By The Piratearian
Today I really feel old.
Last night I was persuaded to take my two teenagers 14 and 16 year old boys, to their first concert.
Now first a little background. My parents took me to my first concert in 1974. Winterland, in San Francisco. We had great seats to watch the Doobie Brothers. Let’s just say that I did not smell the same coming out as going in as the smoke was so thick.
I spent my formative years in the Bay Area and attended almost all the major concerts, in intimate clubs to major sports arenas. (Oakland Coliseum Stadium Day on the Greens!). I saw the Rolling Stones, The Who, The Dead, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Peter Frampton, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, you get it, the best of the best of the age. So I can reasonably say I have witnessed some of the best musicians of my generation. I also was able to witness the behavior of hundreds of thousands of concert goers in various states of inebriation. There were fights, drunks and flower children dancing under the influence of LSD.
So it was with some interest and yet some trepidation that I attended the Mac Miller concert at the Celebrity Theater last night in Phoenix. The Celebrity Theater holds around 3000 and the seating is in the round, what is cool is that the stage spins, much like the old Circle Star Theater in Redwood City, CA.
Now who is Mac Miller? Malcolm McCormick AKA Mac Miller is a 19 year old Jewish kid out of Pittsburgh, PA. He has stuck with an independent studio in Pittsburgh and just released his first album which will be number one on the Billboard 200 Monday, Blue Slide Park.
So back to the journey…
My son had selected the “early entry” tickets which was actually kind of nice as I did not have to sit my 50 year old body in a massive line of people for 5 hours. As it was my boys convinced me we had to go early. We arrived at 17:30 for a 20:00 show. I first noticed that I was more than 30 years older than most of the attendee’s, though after a while I saw one or 2 that was in my generation and not part of the security staff!
We were able to get in at 18:30 and proceeded down to get our seats. We ended up about four rows back from the stage, behind the orchestra / Mosh pit. (But evidently kids today do not know how to Mosh! No dancing, they just stood there and bounced occasionally waving their hands in the air)
By 8 the joint was jumping and the first act came on. Casey Veggie. A rapper with a pretty good beat, but there were the usual pants on the ground (how do they keep them up?) and a couple guys waving towels and gesturing while the lead singer rapped.
Now at first I am thinking OK this is pretty tame, then the smoke started to rise. Now as this is a smokeless facility security was doing their best to catch the stoners, it became a cat and mouse game with the stoners for the most part getting away with it.
The next band was almost a duplicate of the first, more gesturing and rapping and pants on the ground.
Now at this point I was pretty impressed at how well the crowd was behaved. There were a few drunks and many stoners, but there were never any threats of violence.
My eldest tried moving to the pit, then realized it was much more comfortable in the seat I had saved for him
Now it was time for Mac Miller to hit the stage. When he did, smoke came from every corner of the arena! It turns out that he is ridiculed for only singing about, “Getting stoned, getting drunk, and getting laid” his words. This now explains why there were so many shirts and hats saying “Dope!” I though “Dope” was just a saying as in “He’s dope” But now I realize that Mac Miller is a major stoner and is not afraid to tell everyone.
Had I known this I might have thought three times before bringing my kids!
And he lived up to the ridicule rapping about teen rebellion and having fun, getting drunk, getting stoned and having sex. Now he does have a unique style often pausing as if he is thinking about what he was going to say which is quite different from what I expect from rap. He also did a nice tribute to his mother and grandfather who told him to do what he believes in and don’t let anyone stop you.
But I do have to say Mac puts on a great show. Yes he had his pants down way too low, but he is a creative rapper / musician. I enjoyed “Best Day Ever” “Senior Skip Day” and “Knock Knock” (Warning Graphic language) At one point he even sat down with a beautiful Gibson guitar and went though some samples of some classic songs like Sweet home Alabama!
His show was upbeat, the worst I can say is that there were too many f-bombs dropped and that he should never have lit up that joint on stage! But by the time his profanity laced song “Donald Trump” came on I was done.
Now the funny thing was my boys thought the crowd was wild. “Look he’s stoned” “She’s drunk!” or “I just saw a guy get arrested! He was in handcuffs and there was cocaine spilled all over!”
I just smiled thinking that this was one of the best behaved crowds I had ever seen at a concert! Most kids were polite and not too loud.
I think I will let them have their fun in thinking the “Best night of their life” was at this really wild concert!
How times have changed!