Posted by: deerharas | September 21, 2006

Oklahoma City Limits

I have entitled this post “Oklahoma City Limits” because even though I didn’t go to ACL this year, I did attend three concerts in six days all over the state of Oklahoma.  Three of the bands were also at ACL, so at least I got a small taste of the festival.

We’ll start with last Friday and The Flaming Lips at the Zoo Amphitheatre.  Oh … my … word.   I don’t know that I’ve ever had as much fun at a concert.  The spaceship, the hamster ball, the confetti, the streamers, the balloons, the costumes, the merriment … wow.  It is unbelievable to me that this band lives in Oklahoma City.  I was somewhat prepared for what was to come, having watched their Austin City Limits performance on PBS.  I was all the more entertained to see Wayne pull out the nun puppet to assist him with “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1.”  I thoroughly enjoyed his preface to “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song,” where he basically talked about sowing and reaping and how by giving love we inevitably get love in return.  I will say that I am not a jump around, go crazy type girl, but at this show I became one.  Maybe it was the confetti. 

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Fast forward to Tuesday in Tulsa.  Now after my Fray ticket debacle, I decided to buy Guster tickets the day they came out.  It was to be a joint event with Ray Lamontagne.  However, about a month ago I got a call from Cain’s telling me that Ray had pulled out of the tour and asking if I still wanted my tickets.  I asked why he pulled out, and the Cain’s guy said something about Guster fans being really rude to him at previous shows.  Okay, so after the concert Tuesday, that does not surprise me at all.  While I love, love, love Guster, I am not a fan of their fans.  In fact, my experience Tuesday has prompted the following declarations:

1. Concert PDA = Not Okay.  Yes, I am talking about you, extremely tall high school couple.  I came for a show, but not that one.

2. At a general admission concert, everyone is equal.  Your only claim to a good spot comes from getting there early, not rudely elbowing or pushing your way to the front.  Props to Anna and me for standing our ground and not giving into the nudgings of frat boys, even if it meant awkward full body contact.

3. It is incredibly lame to wear a t-shirt advertising the band you came to see.  It is even more lame to wear a t-shirt you bought at the show five minutes earlier.  However, wearing another band’s t-shirt is perfectly acceptable.

Well, the rundown went as such: Tristan Prettyman opened … folksy acoustic guitar … reminded me a little of Edie Brickell … enjoyable.   Then came Nada Surf with their adorable drummer and his adorable facial expressions.  I seriously thought at one point their bassist might set his dreadlocks on fire with his cigarette.  I really enjoyed their set list, and as is my typical concert experience, I came away with a greater appreciation of a band I only mildly liked beforehand.  And then came Guster …

While I probably couldn’t sing you every song word for word, I could definitely hum each one note for note.  I just love their sound … their use of percussion, harmony and falsetto … I’m a sucker for the falsetto.  They hit all my favorites except “Either Way,” “Two Points for Honesty,” and “Jesus on the Radio.”  At one point, Ryan Miller went into a story about his first trip to Tulsa as a sophomore in high school.  He had a friend who was a huge R.E.M. fan and they came to camp out for tickets.  They ended up with 2nd row tickets, but Ryan later realized the concert date conflicted with what he called “Jew Camp.”  He opted for Jew Camp and had a terrible time while his friend on the second row threw his hat onstage, after which Michael Stipe put it on and wore it the rest of the concert.  In the middle of this story, frat boy in front of me proceeded to throw his hat on stage.  Miller put it on and broke out in a few bars of “Orange Crush.”  Now frat boy has a story to tell.

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Well, Oklahoma City Limits was rounded out with Derek Webb in Stillwater.  Thankfully this time we were on time so I got to see Sandra McCracken open, and I didn’t miss Derek’s request set.  Highlights were Sandra’s clever tribute to George Harrison, “Goodbye George” with lyrics like “Your guitar is gently weeping in our heads” and “Here comes the sun to take the youngest one at last.”  Alas, Derek didn’t sing “Table for Two” (I’m not a very good yeller), but he did play “What You Want” … much more intimate with just an acoustic guitar.  “All the freedom in this world could not resist the sweet temptation of your sweet elusiveness.”  

After the request set, he played through his entire new album, which you can amazingly download for free until December (and you should).  I love this album because of its boldness and honesty.  It is both thought and conversation provoking.  And it’s free …

Free Derek Webb

That about sums up Oklahoma City Limits.  In other news, I am officially tired of being a blonde and have plans to make a change soon.  I think fall requires it.

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