The Pixies Concert

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It's Saturday night and i'm at a bachelor party for Lee L. at Jake's Dilemma.

The bar, if you haven't been there, is a total guy's pub. It has pool, foosball, darts, Golden Tee & plenty of eye candy. 43 different beers on tap, and I didn't see any girls drinking a "Cosmo" or channelling their inner "Sara Jessica".

We got there around 7pm, for a open bar until 10pm, in a private room at the bar called The Oak Cellar. They also served food, which was surprisingly delicious pasta (chicken & penne in a vodka sauce) and a beef satay (with a hearty spiciness to it). It cost $55, but I made sure to get my money's worth. I downed about 9 Captain & Cokes and did my best impression at the buffet table of the biblical locusts that destroyed Egypt 2,000 years ago.

So I was feeling buzzed, but the nice layer of pasta kept me from going overboard into "drunk". A friend of mine, Pat, asks if I want to go to Hammerstein Ballroom to see "The Pixies". This was the last show of their reunion tour, a midnight showing at Hammerstein Ballroom at 34th street.

First things first. If you don't know "The Pixies" - seriously, go to iTunes or your local music store and get their CDs "Surfer Rosa" & "Doolittle". At the very least, get their Greatest Hits. The Boston based Pixies were one of the most influential rock bands of the late '80s, composed of Black Francis (real name Charles Michael Kitteridge Thompson IV), bassist/singer Kim Deal (started the band "The Breeders" which had a big MTV 90's hit "Cannonball"), guitarist Joey Santiago and drummer David Lovering. MTV has an article here about their history & the tour.

Second things second. I wasn't expecting to go to this concert that night, but I got into listening to the Pixies about 2 years ago when I read something about them - which caused me to buy the beforementioned CD's. My iPod has had their songs on constant rotation for the last 2 years and something like this falling into my lap was simply great.

Pat, Adam, Chet and I pile into a cab around midnight after drinking with Lee for 5 hours (they were headed back to Hoboken at 1am - no strip clubs that night) - and arrive at Hammerstein. We get out of the cab and get into line. There are about 200 people outside, some are in line, some are waiting for friends and quite a few scalpers working the crowd.

We get into line, and it is at that moment I realize we are going to have a problem.

Most concert & sporting events in major cities have security who frisk patrons. Of course after the events of 9-11, the security guards take their job extremely seriously to the point of insanity. Knowing this, I realized that I made a tactical error in coming to the concert. I was armed.

I was armed with bar darts.

Yes, I have my own set of bar darts, a specific brand called Black Widow. Like anything in my life, when I enjoy something I want the best I can get. When I liked golf - I went out and bought a set of Pings. When I got into cooking, I bought Wurstof knives and All-Clad cookware. When I got into online gaming I bought the top of the line Alienware PC (about $2,500). This is not a braggart's point - I just have the habit of making sure I have the best equipment when it comes to satisfing my enjoyment of my hobbies. I'd rather have the best, than settling for second best.

So i'm carrying my darts, which are tucked away in my coat, towards the security guard. I do what every suburban white kid was trained to do - tell the truth. I pull the darts from my coat and simply show the guard before they frisk me, explaining that I came from a bar and i'm a dart player.

Sadly, the heavy set black woman (think a young Nell Carter) was perplexed by my honest actions and immediately called for backup. You would have thought I was robbing the place when I got swarmed by 2 more "bouncers" who were staring at me & my darts and wondering what the hell I was thinking of bringing THESE WEAPONS to a concert.

Pat, Adam, Chet and I tried, to no avail, to explain that they weren't weapons. One bouncer actually admitted that he played darts, and commented on how nice my darts were. I was momentarily happy, because I thought maybe I would get some leeway. That hope was quickly crushed by the head bouncer who didn't want to hear any of my reasoning.

I was trying to explain that I would simply check my darts with my coat - problem solved.

"No, sorry, can't have that.", he flatly denied me.

The banter went on for about 4 minutes when it looked grim. I couldn't get inside - and I didn't know what to do with my darts. The darts cost me about $125 (which I have easily made back with the number of dart contests I have won against less skilled players), so I couldn't just throw them away. We tried calling from people from the bar, to see if they would stop by the ballroom on their way back to Hoboken. Unfortunately, they were still at Jake's - which was about 40 blocks away.

Pat was really cool about the situation, the ticket came into my posession because one of his friends cancelled. So was ready to give the ticket back to him and go back to Hoboken when I thought of a simple plan.

I looked along the road and saw the large potted plants with thick shrubbery overflowing out of the top. My dart case was black, and it was midnight. The only people around were concert goers, drunks or homeless. So I sauntered across the street away from the entrance of the Ballroom, and walked about a half block away. I took my case and shoved it under one of the plants, while no one was looking.

I guessed that if someone were to actually find my darts in the next 3 hours then i'd just think it was meant to be. I got back into line, got re-frisked and went to see the final show of The Pixies.

The concert was fabulous, and as Adam told me "I have been to a ton of concerts, that was the best concert I have EVER been to!". For me, I have been to very few concerts, and the majority of them were Grateful Dead concerts. I thought The Pixies put on a very good show, and the energy was awesome. After the show, at 3am, I was feeling great - and feeling even better that I found my darts right where I left them.

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on December 19, 2004 9:45 AM.

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