After seeing Social
Distortion on Friday, I have come to a few simple conclusions...
The first is that every
time I've seen them, I have been blown away by the pure stage
presence that Social D brings to a show. Mike Ness is a true
entertainer who knows how to keep the crowd riled up and the energy
level never drops. Some bands are worth seeing once, but Social D
(and Mike Ness's solo stuff as well) is one worth seeing as many
times as you can afford. Their shows are loud, frantic, and just
flat out good ass-kicking fun.
Secondly, I think I may
have to call it quits with the 21 and over shows when there is an
option. Too many people at these shows, especially if the concert is
high energy (punk or metal), that are not able to know their limits.
It's one thing to grab a beer or whatever at the bar area. It's
another thing to bring a full beer out to the main floor and to send
friends to constantly keep the booze flowing. It's like an open
invitation for stupidity. I'm not trying to sound old and jaded, but
too many people at this show were in the "I just got the legal right
to drink in public" vibe and don't know how to keep within their
limits. If you're too damned drunk to remember the show, you may be
over doing things.
Third, 21 and over crowd
especially seem bad at remembering where they fit in at a concert.
There are three main places to be; the front, the pit near the
front, and everywhere else. The pit may seem like the roughest
option, but it isn't. I mean the side of the pit is actually not too
bad and keeps you up front.
The roughest is the
front area where you have the potential of hundreds or thousands of
people putting constant pressure on you. That's the place I go, and
despite being a bit light in weight, I know how to roll with the
force. However, many young women who just cannot take the pressure
are also up at the front trying to either get the eye of the band
(in a hole of a venue, you will not be seen) or trying to film the
whole show on their camera phones. The thing is, the weight of the
crowd will not go away just because you have some determined false
"right" to film the concert. It just adds more weight on you when
you need to keep your phone safe while dealing with the crowd. Plus,
I can't imagine it's easy to protect your phone while filming and
still paying any attention to the show...but if drink is involved,
maybe you need the filming to remember what you missed while in a
Usually, people will be
smart about where they are. If you're in the right place for you,
then you'll just enjoy the show. If you're in the wrong place, you
move. The front is not easy to get out from on your own, but you
only need to flag a security person and they will pull your sorry
ass out of there. Most security people at punk shows are pretty
solid in their abilities and duties. I should know...after Friday
On Friday, I had the
entire situation go wrong. I was near the front (awesome), and
feeling every new bruise on my legs, arms, and back like a badge of
honor. It was after eight or so songs when the woman in front of me
freaked out and decided I was the cause of all the force behind her
(I may be tall and have one great grizzled looking beard, but I'm
only 150 lbs of nothing in a punk crowd)...and then her fist decided
to speak of her freaked out feelings. Unfortunately, the only part
of my body she decided should listed to her fist-ish words was my
eye. That's when I saw how good security is at extracting people,
since I had to leave, as well as freaked out psycho.
Long story shorter, I
spent the night being interviewed about the fight that, at first,
must have been my fault. I mean a young woman and a dude with a big
shaggy beard...first impressions lead to some judgment calls on the
spot. Luckily, being calm and well spoken does better to change that
impression than screaming and ranting like miss psycho decided to
do. I was cleared of any wrong doing, but I still missed half the
show while being kept outside with a bag of ice on my eye and an
occasional looking over by an EMT.
In the end, I was
cleared, received one hell of a shiner, and got a contact to see a
free show at the venue (Showbox SoDo in Seattle) to make up for
being kept out of most of the Social D set. As far as I heard,
psycho got a quick trip to being kicked out and could have had some
more problems if I wasn't level headed. I don't mean violence, but I
could have easily gone the whole "press charges" route. Since a
shiner heals and the situation would be pretty damned chaotic to
find a witness to, I just let it slide. Maybe it was the right thing
to do, or maybe not (who knows if this is regular behavior for my
assailant). Either way, bruises heal (although I'd prefer not to
wait for two or so weeks to get my face non-purple), I got to chat
with some pretty cool Showbox employees, and I have one hell of a
fun way to start my work week ("Good morn...WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED
TO YOU?!"). She got ejected and will probably continue being an
idiot in life...and reaping all the benefits of that.
I'm stuck in an
addiction of sorts with Fallout: New Vegas. I cannot stop playing,
but sadly I know it can't last forever. For now, however, it's good
to be so caught up in one single game. I mean New Vegas is a solid
game, and has a lot more variety to it than it felt like Fallout 3
had. Between the factions, having two companions at a time, and the
increased quests that don't just stick you in a large subway or
sewer tunnel, the game is pretty rewarding for the length it offers.
It's also good to
be stuck on playing New Vegas, or else I'd be pretty damned pissed
off at Amazon.com right now. Actually, I am still pissed off. I
pre-ordered Dragon Quest 6 (DS) quite a while back, and one would
expect this means I'd have the game right now, or at least have a
tracking number. Instead, Amazon has not even prepared my shipment.
This is annoying since I've waited for DQ6 since I first saw it
would never come to the US in the past (when it was a Japanese SNES
exclusive). Now I really want and need the game...at least when I'm
done with New Vegas.
This is not the
first time I've had this type of issue with Amazon and pre-ordered
games. I didn't get Smash Bros. Melee until three weeks after it
came out, and it took two weeks to get Picross DS. Both of these,
like with DQ6, were pre-ordered well before release. At the very
least, Amazon could have mentioned on their web site something about
running short on pre-orders. Currently, DQ6 is listed as "in stock,"
which seems weird for it not shipping for a long standing order like
mine. It's even more annoying when you can see "Want it delivered
Friday, February 18? Order it in the next 9 hours and 5 minutes, and
choose One-Day Shipping at checkout." on the product page. What if I
want it delivered without paying for expensive shipping? Wait, I
know this one...it doesn't get shipped.
I was starting to
change my tune about Amazon when I went with "release date delivery"
on LittleBigPlanet 2. I thought this was the end of their dark days
of slow as hell shipping and would show they can play with the big
boys in the gaming world. I guess that only applies to games with
the "release date delivery" option...which DQ6 didn't have.
Anyway, I am at
least enjoying New Vegas, so it's not too important to have DQ6 now.
However, it reminds me of the one thing I dislike about online
transactions; there is no instant gratification or even instant news
on what is going on with your order. At least with physical products
ordered online. It's all like a "black box" puzzle. You send money
and personal data into this box and you hope something comes out on
the other side. So far, all I can understand on Amazon's web site is
that this black box is a true mystery beyond what any person could
be able to solve.
I can also say
that if this type of crap continues, I'll go back to my old long
standing thought process; I shall not pre-order with Amazon and will
stick to books and movies from Amazon. I hate to return to other
gaming outlets, since most are just annoying, frustrating, or lack a
good product assortment. Still, if I don't get this game shipped
soon, I know Gamestop will have it in stock easy to find probably
around this weekend.