concert memoirs pt. 31 – robyn hitchcock & stereolab

Robyn Hitchcock w/Tim Keegan

11/11/99 First Avenue w/Amy Ticket Price: Unknown

This was my first official date with Amy, the woman who would later become my wife. We did the traditional dinner thing first at a nearby restaurant, Pizza Luce. We then made our way over to First Avenue and were greatly entertained by Mr. Hitchcock. Robyn delivered his usual good show while Amy and I held hands. How sweet.

It was at this show that some gal standing next to Amy “accidentally” nudged her. She sweetly apologized to Amy saying, “Oops, I bumped you.” We’re pretty sure that this gal was hitting on Amy. Amy has told me that it wasn’t unusual to have women occasionally approach her. Hmmm.

Here’s where I have to apologize to my wife. You see, this concert was on the same night as the concert Joe Strummer was performing at another Minneapolis club, The Quest. Amy had won tickets to that show! But did we go to see Joe Strummer play? Nooooo. No, I had bought the Robyn Hitchcock tickets and I was the man, so we had to miss Joe. Even though it would have been a wash or we could have sold the Hitchcock tickets to someone else. Typical male thing, eh girls?

Who knew Joe would die three years later? I had seen Joe Strummer before, but Amy never had. And she never would.

Robyn Hitchcock is still alive. Not only that, but both Amy and I had seen Robyn Hitchcock prior to this show (although not together). And we would see him again later when he toured with The Soft Boys!

What the hell was I thinking?! We should have gone to see Joe Strummer. What a jerk I was. Dumbass! Stupid, stupid, stupid! I’m such a dope!

I’m sorry, Honey Bunny.

Stereolab w/Papa M & Jim O’Rourke
12/4/99 First Avenue w/Amy Ticket Price: Unknown

Amy and I enjoyed this show. Stereolab is a very cool band, although I’m not as enamored with their more recent material. However, I don’t have much to tell about the show. I don’t remember any specifics, except one.

The audience. Or rather a small group of people in the audience who were standing near us. They were smoking. (This was before Minneapolis banned smoking in bars and restaurants.) Smoking in itself can be annoying, but it was more the way this group smoked that got under our skin.

They all held their cigarettes up by their mouths when not taking a drag. One hand holding the elbow of the arm held straight up with the lit cigarette also pointing straight up smoldering away. Allowing the smoke to drift right at us through the duration of the show.

These chain-smokers just struck us as being so pretentious. Oh, how European to smoke that way. It’s Stereolab, let’s all act European.

This show may have been marking my growing disinterest in concert going. I had already cut my concert going to one or two shows a year. However, when Amy came along, I started going to more shows. Still, I found myself far more annoyed with the crowds of people. Amy was having the same feelings.

I must have been much more tolerant when I was younger. Plus the fact that I was usually dancing down front and didn’t pay much attention to the audiences. I guess that as I was aging I danced less and was more likely to observe the people around me. I was beginning to think that staying home would be more pleasant.

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