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The concert had been planned for months and with about a week to go, I found out that I was about to go to this concert by my own damn self.  The show was in Brooklyn, and the band was !!!.  Granted, !!! are not necessarily a household name, but they’ve been around long enough to have a bit of a following.  Frankly, when I found out they were going to play in New York, I was surprised that the band even still together.  For being some sort of dance-punk band, !!! don’t really make too much social noise.

In any case, fondness for the band aside, I was now not looking forward to going to this show.  Because I think going to a concert by yourself is more than a bit sad.  It means that pretty much everyone else you know would rather be doing something else than to go to your dopey show with you.  I take this shit personally – it’s like an implication not just of your company but also of your taste.

Thankfully, the missus saved me from this lonely agony.  Not because she was going to come with.  Fuck no, she was going to stay home, probably put some awful show on Netflix, and go to bed by 10pm.  This concert wasn’t even going to get started ‘til after 10pm.

Instead, she told me that someone who works with her is going to show as well and that I should meet up with her at the show.  “She’s soooooo impressed that you know this band, and that you’re going to their concert.”  Huh?  “What she means is, for someone your age.”  Turns out this person is at least – at least – 10 years younger than me.  Some sassy, concert-loving 20something who’s going to her first show at the Music Hall in Williamsburg.

Oh, for fuck’s sake.  I’m now more depressed than ever.  Now I really don’t wanna go.

But I stop being a pussy about it, hopped in the car and drove down to Billyburg.  I rolled into the venue, and there’s no one about, the floor’s practically empty, and there were two techs on stage setting up.  The doors opened an hour ago!  Fuck me, even arriving an hour after the doors opened, I’d arrived too early.  There is no faster way to feel like a total fucking rube than showing up early for something, anything – a concert, a date, a holiday party, the birth of your kid (never show up until the baby’s crowning).

But I was already in.  So I went to the bar, sucked back a couple of PBRs, and went out to the floor once I heard the pounding beats of the opening band. Holy shit, I NEVER show up for opening bands.  And if I ever happen to, it’s usually just to see them walk off the stage.  Here I was, about the to watch not one, but TWO opening bands before !!! would come on.

Once again, I’m proven what a fuckwit I am.  The first band, Yellow Dogs, turned out to be excellent.  I’d never heard of them before.  Opening bands are pretty much the only thing left in the world where it’s OK have “never heard of them before.”  After their set, I googled them.  Holy shit, these kids had been through quite a bit.  I guess being a rock band from Iran has its share of challenges.

After their set, I walked back down to the bar in the basement, saw the Yellow Dogs bass player, and chatted with him for a few minutes.  I’m interrupted by a text: “Hey, we’re here, where are you?”  The fuck?  Oh right, the 20something I was supposed to meet at this show!  I was so wrapped up in my loserdom that I totally forgot about this kid!  I tell her to meet me at the bar in the basement.

She shows up.  She also looks like Megan Fox.  And behind her, out step 4 other 20somethings.  1 boyfriend, another couple, and a dude who wastes not time telling me he just celebrated his 21st birthday at the Brooklyn Bowl.

Oh good.  (For fuck’s sake.)

I immediately feel my crippling Peter Pan complex kick in, and I’m desperately trying to not be weird about this.  Because feeling like an old fuck is ALL ME.  No one else is actively making me feel old, this shit is my head.  I feel like someone’s old creepy uncle tagging along with the kids to some show in hipster hell.

My salvation came from within the crowd when the !!! took the stage.  It came in the form of a tall man with a desperately balding pate, probably in his late-40s, dressed in a black track suit, who was entirely way too psyched to be there, and whose single dance move (and he was dancing even before the music began) the entire evening was to look left, look right, look left, look right, and repeat non-stop for an hour and a half.  Hey, at least, I’m not that fucking guy!

In the end, it turned out to be an excellent evening.  Seriously.  It was fucking awesome.  Discovered a new band.  Got to meet some new people, who turned out to be some of the most tolerable nicest 20somethings around.  Absolutely brilliant show (has to be, when the lead singer pops up right in front of you – LEFT).

On the way home, “Paradise City” came on the radio, so I put down my windows in the 30-degree wind as I crossed the Whitestone Bridge and let out a long howl.  Right then, I shit you not, a shooting star whipped directly overhead.  It was the most ridiculous moment of the night.  And the fact that that’s how I chose to end my night (shooting star notwithstanding), it really did tell me that no matter what, I’m a ridiculous old fuck now.