Saturday, July 02, 2005

Riot predictions unfulfilled, punk rock girl in a state

I went to Live 8 in Philly today, so I had planned to spare you my writing and just upload a bunch of pictures for this post. Unfortunately, even though I got there two hours early and was standing 100 feet in front of the stage, the only thing I had a clear view of was the balloon over the EMS tent.

The coolest thing about the whole day was walking to and from the show without having to worry about traffic. The entire Ben Franklin Parkway was blocked off for all but, as The Philadelphia Inquirer described them, “residential and select business drivers” (i.e. extortionist bottled water vendors), so pedestrians like myself were footloose and fancy-free. Well I suppose pedestrians are inherently footloose. But fancy-free, now there’s an adjective phrase we don’t usually enjoy.

The top of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps served as the main stage, and after my friends and I made it to the lawn, things started sucking. I’m sorry, I’ll try to tell the straight facts with as little whining as possible. As I said before, we got pretty close up, but anybody without a truck to climb, a cooler to stand on, or a ripped boyfriend to lift them saw about as much of the show as Stevie Wonder did. Speakers were put in the strangest places, so the people at the concession stands more than 500 feet away could hear better than we could. Also, lots of people were being jerks. One lady wouldn’t let my friend Tim on the other side of her so we could stand together and not get lost. Then I offered her $5 to let him through, and I guess she realized she was kind of being an asshole. She let Tim pass and wouldn’t take my money.

From Live 8 I received a few bits of wisdom, in addition to leg cramps and secondhand smoke. Here’s what I learned: (1) Absolutely nothing about the African debt crisis. (2) Everyone loves Jon Bon Jovi. Although the twentysomething-year old guys screaming his name 45 minutes after his set ended were probably mocking him. (3) Everyone in Philadelphia knows the words to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s theme song.

After about three and a half hours of 15-minute sets and 15-minute breaks between sets, my friend Alice’s headache served as a good official reason to get out of there. Boredom and standing up for a total of five and a half hours were the real reasons. But eh, it builds character son. We feasted on a lunch of small slushies and visited the EMS tent for some Tylenol. Then we sat down on the lawn, twirled grass, and scraped bark off twigs with other twigs. The show of the century, people, I can’t believe you missed it!

Tim is partial to Def Leppard and Jars of Clay, so we left after their sets. It wasn’t worth it to barely hear a bunch of mediocre artists play three hit songs, or maybe two hits and one obscure song if they really wished to rock dangerously. We passed trash heaps, busted hydrants, and 400 Port-a-Potties on the way back to Suburban Station, and managed to get there an hour and a half before the concert’s official end time. Still, the crowd was enormous. Each arriving train got more applause than Toby Keith had earlier in the afternoon. After a few rousing chants of “E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!” and “Let’s go SEPTA! (clap, clap, clapclapclap)” we somehow got on the right train, and home in one piece. Well, three pieces total. But you know, one piece for each of us.

So, I apologize, but I can’t really think of a simple, suitable answer to the question “How was Live 8?” I’ll let you know after I watch the MTV reruns.


Anonymous said...

MTV's coverage was horrible, real bummer.

By the way, what's with Philly and liberal magazine publishers? There are a million of you guys!

Neil's Kid Sister said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Neil's Kid Sister said...

Thanks, I'll try AOL.

Neil has license to eat conservatives once a month and plead temporary wolfiness. He also visits a lot.