“OK. BE OUT IN 2.5 MINS.”
I get out of bed, guzzle a Big Red I had started before falling asleep, walk outside and scan the street side for Matt’s drab colored Corolla. There it is. I get in. Matt is blasting that new song from Georgia Florida Line about car windows and babes. He says the Nelly part is really good and starts driving. I don’t really believe him.
Matt haphazardly parallel parks trying to look real punx but decides to painstakingly re-park, afraid that someone might rip the mirror off his Corolla (even though its 15 years old.) Meanwhile I am becoming antsy. It always takes him like 10 minutes to get out of the car and I don’t want to miss Ariel Pink. I bet Ariel Pink doesn’t re-park; he’s punx.
“I hear Ariel drives his own tour bus,” Matt says to me as he locks his car door.
“Don’t forget to lock the door,” he subsequently adds.
I wipe the sleep from my eyes and burp a little as we approach the doorman. The doorman glares and asks for identification and I coolly present him with my ID; I am 25 years of age and full of youth. Matt is not ID’ed because he looks every bit his 32 years of age. Sometime I worry about the strain he puts on his body.
Immediately upon entering the venue, Matt elicits a gleeful squeal. Standing near the merch tent are members of the area’s hottest new band, Hola Beach. We approach apprehensively.
OMG, there’s no way Matt will be able to restrain himself from talking to them—he’s such a big fan. As we engage in conversation with the stars, Ariel Pink, the brightest star of the night, is seen roaming around the crowd clad in a cape. Matt starts to talk about politics with some people that I don’t know and I zone out.
Suddenly, Ariel appears on the stage, no longer wearing the cape, and begins to play. His band, often described as having a hodgepodge aesthetic, doesn’t disappoint. Guitar player Tim Koh is wearing oversized overalls while Joe Kennedy and Kenneth Gilmore are draped in Grim-Reaperesque black sheets. A toga clad girl waves a bough of foliage around and projections light up the background completing the array of eclecticism. We move into position towards the left of the stage—we want a good view. Without speaking they begin to play jams from their newest album, Mature Themes, released last year. Ariel’s Gollum-like body crappily dances to the music. I glance at Matt and he seems mesmerized. At first I think he is staring at the sexy women on stage waving about boughs of foliage, but then I realize he is transfixed by Ariel’s pelvis and the glittering belt fastened about it. It is a pretty nice belt and I especially like Ariel’s choice to pair it with zebra print trousers.
Some youths in the crowd start to get bouncy as Ariel plays hits such as Kinski Assassin, Only in my Dreams, Round and Round and Bright Lit Blue Skies. Matt doesn’t get bouncy because he’s 32. Halfway through the show we decided to reposition, moving behind members of Hola Beach. Two members identified as Nolan and Phil move away from the crowd, poising themselves above the stage, in a more intimate location. We snap photos of them canoodling. Soon, Ariel begins to play his last song, the 70s slow jam Baby, and Matt and I are each secretly glad we are in such close proximity with Hola Beach members at this moment. As the music gentle floats through the humid Texas air, Matt and I begin to sway in unison, each imagining our respective favorite member of Hola Beach serenading us. To remember the moment, I quickly snap some shots of the back of Chris Nordahl’s head with my camera phone.
Before I know it, the song is done and Ariel is off stage. The suddenly lack of music is startlingly and awakens me from my dream. For a few moments the crowd lingers, unsure if they should expect an encore, but then the lights come on, the sexy dancing girls exit the stage and the crowd seems content to disperse. We walk back to the Corolla. Despite Matt’s best attempts to park the Corolla out of harm’s way, some riff-raff has disrespectfully sat a beer can on its hood.
“Ugh,” Matt utters as he unlocks the door and we drive away.