Old Man Problems Part II

January 29, 2020 at 12:50 pm (Cosmic Encounters)

I’ve always tried to keep up with the times. Maybe not jump onto every bandwagon, or follow every fad, but enough to keep current with the state of affairs. I’m not a technology nut, but I have a smartphone and know how to turn a CD into an MP3.

At least I did, back in the day.

Tool, officially my favorite band, has put out an album after thirteen years. I’ve been through a full-on life-to-death relationship, and watched two children turn from grade-schoolers into adults since their last album. Of course I was excited, and I knew it would be good. I hoped it would be good.

But $45 for a CD? Fuck me runnin’. I’ll download a copy and burn it to a CD for playing on my home entertainment system. My huge four-way system from all-my-life was still functional. I no longer had a CD player, but my old DVD player still worked. It gives the albums that concert-quality sound. I love open-air music, and my system makes it sound so goooood…

Thanks to Amazon, I had the album within five minutes. It went right onto the traveling jukebox, and a dozen road trips followed. All the songs are longer, so I could get 2-3 in on an average commute to downtown. Of course, it has become the soundtrack to the winter, and I couldn’t wait to get it on disc. I signed up at the library, and will get a hard copy to burn from.

Except… My DVD/CD burner hath lost its peg. The Slipknot CD I attempted to practice on disappeared into the laptop, and I had to shake it sideways to get it out. Son of a bitch! That means no burning from MP3, either.

At least when the library copy arrives, I can play it over the stereo. (I intended to listen to it at deafening levels while writing this, but nope. I’ll listen again on the way to work instead.) But… When I put the disc into the DVD player, it played about three notes and stopped. Dead. My DVD player is dead, Jim.

So, how will I hear this album in a large room, without earphones involved? I guess I will have to pay big money.

I’d been planning to go to this. Tool is always a good show, but the last time was a Greatest Hits show. I knew every song up and down, and the only surprises were short riffs of what is now the new album. It’d be like seeing ZZ Top or Blue Oyster Cult. I know every riff, and exactly when to go to the bathroom. Might as well save the money, right?

Timing was everything. I’d been religiously paying down my credit card the past two years, leaving myself the one indulgence of a Tool ticket. When they announced Portland, and the on-sale date, let the fun begin!

Chasing down concert tickets isn’t what it used to be. A bottle of whiskey, minimum. A quarter-gram of speed for the line, since we’ll be up all night into tomorrow.The good old days are long gone.

I logged onto Ticketmaster and was queued up with a day to go. The computer did the rest, while I slept until about 9:45 AM. I got up, popped a Rockstar, and commenced to score a ticket. I was through the queue within five minutes, and paid off within fifteen. I’m glad I didn’t wait. By the time I found a seat that wasn’t a wheelchair-access only, the seats were halfway back. I went for it. One ticket: $160. I clicked back to see if I could buy another ticket. I watched the tickets disappear within a few minutes. Most importantly, I’m in!

Now the fussing begins. I just spent $160, and I didn’t get a ticket. Wh-wh-what? Mobile tickets only. So, the phone I’m not allowed to have out at the concert is the only way to get in? Y’all wouldn’t be fuckin’ with me now, wouldja? How does that even work?

Thanks to the internet, my college education, I think I have it figured out. But I spent the extra $10 on ticket insurance. You know you’re getting older when you start getting excited over having insurance. (I will never rent a car without renter’s insurance again. the peace of mind is worth $50.) If I end up hit by a car en route to the show, at least I can buy a bunch of pain pills with my refund!

Another thing I’m happy about? I don’t have to wait seven fucking months for the show. It’s like six weeks away. When The Who or Roger Waters come to town, the wait can be a year or more. I love anticipation, but by that point I end up wishing I had the date open for something else. That won’t be the case with Tool.

I will be going stag, which is the way I prefer to go to concerts these days. For $160, if I’d had it, I would have taken my sister. She’s a wonderful concert date, and won’t have to leave because it’s too loud, and the lights hurt my eyes, etc… Maybe I’ll run into a groupie who likes Tool for their maturity. I can play on that…

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