Friday, June 4, 2010

My Night with Porcupine Tree: Revisited

Yes, this show happened way back in September of last year so this isn't exactly "new" material for me. But I was talking about this briefly with someone last night and I realized I had never posted it to this blog before, only on myspace. So I figured, "Why not?" After all, it didn't turn out to be just a show as you'll find out by reading.

Okay, so some of you know that I went to see the band play at Club Nokia, which is an extremely new and really nice venue that was built next to the Staples Center in LA. It's sort of like a miniature version of Universal City Walk I thought. I got raped for parking though... $20 dollars to park in the parking garage!!! Anywho, I get there and nab a really nice spot dead center in front of the sound board. There's just a little narrow space (about 5 feet wide) between the sound board and some railing, in front of which is the pit area that I wasn't allowed in. For some reason, more and more people thought they could fit in front of me and that railing, when there was little to no room at all. By the time the show started, I could barely move at all, at least not to feel comfortable, but I suppose that's all part of the concert experience.

I had to sit through one opening band, Big Elf, who were alright but not really my thing. Throughout the first band's set I noticed that the air either wasn't on or they'd only turn it on for 2 minutes at a time. Needless to say, it was hot and it got sweaty pretty quickly. Uncomfortable beyond words and already I was feeling very thirsty.

Finally, after getting there around 6:30, Porcupine Tree came on around 8:45 or 9:00. The setup was great and they sounded amazing. The entire first set was the entire first disc from their new album, The Incident. It was my first time hearing it at the time, and it was very good overall. Unfortunately, during this set things started to unravel for me...

As I mentioned, the temperature was very warm and I was sweating and very thirsty, but I didn't want to leave my excellent crown position. That's when it happened. At first I could feel myself breaking into a cold sweat, my body was starting to grow very tingly. My ears were becoming plugged and my eyes slowly began to grow more blurry by the second. I'm obviously freaking out at this point and I can only guess that this must mean that I'm about to pass out (I've never had it happen, let alone at a concert with people all around me, and being alone). I can only see blurred image in front of me from what is supposed to be the band on stage, and so the only option I can think of is to tap the guy in front of me and tell him that I'm pretty sure I'm about to pass out. Not certain what good it would really do, at least someone would be aware why I suddenly collapsed to the ground. Meanwhile, I was trying to fight it off from happening with every ounce of strength I could muster and thought maybe I can ask the guy behind me working the sound board if I could get some water, but of course he denied that request (jerk) despite me about to pass out on the floor. So I decide "fuck this spot, it's not worth it", and I slowly fight through the crowd to find the opening to the back to the bar so that I can get some water immediately. Somehow my brain managed to tell my body that water would soon be mine and to let me get there without collapsing. I arrive at the bar and get the water and try to find a place to relax and recover from one of the scariest moments that I can remember having. After all, you try being alone at a concert surrounded by strangers and trying to stave off fainting.

About 15 minutes or so after getting the water, the band leaves the stage for a short intermission before they come back on for the second set. I finally see a spot where I can sit down comfortably and I stay there for the remainder of the intermission. I drank all the water that I could and started to regain myself. Bad enough to be missing the concert of a band that I've been wanting to see for years, and even worse to think I might have passed out in the process. But as I said, I began to feel better and was able to watch the rest of the show.

The second set was all "old shit", as Wilson put it. I enjoyed every minute of it and survived a night at Club Nokia. A great show to say the least and one that I won't be forgetting anytime soon.

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