I’ve grudgingly attended only a few general-admission concerts and then only at very small venues. I missed the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art because I couldn’t bear to wait in line for more than an hour. But yesterday I waited — mostly on my feet and with no food — for 9 1/2 hours and through four other bands to see Eminem from the third row of the audience at Lollapalooza. I’m not sure what made this seem like a good idea or how I persuaded my sister, Terri Berry, to go along with me, but I have no regrets.
We got there when the gates opened at 11 a.m. and fought constantly to maintain our spots until Eminem went on at 8:30 p.m., at which point we started fighting even harder. Terri Berry says, “It was like being in the ocean,” except in the ocean you generally don’t beckon security to have some pushy bitch half your age thrown out, the way TerriB did. Before that happened, I was tormented for at least an hour as I was forced to hear a 14-year-old boy try to impress a 15-year-old girl with lines that included, “I want to be making eight figures by the time I’m 40. Do you know what ‘eight figures’ means?”
We got rained on, then fried by the sun.
They were followed by Fitz and the Tantrums. After them came Big Audio Dynamite, who I last saw at a small venue — general admission — in 1987. I have a good story about that but I’ll save it for another time.
Then came Cee Lo Green, whose outfit was more impressive than his performance.
Sure, he was plagued by technical problems, but my almost-husband Paul McCartney can fall through a fucking hole in the stage, come up joking and carry on like nothing has happened. He’s a true professional. That’s why he is my almost-husband and Cee Lo Green isn’t my almost-anything. (There’s a good summary of Cee Lo’s behavior here.)
Finally, Eminem came on. As soon as he did, my camera copped an attitude of “Bitch, please! I need total peace and quiet to concentrate on focusing!” That wasn’t a very helpful attitude at a time when I needed to use the camera not just for photography, but also to beat down people who were pushing in on my personal space. Therefore, these are the best of the shiteous photos I got.
It’s really too bad that this next one didn’t come out at all. You can see through the blur that it had great potential.
We loved the show, but it was such a surreal experience that by the time we got back to TerriB’s house we were asking each other, “Was it all a dream?”
My condition of my sneakers seems to prove that something unusual happened.