Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Beat

Went to see The English Beat yesterday at a place called the Canyon Club in Agora Hills, north of LA. It was primarily a party for my sister-in-law's 40th birthday, and to a lesser extent, my son's 16th birthday.

The English Beat (originally The Beat) is (are?) one of my favorite bands from my college years. Maybe a half-dozen of their songs are classics, and Save It For Later is one of my favorite songs (they also did a few General Public songs). The band still sounds great, and they are awesome live. They don't really have new material, so their show is a recap of their catalog from the 80s for the most part.

It was an all-ages show, so my kids and a few others were there, but most of the crowd was the band's original fans, which is to say, middle aged white people. I'm sure most of them were having fun, but as is my nature, i found the depressing essence at the core of it. For example, i learned that there is a uniform for middle-aged guys, which consists of "relaxed" jeans and a collared shirt worn un-tucked (except for the requisite dumb-ass wannabe hipsters with the soul-patches and black jackets). This outfit delivers the message "I am still cool, but i am also 25 pounds overweight". Sadly, i fit in a bit too well.

My wife hit the dance floor to hang with her sister, so i spent my time primarily keeping an eye on the kids, particularly Henry who was going back and forth into the crowd, and my older son's girlfriend Erin, for whom i felt particular responsibility among a crowd of hundreds of drunk adults. The club was a bit warm and i had too many layers on, so i spent much of the last hour of the set outside with the smokers. I got to look around the strip mall in which the club sits, and its odd juxtaposition of nightclubs and antique shops. Although, i guess it's not really that strange of a contrast in this case, since the band is effectively an antique.

It was a good show, but nostalgia is not my thing. Being reminded of a time when i was young and hopeful and had all my original parts doesn't appeal to me that much (it's probably significant also that on my own 40th birthday i did a two-day solo bike ride). If i had to repeat something, i'd much rather go see the Aquabats with my son and his friends again.

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