I had a plan. In fact, I concocted this plan of mine at least a week before I would be able to execute it. As soon as I descended into LAX on October 22nd, I would get my bags and have my sister take me to In n’ Out and then to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The latter portion of my night had actually been set for at least a month, because that is how long ago I purchased the tickets. So it was going to be: land, burger, coffee, show.
As always, when it came down to doing everything I intended to do, I accomplished maybe 40%. I did indeed land. However, since the downtown L.A. Coffee Beans were closed, there was no English breakfast tea latte for me. Additionally, I ate so much on the plane (business class food is a-fucking-mazing) that I could not possibly fit a cheeseburger animal style in my stomach. Aside from landing at the planned location, the only other predetermined activity I participated in was the Nada Surf show.
There is something you have to understand: I love shows. I love jumping up and down, crowd surfing (although it’s been awhile), nodding my head, and dancing to rock music. The last few shows I have found myself attending have been …how do I put this … relatively disappointing. Not disappointing in regards to the music, but in regards to the atmosphere. I understand that the past few shows I have gone to have not been the mosh-pit-crowd-surfing type of punk shows I went to in my youth (maybe 3 yrs ago). Still, as I stood at the Nada Surf show with Jenny and her sister, Tammy, I wondered about the state of shows in Los Angeles.
The El Rey was pretty packed so obviously everyone liked all that is Nada Surf, yet when they took the stage and began playing, few showed any interest. Plastic cups full of beer or mixed drinks in hand, rarely did anyone even crack a smile. Granted some of the Nada Surf songs played were too slow (but still very good) to do anything but try not to fall asleep (this was my problem because I hadn’t slept the night before, and traveling is a bitch). Such songs were minimal in number, so the fans had no excuse for merely standing there even if under the blissful influence of various alcoholic drinks. How is that even enjoyable? Just standing there and listening? OK, I can see how that is enjoyable but how so many people can be at a stand still during a Nada Surf show is still beyond me.
In the midst of my almost jumping up and down, dancing, and singing I was able to count out a total of four other people who were doing the same. It felt like I was in a huge room full of old people. Old, boring people … I know some elderly folk who totally would have gotten down to Nada Surf. But there I was, surrounded by people in the supposed “prime” of their lives, who were just standing there comatose. Maybe they had too much alcohol, or maybe they really were all just zombie people, either way it nearly killed my mood. I’m not saying that everyone has to jump up and down and act like a fool in love with music, just more than 4 out of at least 200 people. Especially so when the band is Nada Surf!
It is just so difficult for me to understand. Why is it that when I was 19, everyone was going crazy? A fun-happy-feel-good-energetic-crazy, but at 22, standing in one place is the decided course of action for all? Mostly, I don’t understand the lack of transition. It seems as if the shift was abrupt and sudden. As soon as you make your way into an “indie” rock show from punk shows, the fun stops and the feet stop moving. I really just need someone to tell me: Where did all the fun go?