So my neighbor went to school with the guitarist from Flogging Molly. Flogging Molly played a show in a city near us last week, so our neighbor talked to his pal and got us backstage passes. For free. All access. It was amazing. It was so amazing that I almost typed that last sentence with periods in between each word, except I didn't because I have class and that's some tacky, irritating shit right there.
I had never been backstage at a show, and had never really thought much about it. I'm not too into the whole gushing-fan routine, and I couldn't think of any other reason to go backstage. Turns out, backstage is pretty neat, especially if you have people to hang out with. Our neighbor, who is a totally awesome dude we like hanging out with anyway, met up with a bunch of his old high-school buddies who were there to support their friend and drink beer. Beer, it turns out, is an integral part of the backstage experience. There were tubs of it in a tent (Yuengling, PBR, and some shitty Blue Light). There was also water and some juice and a bottle of vodka. No one stopped me when I grabbed a water, and no one stopped me when I got bolder and grabbed myself a beer. And no one stopped me when I grabbed the next four, either.
Which brings me to the next awesome part of being backstage: you have to share port-a-potties with a significantly smaller group. They had several banks of them set up, accessible only to people backstage. I peed several times that evening, and the only time it was at all icky was after the show, when they had changed the fence around to let people exit through an area that had been blocked earlier - so I'm going to blame the dirty proles.
Aside from putting liquids into and taking them out of my body, I got to meet the dudes from the band, who were just hanging out, and got to stand off to the side of the stage to watch them perform. The opening band, Badfish, attracted a slightly, shall we say, higher audience (they're a Sublime tribute band, come on), and we got to get a nice little contact high from the awesome breeze over the crowd instead of standing in the searing heat in the middle of thousands of people. They put on a decent show, but nothing compared to Flogging Molly.
I spent most of their set standing next to the guitarist's parents, and he kept coming over to make sure they were okay and didn't need earplugs or more water or anything. I also want to say that Flogging Molly, more than any other band I've ever seen (and I have been to hundreds of shows - it's what I used to spend all my money on before I bought a house) totally appreciates their audience. The singer thanked the crowd for being there at least six times, and at one point the whole band stopped and drank a toast to everyone in the audience. It was kind of awesome. At the end of the show, they left the stage to a recording of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," and invited those of us standing on the sidelines to come out on stage. There is video somewhere of me skanking like an idiot with my neighbor's son and Dennis Casey. (Incidentally, if you didn't think I was cool before now, that should just about clinch it.)
I realized on the drive home that if I were rich, I could do that sort of shit all the time. Instead, I'm just going to obsessively monitor Flogging Molly's tour schedule and bake my neighbor cookies when they come to town.
Have you ever had a rich-person experience without putting out the dough? Bask with me!