The last time I went to a rock concert, Ozzy was recovering from rabies. That doesn't mean this old turd can't rattle his brain with the best of them. So I piled Krusty and a couple teens into the Turd-Brown Taurus and headed south to what was billed as a celebration of heavy metal lifestyle.I always thought of head-banging as more of a quick way to get a headache than a lifestyle, but hey, I'm game. So we crowded the lot of the arena with several thousand like-minded live music fans to get down with the sickness. After all, this is the Music As a Weapon tour featuring Disturbed.I'm not sure what happened to music on my way to middle age, but it's changed . . . and not for the better.
Back in the seventies, The Who set the record for the loudest concert in history -- 131 decibels if my aging memory serves me correctly -- and you could still understand the lyrics. And the only four-letter words you ever heard were "rock" and "roll." Today, rock shows are about distorted noise and demonic hollering. And lead "singers," if you can call them that, fling f-bombs around like beads off a Mardi Gras float.Rock and roll used to be about music, lyrics, showmanship, and women. . . Okay, it was about women.Today it's about beating the crap out of total strangers.Women included.
At least Krusty had the good sense to stay out of the pit, though he did body surf to the stage and slap hands with some dude with dreadlocks and a microphone.
Rock and Roll used to be about rebellion. Individuality. And the contact high you could get walking past the door to the arena.Yesterday, I saw more thinning mullets and bad ink than on my last trip to Louisiana State Penitentiary. So much for being unique. And I actually heard one old coot complain when the guy next to him lit a cigarette.Yep, the audience at your standard rock show has changed. Pre-pubescent punks from the burbs decked-out in pasty make-up and black because they think it looks hip. They drag aging yuppies from the Beemer to backstage where the old fart hopes to prove to junior that he's still got the chops he had when he was in college. Here's a clue. Kid, that make-up makes you look gay. And Dad, old dudes in pony tails are creepy.
We saw 10 bands in just over 10 hours. All-in-all each one sucked a little less than the one before it. Only four put on any kind of show. While their "music" ain't my thing, Killswitch Engaged kicked major ass. And Lacuna Coil, has a sound just unique enough to make them stand out in a crowd of screamers.But for my money, the best music of the day had to go to four teenagers from Coweta, Oklahoma. Crooked X. Leif Garrett good looks and pipes to boot, combined with some face-melting guitar licks and just a really cool attitude won them a spot in my iPod.And of course thanks to Disturbed for helping me prove to Krusty that the old man can still bang his head with the best of them.
Now, please pass the Tylenol.