Thursday, December 27, 2007

life, liberty, and the pursuit of rock music

the following entities get a wag of the finger today:
  • Harrah's St. Louis Casino Hotel.
  • Metro (St. Louis public transit).
The Verve Pipe is playing tonight at one of the venues inside Harrah's. for all of you who didn't know me before college (which, come to think of it, is very likely all of you who are reading this...), The Verve Pipe was my favourite band in high school. "the freshmen" was the song that got me listening to modern rock music--hearing that song for the first time was the biggest awakening i've ever had. it sounds cheesy, but it's so true.

and, it was a catalyst. listening to that led me to digging up all of the other music they ever put out, which then led to me digging up all sorts of other new rock music, both popular and unpopular. it laid the foundation for the music tastes that i have had and built upon to this very day. the messages in the music, and the music i discovered as a result, also had a profound effect on my life: it convinced me that it was okay to be abnormal, and okay to be fucked up. it convinced me that as off-kilter as i was, there would at least be songs i could find pieces of myself in, even if there weren't people around me i could relate to. music is what made it tolerable to be a loner in high school, and The Verve Pipe was my gateway.

i wouldn't quite call them my favourite band anymore...but i still love them and have a special appreciation for what their music set in motion.

i've still never seen them live. i heard them for the first time ten and a half years ago: June of 1997. and...i've never been able to attend a show. i thought tonight could be the night.

getting to the concert would be no problem--i can take the train out to the bus, and then the bus out to Harrah's. it's long because Harrah's is all the way out in Maryland Heights--it would entail about an hour and forty-five minutes on buses and trains. still, it's doable. getting back is the problem. the concert starts at 8pm. the last bus back to the train station leaves the casino at 10:45. that would probably work, since nothing online actually says there are other bands playing. if it's just The Verve Pipe, i would probably get to make the show and leave with time to spare.

however--what if it's not? the idea of a concert without an opener is absurd. in my ten years of concertgoing, i can think of one concert i saw that didn't have an opening band: Tool, when they were on their four-city minitour right before releasing Lateralus. what if i go all the way out there, sit through some opening bands that no one told me about, and then have to leave before the band i actually WANT to see takes the stage?

then, i thought--let's see if there's a cheap room there, since there's a hotel. i checked...there wasn't a cheap room. in fact, there was NO VACANCY! sigh. that means if i go to the concert, i am faced with a choice:

  • leaving for the 10:45 bus no matter what: which means that i am hoping that there is no opening band, and that The Verve Pipe's set is no longer than about two hours and fifteen minutes.
  • making myself cozy and comfy in the most excellent Harrah's poker room from the time the concert ends until 5:31 tomorrow morning, when the first bus back to the train station leaves: which means that i am hoping that i can stay up that late without passing out. given my usual pattern of getting sleepy around 2 or 3 in the morning, this is not a very likely outcome--and therefore a very poor idea. this also means that i am hoping that i will not bust out before 5:31 in the morning--which is also a poor assumption given my meager poker skills.
The Verve Pipe is not actually together anymore--they're broken up, but always get together for a few shows around the holidays. i'll probably be able to see them next year if they do it again next year, as they usually come through Chicago. but...what if they don't get back together next year? i'll feel really, really stupid for missing them this year, and never being able to see them live.

trucking out to Maryland Heights alone on public transit sounds like a thoroughly half-baked idea...but it also sounds like a lot of fun. i'm still tempted to go out there and see what i can see before the last bus leaves. (the Staying There All Night And Playing Poker idea is clearly the worst idea ever, and i'm not dumb enough to try it.)

i've got three hours to decide this one.

No comments: