Tuesday, July 29, 2003

I've been taking a break from my usual themes lately (politics, the Hitch, inanity from the White House) because I started feeling like a broken record. Despite my best efforts, the Republicans and the religious right are going to just keep on having opinions and advancing their agenda of maximum annoyance, and if I miss a few days, I imagine I'll be able to pick up where i left off without too much plot confusion. This isn't a Shakespearean tragedy. National politcs play out more like a sitcom--the formula is always the same, you just change the situation from week to week.

So that's why you got to hear about my prom, and why you'll get to hear about Dismemberment Plan's great show last night.

Kriston has been trying to get me to go bonkers over these guys for quite a while. I thought they were really good, but they never really got me too excited. I was always happy to listen to them, but never requested them at the jukebox, you know what I mean? But when I heard several months ago that this seminal DC band was breaking up, I had to go hear their final hometown show.

But silly me, I didn't buy tickets in advance, and the show (obviously) sold out. Luckily, they decided to have a "okay this time for real last show" on Monday night, at Ft. Reno. This is a free outdoor park just a few blocks north of my casa, so I knew there was no way it could sell out. I would after all get to see the Dismemberment Plan's final DC show. It was kinda sprinkling, and I was only a fair-weather fan, but I decided to adopt the guise of a hardcore fan and wait it out.

The pleasant drizzle very quickly turned into torrential showers, and the opening band stopped playing when their keyboard went Snap Crackle Pop. But did I leave? No! Because I'm harcore? No! Because i was already soaked, and if I left right then, I would just be a sopping loser who stood in a field by herself getting drenched for an hour for no discernible reason. Right. But if I stayed for the show, you see, I'd be a true fan for whom no wind nor rain nor sleet nor snow would prevent the enjoyment of a good show. This determination lasted a bit longer, after which I decided that a sopping loser was what I was, through and through, and I might as well be a sopping loser all the way back home while I'm at it. I took off for the bus stop.

It isn't only national politics that plays out as a sitcom, you see. It's also my life. Can you guess? Five minutes waiting for the bus, and the rain stops, the skies clear. I had no choice but to pick up and walk back to the park, where the D Plan was setting up. And good for them, waiting it out. They saddled up and played a show that won me over to true fandom. Songs that sounded a little too polished on the album were rougher and more urgent live. The older stuff, their more frenetic and strange songs that left me puzzled when listening to the albums, sounded absolutely amazing on stage. They put on a fantastic performance for an audience that seemed to know every word to every song.

So was that it? Did I witness the final dismemberment of the Dismemberment Plan? Nope. Frontman Travis comes to the mic and says "Alright, this rain thing is kind of bullshit. I mean, it's funny, but it's bullshit. You all were standing out there for an hour. We'll do another show. We'll do one more. But THAT will be it." So, having missed the FIRST last-show-ever, but making the SECOND last-show-ever, shall I go in for the THIRD-and-potentially-final-but-we-kind-of-think-the-guys-just-can't-let-it-go show? We'll see if I remember to buy tickets.


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