Concerts, Autopilot and Ratdog

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I'm not really a big concert guy.

I like music, but when it comes to most concerts I very much like to chill out, sit down and listen rather than be in a crush of people swaying to hard rock band. Just not my thing.

The few concerts I did attend in my life have mostly been Grateful Dead shows. To me they are what I like about a concert, you drink, eat and chill out. Most people are very nice to each other, and there aren't too many deadheads that get into shoving matches.

Last night I went to see Ratdog, Bob Weir's band, again. This time it was at The Beacon, rather than Radio City Music Hall. I went with Matt and his friend Rocco. First stop was Yogi's on 75th and Broadway. My kind of bar, a dive bar with 3 female bartenders behind the bar (one hot, one cute and one slutty), and a crowd of non-pretentious people just waiting for the show at The Beacon.

When I walked into Yogi's I got a bit uptight in new surroundings of the bar. I never been there before, there were lots of rough & tumble looking types around and i'm standing there in my Navy blue peacoat, scarf and messenger bag. I felt a bit out of place for the first 5 minutes when I walked into Yogi's I just stood off to the side, trying to fit in while I waited for Matt and Rocco to arrive. One I overcame my initial shock, I ordered a captain and coke, which was served to me in a tiny 12 oz glass, and it had a big lime wedge and two red straws. I looked around and everyone was drinking beer (PBR, Budweiser, Rolling Rock) or doing shots of Jack Daniels or Cuervo. I got a sidelong glance from a guy sitting at the bar (drinking Budweiser) when my drink was served to me which I translated to, "Look at this yuppie and his dainty drink."

I took the drink, removed the straws and lime and G-U-L-P-E-D it down in one shot, set it on the bar, near the Budweiser guy and told the bartender i'd like another, a double in a pint glass. That got most of the people in the crowd around me chuckling one saying "Thirsty?", and another said, "You don't want that lime to combat the scurvy?", I shrugged and said, "I figure fuck it, what doesn't kill me makes me stronger." That got a few laughs from people around and it made me feel more relaxed. I took my coat off, and gone was that feeling of "You don't belong" and 10 minutes later Matt & Rocco arrived, which also helped. By the time I left Yogi's I felt like it was a bar I can go back to and won't feel out of place.

We got to talking to some of the people there, even a few Eagles fans, who were proudly wearing an Eagles jacket. It never ceases to amaze me how many birds fans there are in the Big Apple. The Eagle fans are easily the number 3 team here, just based on presence of fans, behind the Giants & Jets. You don't see a ton of Buffalo or Patriot fans walking around as you do with Eagle fans.

After a few drinks at Yogi's we headed over to The Beacon. It was pretty easy getting to our seats, and under a haze of smoke we watched Bob Weir jam out a mix of his songs & some Dead songs.

I was sitting there, and realized that for one of the few times in my life that I was relaxed at the concert. When I go to other concerts, especially with bands that I may not be as familiar with, I always feel a bit more uptight, sort of like I felt at Yogi's. I can't explain it other than I just feel a bit out of place, like I don't belong. Like a "real fan" is going to spin around and say "What are YOU doing here?" Maybe that's why I never really liked going to concerts. I went to concerts even where I really knew the band and the songs, like U2 and still was never 100% relaxed.

In the middle of the second set, I went on Autopilot. I drank quite a bit that night and didn't eat anything for dinner. At Yogi's I had about 4 pint doubles of captain and coke (like 8 "normal" drinks), a shot of cuervo, and then 3 more beers at the concert. I was a bit hungry, and also didn't want to stay out too late, because of work the next day.

Being on autopilot is a bit of a new thing for me, maybe it is due to my age now. In the past, i'd get drunk but really never to the point where my conscious would lose control. In recent years, I get drunk I get to the point where i'm smashed, but functional. I still had my share of silly mistakes, but most of them would be harmless. I was well smashed, and decided i'd leave the concert, get some food and go home. I grabbed my coat & bag, shook Matt's hand and told him I was jetting. I left the venue, and started to walk the wrong way. It took me 4 blocks for my error correction. I got to 77th and Broadway when I thought, "Why am I walking uptown?"

That kind of sobered me up slightly.

I spun around and headed to my first destination, which I already knew I wanted to go there before I left - Grey's Papaya. Why? Well, first I never been to a Grey's. All my years in New York, I simply never been to one. I saw it on my cab ride to the Beacon. I was hungry, drunk and in a good, relaxed mood.

I walked over there and ordered 2 dogs. Gobbled them down. Ordered another dog and some of the papaya juice - why not? It was softly sweet, with a tropical twinge. Now I was feeling burpy, and grabbed a cab to the PATH. On the cab ride the cabbie was very talkative and I was babbling to the best of my ability and must have sounded like a complete retard. I basically remember the conversation, but it was like there were 3 people there - the cabbie, drunk Sean and my detached ego watching the whole thing. The detached ego basically was watching this and trying to guide drunk Sean home.

We made it back with nary a hitch. Work the next day was a bit rough, but not terrible. I couldn't do this every week, but every once in a while isn't so bad.

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on March 9, 2007 12:56 AM.

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