I had my doubts about driving all the way to Sacramento, by myself, on a Sunday night, to see a band that used to play at my old housing co-operative in Berzerkeley, but I'd bought a ticket to see Primus at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, so there I motored. I'd heard that the crowds at Delta shows were more wild & crazy like the old days, and Tim guaranteed it to one of my top five type shows of the year. I got there during Gogol Bordello, the opening band. The action was minimal, no pit, but the folks were youthful & friendly. When the lights came on between bands I walked as close to the front as I could, where I got to listen to a bearded young man explain pit tactics to one of his two female companions, who had apparently never attended such a show from this intense a vantage point. When the lights went down and the music started the rush took me away like a raging river, sweeping me into impossible crush after impossible crush, people falling all over the place. That girl is running for her life about now, I thought to myself. About a hundred people sat down on me as I realized that the fools behind me had fallen to the floor, no lasting worry though, as arms did, in accordance with age old pit tradition, reach down to help pull me up. A guy next to me asked all of us around him to please feel for his shoes, but no luck. That first song, the one about "...those damned blue collar tweakers...", took a serious hold of that blue collar tweaker crowd. The crowd surfing started and I started howling and growling at random intervals; a true pit opened up, allowing for air flow and motion. Not as graceful and flowing as the pits of my drunken memories, but far better than can be found at just about any bay area show, with perhaps the exception of Slayer. Tim made it up to join me in the craze a couple songs later, soon to have his shirt vacuumed from him by the human blender, during Jerry Was A Racecar Driver I think, never to be seen again. Frontman Les Claypool came out in a pig mask, then a monkey mask with tail, played this amazing bass like none other, deep freaky. The girl that had never slam danced before held her own in a death defying fight for survival fit for Animal Planet or the National Geographic Channel. A number of other females held their own at the front, including one ribald young blond lady that insisted on repeatedly raising her top while riding some guy's shoulders. So many females, in fact, that Les stopped between songs to comment that this concert had the most women at the frong of all the shows they'd played, and it refreshed him to see something other than the usual "sea of testicles". I lost half the buttons on my Hawaiian shirt and got soundly knocked to the floor to practice somersaults in the pit. The pit was full of fresh air and a particularly obnoxious shaved headed young man that charged me like a bull, plowing into my left kidney area, leaving me with a resounding and prominent pain in my gut. The problem with resting past the edge the pit was the lack of air, no flow there, much body odor and carbon dioxide, so I'd fight my way back to the fray. Started getting tired, life kept flashing before my eyes, but I kept stopping it, so I wouldn't miss the band, but it would just resume flashing when my breath would get real short and my heart pounding loud. Went to get a drink at the fountain once, feeling like my kidneys were upset with me, actually four drinks, then rejoined the fun. The bouncers had decided to aggressively grab anyone crowd surfing, even the relatively benign girls. These guys looked like they could use an extra dose of high blood pressure medicine, or some inner peace; those bulging veins and eyes screamed stress. When the crowd sensed the last song all the girls that had wanted to crowd surf but hadn't wanted to get grabbed took too the air, quite a sight. Tim and I hung around after the lights came on to look for his shirt, but no luck. My belt had bruised my hips good, what with all the pulling of the crowd crush. My keys had cut my thigh, and pain wracked my every limb and especially my head, throbbing. Now I saw the wisdom in driving all the way to Sacramento to see a show like this, so worth it.
The moon shown like the noon day sun through my sunroof on the way back, just a wee but louder than the ringing in my ears. I howled and grunted and beat the parts of the car I though could take it. My skin soaked up the moonlight into special moonlight storage nerves, to release as needed in the form of everyday miracles. I got a call when I was still about 40 minutes from home that my boy had awoke in a bad mood and was screaming bloody murder and searching the house and yard for me, turning on all the lights, demanding chocolate. He waited up for me, quietly sitting at the top of the stairs, greeting my the moment the door opened with an expectant "Daddy?"
"Yes Choppo, I'm home" After I'd congratulated him on waiting up for me so patiently and quietly, we feasted on a variety of snacks (no chocolate) and had a regular after-show party session, including the reading of an exceptional Frida Kahlo letter out loud, one from when she lived in San Francisco, before passing out on the futon. Stellar night, all in all.