Being in a band that plays regularly you’d think I’d have a stronger sense of the local music scene in Chicago. I mean, I am part of the local music scene.
One of my readers Mary kept insisting I go see one of her favorite bands, Ozomatli, when they were scheduled to play here. Just about every day she’d send a message asking me if I had bought tickets. I relented and purchased one.
As I was driving to the show tonight, I realized that I hadn’t seen a band on my own in well over a year. Maybe two years. Which is a weird thing to say for somebody that listens to at least an hour of music to and from work every day. Also weird for a guy in a band who plays live quite a bit.
Here’s the other thing – I find nothing odd about going to a concert by myself. There’s a certain freedom is being by yourself. Ozomalti is a Mexican/World Music/Jam/Hip Hop band. There’s a lot of dancing and encouraging the audience to put hands in the air, bounce up and down, and yell racial epithets in unison.
Okay, I made that last one up.
At weddings I am so ashamed of my inability to dance that I rarely make it to the dance floor. I pretend that the cake is great and I need to at my table eating it. And we all know that wedding cake sucks.
Tonight, however, it was three hundred Mexicans and me. This cabellero, after about three songs, realized nobody was paying attention to him, and started dancing like a white man at a Mexican show.
I had fun and I’m glad that I went. I did have to sit through an hour of some Mexican techno band, which consisted of a trumpet player, an accordion, and two guys on iPads controlling the beats. It was as bad as normal techno. But they were wearing cowboy hats to their credit.
I also had this thought. Would I eat alone at a restaurant? My first response was yes, I would definitely have no problem asking a maitre d’ for a table of one. (I dine at places that shun the title “hostness.â€ Uncouth!). I would whip out my phone or a book and keep myself occupied throughout dinner.
But that’s not really answering the question. Would I dine alone if I wasn’t allowed to bring anything with me? No texts, Twitter, or Harper’s Bazaar. Just me sitting there staring at the semi-attractive chick barback and alone with my thoughts.
I realized that I would quickly become embarrassed and worried that other people would think I was a loser. It would be a difficult forty five minutes. And, unless I had no other option, I just wouldn’t dine alone like that.
Going to a concert alone, however, was a lot of fun.
Oh, and again, the only reason I went was because one of YOU told me to go. So, I’m putting the rest of my life into your hands. What else should I be doing? Reading? Watching? Visiting? Eating? Caressing?
You tell me. I’ll go do it. Probably.