Went to the Bob Weir/Phil Lesh concert last night at the Fox Theater in Oakland. Bob Weir and Phil Lesh were guitar players in the Grateful Dead and are I guess, the post Grateful Dead. The concert was fabulous, but strange.
Deadheads, a microcosm of life that spent their years living in buses or cars and following Grateful Dead concerts all over the US, set up their wares to sell before concerts and it is usually as big a party as the concert. There was a remnant there outside the theater and walking through the crowd one could buy ANYTHING of a mind expanding nature. It was kind of mind blowing.
The Fox theater is an old building established in the 1920s with the old balconies and all the filigree on the ceilings and walls and gargoyles on the railings. Really gaudy and interesting. Strange place for a bunch of tie-dyed, pot-eyed hippies to go hang out.
My seat was in the balcony in row X, so you know that all the pot smoke wafted up my way. Didn't matter that I couldn't see the whites of the band members eyes as most everyone was standing up dancing anyway. The young ones. We oldsters danced the first couple of songs, each song lasting like, 15 minutes, and then we were resting!
I was amazed by the people around me. To my right was a family--literally. A husband and wife with thick New York accents and their 4 girls I am guessing their ages as 6, 8, 10, and 12, in their little tie-dye dresses sitting in seats a row in front of their pot-smoking parents who argued through the whole show in their New York accents.
I was busy being appalled that they brought their kids to a concert to be exposed to enough pot smoke to get all of Oakland high, until I spotted another couple a few rows down from me holding up a baby! A Baby! His head disappeared in the haze of pot smoke as they bounced him around.
Sitting directly to my left was a well dressed couple in their early 60's who looked like they should have been at the "Hello Dolly" play down the road. I figured his name had to be something like Lance as he sat their in his (think English snob accent) Ascot and argyle socks, his wife Buffy sitting next to him and tee-heeing as he likely twittered some amusing anecdote about himself and her at Nostrums over his million dollar cell phone. He never even bobbed his head to the music.
In the row in front of me was the quintessential "pretty boy and his sugar daddy". Pretty boy looked like a redheaded Tom Selleck and his "daddy" looked like the little English dude that played his boss in Magnum PI. Sonny was in a brand new tie-dye shirt obviously purchased by daddy, and he was smoking a joint the size of my leg. Daddy, in his well-pressed slacks and Polo shirt stood ramrod straight and stiff while Sonny danced madly and badly like stoned white guys do.
Pretty soon I realized that I was feeling kind of dizzy and forgot where my legs were, and had a monster thirst and a craving for a chocolate covered Oreo cookie dipped in warm bacon grease, and wondered how I would escape this place should a fire from all the lit joints occur.
Would I tip-toe politely past Lance and Buffy? Elbow my way through the "King of Queens" family? Or jump through Magnum PI and his statue Daddy?
Fortunately, thoughts don't last long in a place like that and I was back to listening to the music and wondering how I ended up in such a mad, surreal, unexpected place anyway?