Tuesday, April 24

Introducing Ryan with Social Distortion & Lindi Ortega

I will start this post with an introduction of sorts, I would rather have a dinner party and have all of my closest friends and family meet him personally, but due to obvious geographical limitations that can't happen. Until personal handshakes can happen this will have to suffice.

I would like everyone to meet Ryan.

Say hello everyone.

I have been hanging out with Ryan for a couple months now, around Christmas to be more exact, and  I think it's fair to say he is pretty cool, and I am okay with him meeting my people. He is unbelievably funny, which is why I dig him so much. The reason for the very brief intro is because Ryan took me to a concert last week, and it will make a little more sense if you know who the guy in the pictures is.

Ryan's favorite band is called Social Distortion. It's a punk band who, until meeting Ryan, I had never heard of. Ryan got a pair of tickets to see them, and he hadn't stopped talking about them for weeks in anticipation. I on the other hand have been nothing but nervous with tiny shots of anxiety about the whole thing, listening to Ryan tell me what I should expect. Mosh pits, standing room only, getting pushed around, fairly open drug use. Not to mention the fact that I didn't really like the sound of the actual music. Twangy country and the lead singer's voice grates on me a little.

Needless to say, I was apprehensive. A few days before we left for the concert Ryan called to say, "guess who is opening for Social Distortion?  Lindi Ortega!"

OMH!! Lindi Ortega is a singer I found from one of the free song giveaways from Starbucks months ago. My excitement for the concert grew a little. At least there would be a few songs I enjoyed.

When we arrived, the first thing I noticed was the mix of people at the concert. There was all ages from preteen children to older couples that must have been pushing 60. I was amazed at the diverse crowd. It reminded me of the crowd from the U2 concert last summer. The other thing I noticed was the fashion at the concert. Lots were there like me, in just a t-shirt and jeans with running shoes on. Not what I would normally wear for a night out, but Ryan explained we would be standing, and possibly getting trampled, so I wanted to wear something comfortable and battle worthy.

But not everyone dressed as practical, quite a few of the women were dressed like 50's pin-up girls and the guys had pompadours. I loved looking at everyone.

When Lindi Ortega started playing, I was out in the entrance visiting with a friend named Michelle from high school.  Such a small world. When I heard her song "Little Lie", I quickly said good bye and ran to the stage where Ry was. Lindi was fantastic! Her stage was simple, but she rocked it. It was fascinating hearing such a big voice come from such a little girl.

After her set she told us to come say hi to her out of the hall. I wanted to say hi, I really wanted to but I became so sickeningly nervous. Ryan told me to just say hi and that you like her music. I tried to play it cool, but when my turn came up I was a total idiot. She was sweet listening to me funble over my attempt to tell her how much I enjoy her music...blah! It was awful. But I did get a picture with her...

After the other opening act played, it was finally time for Social Distortion. And the place instantly became packed! People were shoulder to shoulder, It was very similar to riding the underground in London during rush hour. It even smelled the same. When the band started playing is when my natural interest in people watching began. First I was fascinated with watching Ryan and how intensely he watched his favorite band.
So much in fact he did not even notice me taking pictures of him

The next thing I was absolutely amazed at was the mosh pit. I have never been to a concert where there was one. I do think Micheal Buble has considered having one the next time he is in Edmonton, but nothing is set yet. It was astounding watching people that seemed relatively non violent begin, at the stroke of one chord on the guitar begin smashing into each other and seem to enjoy it. I became instantly tense, worried that someone would start slamming into me with the force of an ox.

I have never felt as short as I did that night, but that was the next amazing phenomena the mosh pit had an imaginary line around it. The people just somehow knew that you do not cross this unmarked spot.  I was 3 people deep from the pit and got to watch it right up close. For such a violent act (throwing your body with complete disregard into a group of others) everyone seemed rather happy. No one got into a fight, and I even saw, on more than one occasion people (strangers)  high fiving each other then hugging.
Only a few times did I get shoved, it was mostly from people wanting to leave the mosh pit. The sheer force of the shoves scared me and knocked me off balance but never was any of it aggressive.

The last part of the concert was the part I think I enjoyed the most. I found myself no longer watching the lead singer Mike Ness at all, nor was I really even facing the stage, the last part of the concert was me watching peoples faces. I was unfamiliar with the music, and could not make out all of the words to every song, but I loved watching others sing along. I loved watching other throw their fists up in excitement and affirmation that they too understood the pain/heartbrake/anger/joy that the line of the song was about. I find when I connect with music, often it is because I feel the artist worded a feeling I too have felt, or explained a situation better then I could have myself. I loved watching a room full of people connecting in personal ways to the stories told to music.

The night ended with sore feet, ringing ears (less for me 'cause I wore ear plugs) and big smiles. It was a fun time. I loved the intimate setting of this concert and the feel of it all. And if it is not too creepy, Mike Ness is kind hot for an older guy.

I was a good night.

I am grateful for having a package of kleenex in my truck. On the drive back from the concert my nose, completely out of nowhere started bleeding and got everywhere. It was awesome and not completely embarrassing at all (eye roll and facepalm). When Ryan walked me up to the door of my parents house (where I was staying) my dad was waiting up for me. Imagine his surprise when this guy I had just gone out with dropped me off looking like he beat the crap out of me. It was glorious!

I am grateful for my cousin who is coming next week to stay with me for a few months to help me out with child care!!!

I am grateful for sunny weather.