Thursday, September 30, 2010

Worst Shows Ever #5

As a music lover, I've been to A LOT of shows - huge sold out stadium shows, tiny bar shows with a handful of people, awesome shows that lived up to and exceeded all expectations and shows that were great but for a reason I never could have anticipated.  But this isn't about those shows...this is about the AWFUL shows.  The shows that make you feel like you wasted your time and money...the ones that leave a pit in your stomach and may even make you dislike a band that you used to love.  Sometimes its the band, sometimes other factors but no matter what the cause these shows were terrible.  These are my top 10 horrible shows.*

5. Lynyrd Skynyrd/Tesla - Five Seasons Center, Cedar Rapids

I am not a huge Lynyrd Skynyrd fan.  I don't mind a little southern flavor in my rock, but to my Skynyrd always seemed more like hard country...just a little too much southern influence for me.  How southern is too much?  This tour was sponsored by Skoal Chewing Tobacco (free samples!) and there were confederate flags all over the place.  To me, it was too southern but it did match the band and their music perfectly.  I don't think they are bad, they are just not for me.  Plus, I can't trust anyone with that many Y's in their name.

Despite this, Lynyrd Skynyrd are rock legends and I felt a small obligation to go see them to pay homage to the roots of rock or something like that.  Yes, I used to be an idiot and thought things like "roots of rock."  LS were not enough by themselves to get me to go.  However, my good friend db and I were really in concert mode at this time so when Tesla was added as the opening band we were go.

I enjoyed Tesla quite a bit and was excited to see them (this was my first of 5 or 6 times seeing Tesla live).  This is one of many shows where I bought a ticket to mainly see the opening band.  It kind of sucks buying a ticket for 30 minutes of a show, but oh well.  This was during Tesla's Bust A Nut period...they were still popular, but hadn't had a hit for a while.  Tommy, the guitarist had also just gotten out of rehab (and by "just" I mean it was literally like a few days before)...this is another reason that I wanted to see Tesla, I figured Tommy would be OD'ing and I wanted to see the original line-up.

"Mother Fucker, Mother Fucker"
Tesla did a pretty good job.  I couldn't get into it as much as I would have liked, but it was a solid set.  Tommy was strange though.  Tommy was dressed in white coveralls and combat boots.  He was stomping around stage mouthing "Mother Fucker, Mother Fucker."  Over and over.  The entire set.  It was strange and really did make him seem insane.

So Tesla was good.  Mission accomplished...everything else sucked.  db and I made our way up front for the Telsa.  We were in the second row behind the barrier and trying to talk to a couple cute girls before Telsa took the stage, they were having none of us...shocker.  Once the music started, the crowd crushed forward and we tried not to smash them too much, but I am not sure how successful we were.  Some guy behind me was reaching around and grabbing the girl's ass in front of me, of course she thought it was me since I was directly behind her and I am the one that got all the bitchy looks and an elbow in the chest.  Wasn't me, seriously, I was way too shy to randomly grope a girl (plus was raised with better manners).

The crowd only worsened when Lynyrd Skynyrd took the stage.  The very drunk guy behind me (not sure if it was the same ass grabber or not) now wanted to be in my spot to be closer to the band.  I am used to people trying to take my spot and am pretty good at defending my territory, but this guy was a complete asshole.  He started his take over bid by kicking my calf with his boots.  Hard, over and over.  I shot back with a couple backwards kicks to his shins but my wrestling shoes couldn't inflict near the damage that his combat boots were dealing out.  It was annoying more than painful since he couldn't get a good leg swing to kick hard.  I stayed in my spot.  Then jerkhole started digging his fingers into my side between my ribs and under my ribs.  Repeatedly as hard as he could.  At one point he had a good inch, inch and a half of finger wedged under my ribs and was pulling out hard.  Yes, I used to be really skinny.  It hurt bad and I slammed my elbow down onto his forearm until he finally let go.

I continue to hold my ground while also trying to deter this idiot and push him someplace else.  This jackoff was not to be deterred.  He then thought my neck would be the next easy target.  He started jabbing his fingers into the sides of my neck and he was looking for a pressure point or something.  I'd finally had enough and I whipped an elbow back as hard as I could.  I think he must have been leaning forward or something because I caught him right in the face.  Pretty sure I broke his nose because it started bleeding...a lot.  Most people confronted with copious blood loss would head out of the press of the crowd and stop the bleeding.  Not this guy.  Soon, he and the floor were covered in a pretty good sized pool of blood and all his friends were trying to get him leave but he wouldn't.  I keep glancing back and the blood is still pouring from this guy's nose.  I feel bad, but it was not what I intended and besides he was the aggressor. 10 minutes later, jerky's nose is still gushing.  He is dizzy and can hardly stand but is still fighting his friends who are trying to get him to leave.  He starts leaning forward against me and I can feel the blood flowing down my back.

Finally after much trying by everyone around, we were able to get the attention of the security personnel at the barrier to drag this guy out and get him some help.  But he wasn't done fighting.  While being dragged over the top of the crowd, he was flailing and kicking as hard as he could and I took a nice steel toe to the eye.  Battered and slightly dizzy myself, I decided to head to the bathrooms to see the damage.  I was offered help several times on the way to the bathroom but wasn't sure why.  When I looked in the mirrors, I saw why everyone was so concerned.  My whole right side of my shirt was covered in blood.  It looked more than a little like I had been stabbed.  I was pissed!  I happened to be wearing my white, 1991 Jane's Addiction concert t-shirt.  It was ruined.  Never again would I wear this shirt after this night.  I tried washing the shirt out in the bathroom sink and I washed the blood off of my body...telling several people "It's OK, it's not my blood." or "You should see the other guy."  I didn't really notice all the bruises until the next day.

I put my soaking wet and blood stained shirt on and tried to enjoy the rest of the show.  It was difficult, everyone that walked by would give me strange looks (stranger than normal) and I was slowly developing a headache.  By the time that Freebird was dragging out into it's 12th minute, I just wanted to leave.  I met back up with db and we walked to the car.  It was May, but still the evening was pretty cold probably around the mid to upper 40s.  With my wet shirt I was freezing and was looking forward to getting into db's car and cranking the heat.  As we were walking to the car, something seemed off.  It wasn't my car so I didn't catch it at first.  Someone had pried out the lock on the trunk.  Turns out that they also broke the passenger side window. Stereo, speakers, CDs, and a few other things were all gone.  What sucks even worse was that his happened to db and me only few weeks earlier in the same town.  I felt really bad for db.  Cedar Rapids, sometimes I really hate you.  The hour long ride home was very chilly.  I ended up just removing my wet shirt and going without.  It was slightly warmer but my teeth were chattering very hardly most of the way home.  I was a long, cold, windy, and quiet ride (since we had no stereo).  When I got home, I took a really hot 45 minute shower (a rarity in college dorms but it was like 1am).  I still felt dirty and cold for the next couple days.

Luckily, I have seen Tesla several times since and they always put on a good show...but Lynyrd Skynyrd bore the blunt of my blame and they are dead to me now.

*These are off the top of my head, I am sure that I could go through my stubs and find more.  I don't think I left out any major suck-fests though.


kelly said...

The ratio of good to bad things that we have experienced in CR is heavily skewed negative.

That is Frank in the pic, not Tommy, btw.

Michael said...

I know, CR pretty much sucks...but every once in a while something amazing would happen like Saigon Kick #1 and the Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, and AiC show...which were SO great that you have to take the chance.

Yes, I knew it wasn't Tommy, but I couldn't find a good pic of Tommy...and was too lazy to look for more than 10 seconds.

Bryan said...

I don't remember if this concert was part of the 4 concerts in 7 days during finals week or not .. that was awesome. I do remember that Tommy was also making a "shooting up with a hypodermic needle" gesture A LOT. I also remember that the thief/thieves ripped my center console armrest off, which was totally unnecessary because it was a 5 speed and therefore not a storage area. He/She/They also failed to take the stereo faceplate and my wallet, which was left in the glovebox so that the rednecks couldn't pick pocket me. The other time was at a record store prior to a concert .. where He/She/They punched out both my passenger side and trunk locks to take my speaker/bass box and stereo. Needless to say, it has been factory audio equipment ever since.

The other "Awesome" moment was when some jackwagon gained access to the stage during Skynard and decided to full out stage dive. It was like slow motion as the entire crowd parted like the Red Sea. It was a lovely dive though, as he bounced his head off of the concrete floor. Suprisingly, he immediate jumped up and ran off into the laughing crowd so as to avoid security.

I agree that Saigon Kick is by far the one of the best shows I've seen - best in Iowa hands down. Besides, the opening band sang about a Brown Billygoat with great big can you not love that?

OH!! Who can forget Wicked Alliance? Jake E. Lee was awesome. However, the defining moment of that experience was making fun of the douche dressed like a gothic cowboy (he may have heard some of the comments) just to find out he was Jake's frontman.

Michael said...

Indeed this was 4 concerts in 7 days during finals week...each at least an hour drive from school. I believe this was the final show of our epic quest.

Ha, forgot about Tommy doing the Hypo motion...I really don't think he was ready to come out of rehab yet. I think I missed the stage dive due to cleaning up the blood, but it does sound awesome. I think I have seen that exact scenario more times that I have seen a stage dive actually work.

I couldn't remember which car theft was which as far as what was stolen. I just remember being very cold on the way home this time, and the other time they stole your radio with my Pearl Jam Ten CD inside. I felt SO bad for you when this all happened, but you dealt with it like a champ. Stupid fuckers.

Douche Cowboy was funny. That was a good time. Fucking Mandy I recall he was the worlds first homicidal lover. He made love until somebody died....or something like that. I am pretty sure that is one of the lamest things I have ever heard someone say on stage.

Bryan said...

I'll have to look at my concert tickets because now I'm curious who the other 3 concerts were. Queensryche maybe? They put on a good show when we saw them. Primus was during a major blizzard, but we went anyway, the whole time saying, "we should probably turn around and/or just stop driving." I think it was Jackyll and Bruce Dickinson in a gym. There was also Korn before fame, with Manson who knocked himself out with the mic, and maybe Danzig was on that bill. The Phish experience was truly aweful.

Douche Lions actually says that line on George Lynch's Sacred Groove album.

Michael said...

I can't remember right off hand either. Motorhead or LA Guns at Big Dogs? Queensryche sounds correct. There was something in Davenport too...I don't think Manson, Korn, Danzig. Live maybe? Maybe it was Bruce and Jackyll. I'll check tonight.

Michael said...

The 4 concerts during finals week were:
*Friday May 5th Saigon Kick w/Naked Rhythm (Big Dogs - Cedar Rapids)
*Sunday May 7th Queensryche w/Type O Negative (5 Seasons Center - Cedar Rapids)
*Tuesday May 9th LIVE w/Matthew Sweet I think (Palmer Auditorium - Davenport)
*Thursday May 11th Lynyrd Skynyrd w/Tesla & Bloodline (5 Seasons Center - Cedar Rapids)