Ohhh have mercy I stayed out too late at Cat’s Cradle.
In a classic case of Embarrassment of Riches, I saw the Old 97’s again last night, four days after Springsteen. I am wrung out, spent, and also internally balanced and thoroughly recalibrated. If one of those bands won’t do that to you, than certainly the two of them in combination will. I mentioned before that the Old 97’s are a soul-shaking experience. A girl needs that now and then.
I dragged Julia to this show, because she had to miss the first g0-round back in January. We never ever ever agree on the subject of men. I may, however, have to fight her for Rhett. She says I can have the pinwheel-arm-guitar Rhett, if she can have the Rhett that does the high kick with the electric guitar. I think we could agree on some kind of arrangement, were in not for the fact that he wears a wedding ring on both hands. Ouch, we get it. He’s so darn sincere and likeable and friendly on stage, and so obviously enjoying himself and his fans, that you almost forgive him for the fact that he is happily married to a supermodel.
Stage moves and hair swinging aside, he is a genius songwriter. They did almost all of my favorites, including the album Too Far To Care in its entirety. That’s a lot of brilliance in a 45 minute span, culminating in Four Leaf Clover. Pure sorcery and witchcraft. I can not be held responsible for my actions when Four Leaf Clover is playing.
That was only half the show; after Four Leaf Clover, they went on and on. I only truly lost it again when he turned around and yelled to the band, “Won’t Be Home!” and then they went at it. I swear Rhett sang it directly to me. We were on the third row and I’m sure I made a spectacle of myself during that one, so it’s really not out of the question. Car song. I am also not responsible for whatever happens when a car song is playing.
And then he did a spectacular rock star jump off the speaker while doing a guitar flourish.
And so: Cat’s Cradle. Loud music. Rowdy crowd. Soul-shaking.
Seriously, y’all, I live a reasonably respectable life. I’m usually the designated driver, I don’t do drugs, and I don’t sleep around. I don’t rob banks, and I don’t get involved in bar brawls or illicit activities. I don’t belong to a Fight Club. I show up for work, I balance my bank account, I make student loan payments, I vote, I pay taxes, I organize family events, and I eat vegetables and go to yoga. The amount of time I have spent lately squelching my opinions and reigning in my emotions in frustrating situations deserves a merit badge of some sort. I think most of us have to expend more energy than we’d like that way. We’re all doing the best we can to be kind, responsible, productive, collaborative citizens. It’s hard work.
Which is why, on a Saturday night from time to time, the best possible solution is black fringe and red cowboy boots, fake eyelashes and 1/2″ of eyeliner, and yelling out “MY LIFE’S BEEN MISSPENT, DON’T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD,” just before blowing the roof off for “I MIGHT JUST GET DRUNK TONIGHT, AND BURN THE NITECLUB DOWN.” I’m not going to burn anything down, and neither are you. But I am willing to stand on the third row, while the music rattles everything inside me, and dance with the band. If that doesn’t shake loose everything inside you that’s wound a little too tightly, well, maybe try base-jumping or marathon running. Whatever works for you. This is what does it for me: