suck major balls.
I am happy to report I was soooo wrong.
Was it strong music? Yes. Was all of it great? Hell no. There were a couple groups who, to be honest, were awful. I admit, I'm a foul mouthed person for the most part and I can swear enough to make a sailor blush, but even I know that getting up and yelling "FUCK!" over and over again, does not make you a band. Nor does implying that certain religious figures are slang names for various bodyparts, usually kept under clothing.
I'm also sophisticated enough to know that a gimic won't make you a great band either. KISS had gimics, hell they were the kings of gimics. And Cooper certainly had his share, but the big difference is that KISS and Cooper backed up the gimics with music. And a lot of the music, even if it's not the music of the ages, is pretty damned catchy. Some of the groups at Locofest need to remember that. One group in particular, called Swashbuckler. Yes, they were doing the pirate thing, and it was all very interesting, but their music made me want to peirce my eardrums with an icepick and be done with it.
(The above paragraph is my opinion, and the opinion of my husband and at least a dozen other people of the multithousand concert goers from yesterday. Your opinion, should you have or will get a chance to listen to their music, might be vastly different. They've gotten far enough that they get their 15 minutes at Locofest, so maybe I'm just missing something. Or, maybe I'm just too damned old.)
But, for the most part, the bands there were pretty enjoyable. A few really stood out, and I'm hoping in the future I'll be doing a more extensive review of their music in this journal, but for now, let's just leave it that I was plesantly surprised at how much I enjoyed walking around, listening to everyone.
We arrived at 1:30, the main event didn't start until 6:30, so we had five hours to kill, but those five hours passed fairly quickly. Finally, it was time to take our seats for the show.
Queensrÿche was first. I was never a big Queensrÿche fan, so all that I say is coming from the POV of a complete non-fan.
I really didn't like them. They sounded muddy, distorted. It might have been the sound system they were using, but since neither Cooper or Heaven and Hell had that problem, I'm going to assume that if it was an equipment malfunction, that it was their equipment, and I think they should have done something about it. Were I a big Queensrÿche fan, I would have been disapointed. Since I'm not, I yawned a lot, shook my head in pity, and made snarky comments to my husband. I was fine with sniffing in distain, until they decided to piss me off by doing a muddy, godawful version of "Welcome to the Machine" by Pink Floyd.
Side tangent... what the hell is it that every damned band lately, upon being past their prime in the music field, feels obligated to do an album of hits from other artists? Is this some damned requirement? Because really, it ought to freakin' stop. It's a sure sign that you're over-the-hill as much as appearing on The Love Boat was to aging media stars.
Once in awhile, to put an older classic on an album is fine. But a whole album of "A bunch of other people's hits, done in our speshul style!" is annoying. If you can't come up with enough original stuff to do a halfway decent CD, then give it up. It's time for the big old box set and then to consider retirement with dignity.
Of course, it didn't help that the tweeter center, in their infinate wisdom, has decided that the average concert goer is about five feet tall, weighs no more than 82lbs, has narrow shoulders, and is just overflowing with love for the human race, to the point where they just aren't happy unless part of them is smooshed up to a fellow human so close that you can get imprints from the zipper of their fly. I am not a tiny woman, I am fat, I admit it. However, my butt fit just fine in the chair, but my shoulders were horribly smoshed between Todd and this other guy...who insisted he deserved the armrest, and that he should wriggle around a lot. I really wanted to grab him and say, "Listen, we cannot do what we want, whenever we want, without violating each other in ways that were we at a bar, we could get arrested. We need to take turns. For this song, you can fidget while I stay still. The next song it's MY TURN."
But, I didn't. I'm such a wuss.
The best part about Queensrÿche? They weren't on for a full hour. Then, there was a break. Todd and I got up and walked around a bit, bought an expensive soda (five bucks each, for a cup that maybe gave only a tiny bit more than a can) then, we returned to our seats.
Next up was Alice Cooper. As we all know, Cooper is my man. He's the first concert I ever attended. I was eight or nine when I first saw him. Yes, I know, now it's common place for parents to bring their kids and toddlers to concerts, but not when I was growing up. Especially not Alice Cooper! I caused quite a sensation when I was a kid, attending with my brother, most people were shocked.
But, the biggest thing I have always loved about going to see Cooper is that the man never fails to put on a show. I've always pushed that issue hard with people who've panned him. I've also convinced people who really weren't fond of his music to go to once of his concerts, just because they're so damned cool. And you know what? I have yet to have anyone tell me that the concert they went to was a waste of money. Even my first husband, who scoffed my love of Alice Cooper and dismissed him as a show-off hack, admitted that the man put on a pretty good show. He got a little ripped that I was running up and down the isles with other Cooper Fanatics, dancing, and head banging, and having a wonderful time, but that was par for the course when it came to him. As far as "Dick" was concerned, it was a crime for me to have a better time than he was having.
Needless to say, I have talked up the man and his legend to Todd for years. And I was more than a little worried that I might have overdone it. I mean, the man is 59 years old, he might have slowed down a bit. I also might have been a bit too lavish with my praise of him.
One of my friends growing up, used to say that Alice Cooper could come out on stage and tie his shoes for an hour, while humming lightly under his breath and I'd scream and yell and declare it the greatest show on earth. That always embarassed me, because she was right. And normally, that's okay, but as it got closer and closer to stage time, I was more and more worried that Todd would be disappointed, that I had made him out to be sooo much better than he was, than any human being could be, and maybe I should have kept my big mouth shut.
My fears were totally unfounded.
The man is still a fucking lunatic on stage, and age hasn't slowed him down one little bit. In fact, I think his shows now are better than the stuff he did in the '70s and '80s, mostly because he's sober. The stumbling around drunk act gets tiresome after awhile.
He did most of his older, better known songs. "I'm Eighteen," "Under My Wheels" "No More Mr. Nice Guy" "Schools Out" and "Elected" to name a few. While I would have prefered to hear more stuff from "Trash" and up, I understand that he's going to stick with the tried and true stuff.
He did do Halo of Flies, which I'm always mixed on, because to me that song will always be Neil and Dennis's song. It's one of the only Alice Cooper group songs that really doesn't benifit from Alice's vocals. The song is about the bass and drum solo, which has some of the best damned drumming ever done. If you can appreciate a good drum solo and have never heard Halo of Flies, do yourself a favor and get a copy of the song. You will not be sorry. Eric Singer didn't do a bad job with it, but I really feel the only person who should ever be allowed to perform that song is Neil, preferably with Dennis. I don't even like the idea of Micheal Bruce doing it, even though he helped write it.
He did do "The Ballad of Dwight Fry," which had a profound effect on me. I was going along, having a great time, and when he started that, I started cheering. I've seen him do it quite a few times and it's always been pretty powerful, especially when he's on his knees, and he starts going "I've got...to get...out of here..." slowly at first, until he's screaming it all strung together like one word, "I'vegottagetoutahere!I'vegottagetoutahe
You might tell me the man is just a good actor, and you could be right, but I don't think so. I still think he's pushing something inside him. And...I still say that it might end up bitting him in the ass someday. *Shrugs* I could be wrong. I hope I am, to be honest.
But, as I said, I've gotten older I've been able to deal with it. Instead of freaking, I get that sorta knowing look. "Yes, Mr. Cooper, you aren't fooling me. You're dangerously close to the edge, but we know how that goes, don't we? And yes, I must take my hat off to the master. I could never push it as far and as often as you have."
Well, maybe because I hadn't seen it for awhile, it got to me last night again. I felt that lump in my chest, rising to my throat, choking off the words, almost choking off the very air. Like the world had gone "wrong" suddely, a shift to the left perhaps, but still wrong. My hands were trembling, and despite being packed in with so many bodies, I suddenly felt very alone and very cold.
I might have kept all of that to myself, thinking I was just being hysterical, but Todd reached out and took my hand and I noticed his was very cold. Later, when I asked him about it, he said, "I had to connect with you, I had to connect to reality."
No, neither of us do drugs anymore. We did not do any last night. The Tweeter Center is covered, but it's open on the sides, I don't think we got a contact high, especially since this weirdness only lasted for the one song, then vanished.
Elected was great. He did the speech, using Mass. "I know we have problems, we have problems EVERYWHERE! We have problems in Boston, we have problems in Mansfield. We've got problems in Worcester and Boylston. Everyone has problems, and personally... I don't care!" Well, that's old news, but later in the song, he had people coming out, looking like typical political rah-rah folks, wearing the straw hats, and holding up the signs. One of the signs said, "HE DOESN'T CARE!" and Todd nearly bust a gut laughing.
When Cooper eneded, Todd's knee and my shoulders couldn't take being wedged in the human sandwich anymore, so we shifted to the back, where there was more room for Heaven and Hell. We listened to them for awhile, but after about four songs, I was about ready to slide down on the ground and take a depressing little nap. The music they were doing was't keeping me very pumped. Todd agreed that after a full day, they just weren't the music to be listening to, before a long ride home, so we left.
Reserved parking is worth it to me. We were fairly near the exit, so we got out without a problem.
Sooo...on a scale of 1-10? Yesterday was a 9.5.
Interesting people? We had a group of jackasses who kept screaming "FREEBIRD!" durring Cooper and again, I was grateful that no one ever suggested I carry a handgun, because I would have shot those fuckers.
The people behind us would not shut up. Oddly, they talked about how great Alice Cooper is, and how much they couldn't wait to see him. Then, durring the concert, they babbled about how great it was to be watching Alice Cooper and how they couldn't wait to tell so and so and this person and that person, talking so much they must have missed 90% of the concert. Fortunately, I was able to tune them out.
But, those were pretty minor annoyances is a pretty excellent day.