tomorrow morning i leave for the Weezer Cruise. haHA! my first cruise, my first open ocean nighttime sky, my first time in Mexico…certainly not my first float, but you could call it my first boat load of music.
it’s been a long time since i went to a good music festival. i cut my teeth on the first few lollapoloozas and punctuated those experiences with Woodstock 94. that was the one where, unless you pitched your tent near the Port-o-Johns that couldn’t be emptied because people pitched their tents all around a bunch of Port-o-Johns, the chaos was lovely, the music was mostly great and we didn’t burn things down or trample each other. then there were scads of local festivals down south, punk rock matinees at CBGBs up north, all of which got gross enough to feel like camping in a bear carcass.
as i got older, i got pickier about epic music events. i’ve considered the bonaroos and the coachellas, a few one-day festivals here and there, but eventually, despite my passion for live music, the visceral awareness of the inevitable eau de crusty-kids in wet grass is just a buzzkill.
it’s time. this week and weekend i will revive my drive, pack plenty of deoderant and sequester myself on the sea with what i’m hoping will be more than a bunch of 20-something dudes. my boyfriend and i will split the ages just above and below the grand-daddies of the ship, the hosts who will grace rockin’ and rocking main stages and events over the four day cruise. i’ll watch them play tunes i was spinning as a college radio dj in 1991 and beyond. will this be j mascis and dinosaur jr rockin’ the greatest hits tour like the breeders did a few years ago? will fans of the other fledgling bands consist of more than the adult music bloggers who can afford SiriusXM subscriptions and boat fare? it’s all good, i just wonder.
or, will me and my guy be one of “those couples” i used to see at festivals when i was 21? the ones where the kids are all thinkin’ a) awe, the old people are here rockin! b) they must be with the band or festival crew, or c) um, this the “Weezer” cruise…the Geezer cruise leaves after they finish installing hand rails on your slot machine seats. i wonder if they will realize we didn’t have to “find” an 80’s prom night themed outfit…just open a dusty trunk and squeeze into memories with disintegrating zippers. i so wish i had my doc martin maryjane’s or my old catfish-toed chuck taylor high tops to complete the ensemble.
the coolest thing about the psycho-social aspect of this adventure is that…haHA again!…i don’t give a crap. the self-conscious need to at least blend with the cool kids exited my life some time ago. i’m not single and goofy and shy anymore. i’m even unperturbed at the thought of tooling around the ship in a bathing suit. i’m a cool kid in my own world, where me and my traveler are set to embark, eyes, ears and hearts open, amped to see some great music and sparkling scenery. we are both primed for pleasure. plus with this evolving version of musical mayhem, i’ll be thrilled to take advantage of a refreshing pool, a clean balcony room and a grown up, full-service spa should i need to escape the creeping scent of boy sweat and dreadlock wax…or the din of drunken bunkmates and high seas hookups…or to above-grass accomodations with doors that lock. there i can also rest my almost geriatric ears between exquisite sets of disabling distortion and furious feedback, pulsing precision and lo-fi licks.
oops, almost forgot…time to chill tonight’s pre-bon voyage champagne! it’s not korbel and it’s not krug…it’s right in the glorious middle, like i am in age, happily and wonderfully good enough. wish me calm seas and competent crew members. plus a constant tropical breeze of orchids and tuberose, salt and tree fruits to freshen the festival air. more the calm seas and competent crew members, though…if you’re prioritizing.
a serious aside: my thoughts and heart go out to everyone affected by the Costa Concordia tragedy. avoidable mistakes that can’t be undone are like torture added to grief. reality can be so difficult when acceptance is your only choice. may the sacrifices made here be the last of their kind.