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Blast from the Past II: The Wrath of Crows

April 11, 2008

First off, I’d like to say thanks to all you folks who have found my blog by googling for “sneezing,” thus raising my blog stats. This is entirely unexpected (though I probably should have seen it coming), and also rather amusing. I never realized that was such a big thing.

In other news, I don’t want to get too whiny. While the point of this blog is to document injustice and discrimination, I don’t want anyone to get the impression that our lives are all doom-and-gloom, all the time.

So in the spirit of keeping things from getting too negative, I thought I’d give everyone a more entertaining “Blast from the Past.” From here on out, BftPs will only refer to positive experiences, while the negative ones will fall under the label “Variations on a Theme,” or the conveniently pronounceable acronym VoaT.


This past summer, back when I was job-hunting, we went to see the Counting Crows perform at the Dutchess Stadium in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. This was a big deal for me since the tickets were expensive and I had no source of income, so I was pretty excited.

We arrived a bit late since he had to work. I, having never heard of any of the opening bands, couldn’t have cared less, although he was a little sad to miss a band I want to call Live, but I’m probably wrong. (“Collective Soul,” he tells me, though Live was there too. Apparently we heard their whole set.) Anyway, we met up with some friends of his inside the stadium about 20 minutes before the main act began.

Now, I’m not a huge music person and don’t know many bands, or any of those “songs that everybody knows,” but I love the Counting Crows, and I know a good number of their songs by heart. This is not a music blog and I’m not going to fill this space with why, but something about them really appeals to me. Since his musical taste is much heavier than mine, we often disagree on music, and the Crows is one of the few bands we can really enjoy on the same level.

Once the concert began, I leaned back against him, since we’re sized like nesting dolls and I fit conveniently in his arms. For the first half an hour we stayed in the same spot, close to the stage but not so close as to damage our hearing. About 20 minutes into the set, a man slightly older than us, maybe in his early 30’s, came up to us. He had been about 5 yards behind us for a while, we later realized, and must have been people watching and noticed us.

“Uh-oh,” I thought to myself, as I realized I had no real idea what kind of crowd the Counting Crows attract. What would we do if some guy came up at us at a concert and started screaming at us, or worse?

“I just wanted to say that it’s really nice to see two men together like that,” he said, and walked back to his spot on the ground.

A while later his friends moved, and we followed them. Moving through the crowd, a young woman we passed by said hi to us. “It’s nice to see you.”

When we got to the other side, I asked him who she was, assuming her to be one of his numerous acquaintances in the area. “I don’t know,” he said. “I guess she just thought it was cool to see two guys together.”

A lot of people describe feeling a connection with music. Most of the time, I’m not one of those people. I’m not the kind of person who ever cries “because the world is just so beautiful,” or who thinks that coincidences are deep and meaningful.

But everything seemed to gel together that evening. The crowd, the atmosphere, and the music all flowed together in a way I hadn’t really experienced before, and I began to understand why people go to concerts.


Next up — whatever interesting happens to us next! Or, if nothing does, another BftP. Or a VoaT.

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