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Monday, October 10, 2005

Friday night out...

I left work Friday and put the Red Sox playoff game on the car radio for the ride home. I was in a pretty good mood since it was officially the weekend and I was going to be seeing one of my all-time favorite bands, Social Distortion, later that night.

I drove about 5 miles down the road and ran into a horrendous traffic jam on the highway. I then spent the next 2 hours just trying to get home. It was a fucking traffic jam nightmare. I wound up getting off the highway and driving all around the back roads untill I finally made it home. By the time I arrived home I was in a terrible mood from the drive and the performance of The Red Sox did not add to it.

I walked through the door and was feeling kind of tired and cranky but my bad mood from the commute dissolved quickly now that it was over and I was finally home. My wife and kids were just finishing up some pizza so I had a couple slices and then grabbed a beer and sat down to watch the end of The Red Sox season. My kids both love Johnny Damon so when he was at bat for the final time, I made sure they watched him because he might not be back next year.

After the game ended we put the kids to bed and I headed out to see Social D, who were playing at The Palladium in Worcester that night. I got into town and had to figure out where to park. There were not any other big events going on that I was aware of so I figured it would not be a problem. There was a lot right across from the Palladium so I went to go park there untill I saw the sign that said $15.00 to park. Fuck that, so I turned around while everybody behind me watched me and probably said, 'What the  hell is this fool doing', but I didn't care. I drove 1 block down the street and there was a lot that was open for $5 bucks. Ha. Now who's the fool? I had a mind to go stand next to the 15.00 lot and tell the cars to go down 1 block and it was 5 bucks, but I decided why bother, since it was totally not worth it.

After I parked the car, I walked over to The Irish Times, which is a bar that is right across the street from The Palladium. I went in and orderd a JD shooter and a Guinness, found a good pole to lean on and watched some of the games that were on the TV. I split between watching the B's and the Anaheim / MFY game that was on. I was glad to see The Yankees getting beat, especially after The Sox got swept out of their series.

I pretty much hung out in the bar and watched the games. I was not really interested in seeing the opening acts for Social D and I figured I would hang in here where I could get a better drink (Guinness) in this bar than in The Palladium (Bud). I was not trying to get drunk or anything, just killing some time before the show. I finished my beer and then ordered an Irish Coffee, heavy on The Irish please, to perk me up a little before heading over to see the show.

When the bartender brought my drink over, the guy sitting at the bar next to me was like, "What is that?" I guess he never saw Irish Coffee before, which I thought was a litte odd, but I told him it was black coffee with Jameson whiskey in it. "Oh," he says, "Sox fan?" Even though I wasn't really drinking this over depression from The Sox, but more to wake up a little because I was feeling kinda beat after work and all, I just told him, "Yeah. Sucks the Sox lost. Oh well". Maybe he was a Yankee fan or something, and was trying to push my buttons. I don't know.

I went back to my spot and finished up my drink, then headed over to The Palladium.

The last time I had been inside the Palladium was at least 10 years ago when I saw Living Colour there. It had not changed much since then. The Palladium is actually a pretty good place to see a show. There is an upper section where you can stand and not be bothered and there is a bar there as well, and there is a lower section where the pit is. Last time I was there I got thrown out for crowd surfing and I wondered if that rule would still be in effect.

While I was waiting for the show to start, I spent the last of my money on a Jack and ice and just kinda hung out. I went over and looked at the shirts and stuff but there was nothing I was interested in so I walked over to the front of the upper section. I got a really good spot to stand and see the show. I was right at the wall for the upper section so there was nobody blocking my view or anything. In the spot where I was standing there were 4 kids sitting on the railing who looked to be no older than about 13 or something and I thought that was pretty cool but also a little odd that kids that young would be at a Social D show. I wanted to ask them how old they were but I didn't want to bother anybody either, so I just stood there and sipped my drink and watched the stage crew set up all of Social D's stuff. After awhile the kid's Dad came over with a beer so I asked him, "Hey dude, how old are these guys?" He told me they were all between the ages of 9 - 12 and they were all in a band together so he wanted them to see a real live band close up and personal (or something like that). I thought that was pretty neat. When I was that age the only music shows my parents were taking me to see was Kenny Rogers, so there you go.

Finally after a little while the lights went down and Social D came out. They started out with "Reach for the Sky" and all the people on the floor immediately started jumping around and a mosh pit formed right up. (Do they still call it 'moshing'? I am so out of touch I really would not know.) I stood there for about a min and was like, "Fuck This. What am I doing standing up here?" so I headed right down to the lower level to get into the pit and enjoy the fun.

I quickly learned that The Palladium still frowns on crowd surfing as I watched several people try it only to get pushed to the front near the stage, which is what always happens. Once they got anywhere near the stage, they would get grabbed by security and thrown out. Despite the fact that people were getting kicked out of the show, people still kept trying it, which I thought was pretty dumb, but whatever.

I moshed around to the first several songs and like a tool, I fell down once because the floor was slippery, but I got picked right up by everybody else that was in the pit. Good to know that little rule of ettiquite is still around. As all the typical pushing and shoving was going on, people were continually trying to surf and getting thrown out. It was a good time but after a little while I decided to just stand off to the side and just watch and listen to the band. Plus, at one point I tweaked my ankle and rolled it, so I decided to take a break from the pit. The old guy needed to rest and catch his breath for a min!

Social Distortion put on a great show and played a great mix of the newer stuff and their old favorites, like Prison Bound, a ripping good version or Ring of Fire and of course The Story of My Life among others. Social Distortion is truly one of my favorite bands and I personally relate to so many of their songs. It was great to see them. After the show I was trying to remember what each song they played was, but I could not remember. I found that to be a litle strange, since I sang [yelled] along with most of them.

While I was standing on the edge of the pit watching the show, people would bump into me which was no big deal, especially considering where I was, but I of course would move a little too and, not on purpose, be bumping into other people around me. For some reason, some chick kept shoving me if I even bumped her the slightest bit, so I moved away from her. I don't know what her problem was. It's not like I was doing it on purpose or trying to bump into her or anything. Besides, you're standing right on the edge of a mosh pit. What do you expect is going to happen? If you don't want to get bumped into, don't stand there. Duh.

Every now and then I would jump back into the pit and mosh around till I needed a breather again, then I'd stand on the edge and watch the band, having a great time the whole time.

After the show ended, I hung around and tried to grab a set list from some of the stage hands who were handing them out to people but they handed them all to chicks, (which came as no surprise to me).

At that point, you'd think all the excitement for the night was over. Wrong. While I was driving home, cruising down the highway, it was raining pretty steadily, as it had been all day. Out of nowhere a car, which I think was a BMW or some kind of luxo-sedan, came flying up behind me. When they went to pass me, (I was in the middle lane), they totally lost control of their car on the wet pavement and smashed into the concrete barrier on the left hand side of the road. After the car hit the barrier, it came careening across the highway. Somehow, I stayed totally calm, tapped the brake and turned the wheel so he would miss me, saying, "What the Fuck dude!" The car missed me by what seemed like inches and flew across the highway with debris going everywhere, and narrowly missed a second car. It then hit the right hand side concrete barrier and came back across the highway, right in front of me again. This car was going back and forth like a pin-ball before it finally came to a stop again on the right hand side. All this happened in a matter of about 20 seconds.

I continued down the highway, still calm, and somewhat amazed at myself that I was still calm. I wondered if I should turn around or something but the more I thought about it, the more I thought, I just want to get home. I didn't have a cell phone so I could not call anybody or really do anything anyway, so I decided to just get home before something else happened. Hopefully that car had air-bags.

The next day, I woke up and my ankle was killing me from rolling it over so I had to wrap it all up in an ace bandage and walk around all day like a gimp. Aside from that, (and nearly getting killed in a car accident,) I had myself a great Friday Night Out.



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