April 29, 2010

DC to Memphis Road Trip: Day 4, The reason for it all

I'm not sure how to describe this day so please excuse me if I babble.  The original plan had been to get to Minglewood Hall around noon to get into whatever line existed in order to ensure a spot right at the front.  For some reason, though, I kept putting off getting ready, instead spending time writing the blog post for Day 3 and surfing teh 'nets.  What held me back?  I'd been so excited leading up to this show that my stomach had been in knots and I'd barely eaten for days (aside from last night's bbq, which was required).  And, again, I ate nothing today.  Anyone who knows me knows that that's a highly unusual state.  I just couldn't bring myself to get it together to leave the hotel for either food or the show.  Was I afraid of my own anticipation, preferring to hide in my peaceful hotel room rather than face the turmoil of my own excitement?  Or was it a way to prolong the situation, knowing that getting ready and going would set the process in motion and there'd be no way I could keep it from being over in a handful of hours?

I finally forced myself out the door in time to be at the venue by four.  There were three groups there already, about a dozen folks altogether, some of whom had driven distances similar to mine and others who'd been there since 8:30 in the morning.  Having them to hang out and talk with helped keep me from climbing the walls while we waited to get in to the venue.

The opening act, The Ettes, included an incredibly powerful woman on drums but was otherwise forgettable.  After their fourth song I'd had enough and began wishing that each successive tune was their last. 

When The Dead Weather came on, I did a serious disservice to Alison, Dean, and LJ.  I have to admit to barely acknowledging their presences on the stage.  I'd ended up with exactly the spot I was hoping for, on the rail right in front of LJ with an unobstructed view of Jack's drum kit.  From the moment I caught sight of his tall form strolling out from the dark at the back of the stage, my eyes were immediately drawn and remained on him throughout the band's set.  I remember a few glances at LJ when he momentarily stepped into my line of sight, and a few seconds of locking eyes with Alison in a staring contest as she leaned out from the stage in my direction (she looked away first, turning and stalking back to the other side of the monitors).

I could go on at length about the facial tics I noticed, the tricks with the drumsticks, what it was like watching Jack's fingers on the fretboard of his guitar, but I'm honestly not sure how much of this experience I really want to describe.  There are times when sharing something can make it more special.  But there are other times when a moment is so meaningful that it needs to be held inside where it's safe from being trivialized.  Jack himself has commented on a similar feeling--  At a promo event for It Might Get Loud, he was asked about the conversations between himself, Jimmy Page, and The Edge that didn't make it into the film.  He allowed that there had been quite a bit of unused footage of the three of them together.  Asked to elaborate on those bits, and whether he'd learned anything from his co-stars, he demurred and said that those moments were special and he was keeping them for himself.  That's exactly how I feel about this show.  Just as Jack was totally wrapped up in his music on that stage tonight, I was totally wrapped up in experiencing both the music and his presence.  I know what I felt in the moment and I know what it meant to me.  And that's enough.

The one thing I will say, though, is that after so many days of anticipation, it was over way too quickly.

Setlist for my own memory and anyone who's interested (not necessarily in correct order):

60 Feet Tall
Hang You From the Heavens
You Just Can't Win
No Horse
Blue Blood Blues
Hustle & Cuss
So Far From Your Weapon
Die By the Drop
Child of a Few Hours
Will There Be Enough Water?

I Can't Hear You
I Cut Like a Buffalo
Treat Me Like Your Mother


Stargazerleo said...

I totally get it. This might be an odd comparison considering it was so long ago and I don't nearly feel the same way about a certain member of the band, but when I first joined the CC forum, I was so afraid that sharing my love and passion for the music would somehow diminish it for me, that it would lose its specialness. Obviously, it turned out the opposite. I found like-minded people who understood me, I was not alone! I even began to share things other than music. It was definitely an epiphany of sorts and a life-changing time.

Having said all that, I still completely understand you wanting to internalize it. I'm really glad you went on this trip. Have a safe trip home!

KaliDurga said...

Thanks :) I just got home and unpacked, so I am safe.

I'm convinced that TDW is going to extend this tour once the new album's released in a few weeks. If they hit Philly, you know I'm comin' up ;)