Not Apocalyptic, but Still Valentine’s Day

“Let her through!! She’s going to puke!”

“My tee-shirt is stiff. It’s all covered with my sweat, other people’s sweat, beer. Who knows what other bodily fluids… my pantalones– all ripped. Good thing I don’t even like these pants. Well, anymore.”

“Why the fuck would that dude get in a mosh pit. He’s epileptic!”

My boyfriend and I go to a metal or rock show on a day in early February when it’s snowing to celebrate Valentine’s Day. After last year’s snowpocalypse, we’ve started this tradition. But this year was almost lame in terms of what it demanded in terms of our fortitude. It was still freezing, but the snow was slushy, not knee high, and the winds took the warmth from my bones, but not my breath and tears from my eyes.

Megadeth was playing at the Aragon. The boyfriend has idolized Dave Mustaine for about 20 years but somehow had never seen him live, so this concert had extra significance. It had significance for me because I listened to Megadeth almost exclusively while training for my half marathon, and I felt like I’d ‘meet’ the inspirational figures who’d help me achieve my goals.

Motorhead went first. As soon as they started playing, three people around me almost simultaneously lit up joints. It smelled like half the audience smoked weed as a break from smoking cigarettes. I felt like my skin was being physically attacked by all manner of particles- I felt like I could feel even the light photons smashing into me along with smokey free radicals and sound waves. I found out that the Aragon is not a place to go if you want to actually hear and understand what the musicians are saying. But the guys from Motorhead might have been barely intelligible even speaking with them face to face, being so British, so I couldn’t be sure.

I enjoyed the Megadeth concert a lot more. Everyone must have been high as they cared to get.

It was an odd concert. Dave Mustaine would come out, the band would play a song, then we’d all go crazy, they’d go off stage, we’d calm down only slightly, and then Dave would come back out again with a new guitar and we’d all roar with approval. This happened for about the first 4 to 5 songs. He would talk a little bit, and introduce the song to us (“this is a song about getting your head crushed in a vice”) and then they’d play. It felt like Story Time with Uncle Dave. He had a few Toki moments, which were frustrating because I really wanted to know what he was saying, but the acoustics wouldn’t let me. I can’t believe he is 50 years old.

I hope Jeff and I don’t grow out of this, but I could do with fewer kids and joints. Snow and metal will continue to be a part of our tradition, though. Maybe in a few years we’ll go to Alaska on tour instead. With nary a joint in sight.


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