26 February 2012

Nostalgia's Not That Important

As the universe's way of counteracting the great show I went to the other night, Robin and I's attempt at seeing Cursive this past weekend was a bust, but wound up being a good night nonetheless.

After an incredibly draining week of work, Sunday night marked the date and time for Cursive's sold-out show at Bunk Bar. They were a band I listened to quite a bit back when I was younger, and I wanted to catch their set for nostalgia's sake. I never had the opportunity to see them back when they were relevant, and I figured with their new album and tour it would be worth spending the time and money to see them.

They only had a couple openers, but the show wasn't slated to start until 9pm. We were already kind of dreading it for the simple fact that we're usually in bed by then. We decided that we would tough it out and end up sleep-deprived at work the next morning.

After a decent dinner and several cups of coffee, we both curled up on the couch and fell asleep. I had set my alarm in case we had hit the wall and, sure enough, we did. We rubbed the sleep from our eyes at 8pm and did our best to get our asses off the couch. I was so tired and sore that if we had missed the show it would have been no matter to me. "Well, we already paid for the tickets," Robin said, "We might as well go."

We bundled up in sweatshirts and did our best to shake the exhaustion from our tired bodies. The night air was a cold complement to my freezing limbs. We had been so warm on the couch that the comparison was quite stark. I chain-smoked just to keep myself awake. The rain pattered on the windshield as we coasted sleepily past the city's skyline. Dead To Me's songs were like lullabies. The two of us were both craving a good pint of stout to combat the chill in the air. I just couldn't seem to fully awake.

We got to the show fifteen minutes before the bands were supposed to start playing. We figured we had been fashionably late for doors, but they doormen hadn't even let any of the ticket-holders in yet. Everyone was lined up against the building, hoods up to prevent the rain from soaking them to the bone. Robin and I seemed to say "What the fuck!!" at the same time. There was nothing about doors being at 9pm anywhere on the tickets or fliers for the show.

Almost immediately after lining up against the brick walls with the rest of the sheep, people began coming up to those in line asking if anyone had extra tickets. We mumbled and shrugged and they moved on. The night seemed to be yawning before me, its fangs destined to keep me from sleeping. I honestly didn't expect myself to enjoy the show. I was dead on my feet. Standing in the rain, Robin and I didn't say much. We were both distracted and tired, seemingly obligated to be at the venue for some reason or another.

Once 9pm rolled around, we were both pretty irritated at the fact that we were still waiting to get let into the warmth of the bar. There was no sign of us getting in any time soon. Robin had begun to feel pretty shitty and I showed no signs of waking up entirely. "If you want to sell the tickets and get the hell out of here," Robin said, "I wouldn't totally care." I had been waiting for those words since we left our apartment.

I beelined to the doors of the venue where the first person to ask for tickets was stationed. I told him our story and told him the tickets were his. He offered me $30 for one ticket, and I told him I didn't want to take a profit. I just wanted to help someone else get into the show, especially since I knew it would mean more to an active fan of the band than it would to someone chasing down nostalgia. We finally settled on $20. Someone else in line bought the other ticket for $20, and Robin and we walked away with a full refund and then some. We were glad to have been the catalyst for some real fans of the band to get into the show that night. It made the whole ordeal completely worth it.

It's funny to me how certain "obligations" can drain you. The two of us almost felt like we HAD to be at the show that night when, in fact, we could have walked away. The daunting task of staying awake and on my feet exhausted me that much more. Upon leaving with money in our pockets, the night grew a little bit brighter. We both caught a second wind because now things could be done on our time and our time exclusively. We wound up staying up late and having a couple beers. Spending the night on the couch with Robin wound up being far more enjoyable than trying to relive the power of a band that no longer means anything to me.

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