Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monkeys at a Moby Concert on Sunday Night

(Because we are hip, hip, hipsters.)

Me: (about thirty seconds before we see Moby) We’re going to see someone famous!
Steph: I KNOW! And he’s going to look just like himself!

He did, too. Steph and Ryan took us to see Moby on Sunday night. He looked just like himself and we were about ten feet away from him. I am pretty sure that he looked right at me.

Sure, there were only a thousand people there, and he was bound to look in the general direction of ten feet away at some point, but gimme a break, people. I live *this* close to the Pennsyltuckey part of PA. I don’t see famous people. I also don’t do much in the way of things that are fun, and it was exhilarating to be in the city at night. A Sunday night, no less. (How do I still get the out-on-a-school-night charge, even though I have no school the next day? I don’t know!)

The opening act was a woman named Kelli Scarr, and to be honest, I don’t think anyone was initially wowed. She stood there in a shapeless black tunic, her hair in a messy bun, half-crying into the mic, “I…want…to break…uuuup,” kind of like, as Carl put it, “Sinead O’Connor on Quaaludes.” Something about the sincere, vulnerable quality of her crooning compelled Carl to actually rub my shoulders every time she began a new warble. In fact, as I looked around at the crowd, all of the hipster boys were absently caressing the hipster girls. This woman’s voice actually has the power to induce group comforting behavior. We were self-soothing monkeys, grooming and hugging each other until the distressing feeling went away.

Her songs were very pretty, but between the keyboard-synthesized beats and the green/gold disco light swirling around her, Steph and I were forced to conclude that we were at the saddest underwater-themed Junior Prom ever. When she reappeared later-hair brushed, in a dress-to provide the soulful power-vocals for Moby’s music, I was actually blown away.

Dear Kelli Scarr, Don't hold back. Belt it right out. Do the thing you did when you sang Wait for Me. You're better that way.

Maybe people who are in on the music scene will not think so, but small-venue concert etiquette is a little weird. We were at the Theater of the Living Arts on South Street in Philadelphia, which is basically a big room with some balcony space and a bar off to the side. While the sound guys checked wires and fiddled with stuff on stage, I was overcome with that strangers-in-an-elevator feeling. I have been to two concerts in my life, both of them in stadiums, so I felt like the most awkward duck in the pond, especially while the lights were up. Everyone faces front, arms folded, no eye contact. Monkeys in trendy fedoras trying not to start shit with other monkeys.

Once the band took the stage, though, it was all good. We were not able to get full-on rave-revival, because Moby apparently likes to talk between songs, but that was okay. I love Moby music. (He was doing the geeky-normal guy thing. I would totally talk food politics with this guy in a bookstore.) We bopped and swayed and jumped and fist-pumped. When Moby ran over to wail on the bongos, me and Steph freaked out and threw our hand in the air even more. Two days later, my calves and abs are still sore.

I was a little worried that Carl would not like it. Was it anxiety that he and my friends will not ever blend well? Maybe. Not fair, right, considering that we haven't really had much of an opportunity to try it out? He did like it, though. He bopped and fist-pumped and sung along to songs I didn't know he knew. I forgot; he likes things that are bluesy and full of soul and also rock. He confirmed the feeling I had as we spilled out of the TLA at 11:30 on a school night: "We need more of this."

"This" = get out. see interesting things. take part. enjoy life. Be free-range monkeys. Possibly with say-something hats.

This was the best thing for us right now. Thanks, Steph and Ryan. You guys techno/soul/rock my world.


  1. You're very welcome!

    You know. We could go to moar concerts. I'm just sayin.

    Although, to be fair, no one can compare to Moby.

  2. He was pretty awesome. Where else can you get geekery, gospel, AND bongos?? That rock?