But honestly, my second go at DC's live music scene -- from procuring the tickets to being at the show --was an all-around damn fine experience. But seeing Wilco should always induce good times...well, except if it's 1999 and your best friend gets a concussion during the show from some gorilla-suit-clad asshole, who kicked her in the head while crowd-surfing; we can forgive, but we will never forget (and also, who crowd-surfs at a Wilco concert? Oh, liberal arts kids...).
But obnoxious asshole aside, I want to tell you about what was almost more exciting for The Anti DC than seeing long-time rock-star crush Jeff Tweedy and crew live on stage taking care of business -- the crowd. Yes, I can't believe what I'm typing. Save for a few outliers, who I'll get to in a moment, the crowd at large did not suck. In fact, the four guys standing on my left even managed to successfully start a slow-clap during the short intermission between the last song of the set and the first encore (there were two).
I know I must not be the only one who finds this phenomenal. I mean, I've never seen the slow-clap succeed in real life. Every time I've tried it it failed miserably, so I always thought it was a myth. But no! Turns out my timing is just bad, unlike these four undergrads, who not only pulled off the slow-clap, but did it with incredible grace!
It started with just one, then the other three joined in. I looked at The Law (my old shooting buddy) to see if she was hearing and seeing what I was and, indeed, she was. We laughed a bit at their try but knew (or thought we knew) their fate. But then we heard similar rhythmic clapping on our right. Whoa. It was happening. Like puppies and butterflies dancing under a rainbow made of unicorns and fairy dust, we were witnessing something rare and beautiful. The floor suddenly burst forth with the magical sounds of hundreds of hands bouncing off each other at the same time, slower at first then gradually growing until the rhythm was lost in the roar of the entire club erupting into applause! I was awed. If I was 10 years younger I'd have fallen in love right then and there.
But I'm old. So I simply gave a congratulatory nod to the one standing closest to me and turned my attention back to the stage...or tried to. See, while most of the crowd at the Wilco show may have been acceptable or, in the case of the four aforementioned boys, ultra tight, there's always a "That Guy" that inevitably pisses you off. Whether he's giving your friend a concussion or, as in last night's case, falling into you drunk, spilling his beer and blocking most of your photo ops (the photo above is courtesy of the Interweb), That Guy is always there. And while That Guy usually tends to be younger than you, this one was definitely pushing 50. Seriously, you'd think by the time you hit middle-age someone would have had the courtesy to clue you in on your "That Guy" status so you could've checked yourself before you
Anyway, despite That Old Guy's attempts to eff up every single one of my shots (camera, not gun), I managed to get a little snippet of passable video just to give you an idea of how awesome Wilco is. The song's called "Can't Stand It" off of their 1999 Summerteeth album. Unfortunately, my low quality recording doesn't do it justice. And some of That Old Guy's antics come into play around 1:10. Eh, I'll see him in hell.