Friday, October 06, 2006

She's Actual Size

The Beirut show last night knocked my socks off. I was a little worried that I’d be disappointed, since my expectations were pretty high, but as soon as all 8 of them marched through the audience playing their drums and tambourines and fluegelhorns and trumpets I knew, knew, that this show was going to kick my ass. And it did.

The main guy, Zach, is 19, and swear to god, he brought his best bandcamp friend along to play the clown and rile the crowd all up. The friend on his own startlingly reminded me of Bathroom Girl, who you might remember from posts a few months ago. The Zach and friend together reminded me of American Pie’s Finch and Stiffler, respectively. They seemed to be pretty excited by the fact they could drink legally and got pretty trashed. I was two feet from the stage, so could see Zach getting more and more tilty, leaning just a bit too hard on the mic stand, gesticulating a bit too wildly with his glass, slopping beer all over the stage. But keeping it together, for all that.

The puppy dog energy was infectious and the rather melancholic songs from the CD turned rollicking played live. All the musicians played great, were having a great time and were greatly entertaining to watch. Two or three songs in, Zach ripped up the set list and mayhem ensued, with much shuffling of instruments and confusing of the sound guy. They finished the show in the audience. If this picture (from Andrew Carver’s blog) had been taken from the other side of the musicians, you would have seen me howling along.

It was one of the shows that make me love live music. One of those shows were I shut my eyes and breathed the music in, feeling it through my whole body. Moments like that I can feel myself vibrating against the inside my skin, every part of my body completely alive and exactly the right size.

Occasionally, I feel too big for my skin, messy and manic. More often, I feel smaller than my skin, like I’m a little pebble rolling around in a big drum. Good live music and fucking both make me feel like my insides are perfectly matching up with my outsides. It’s why I keep going to shows, hearing be damned.

There was a surplus of snacky boys at Zaphod’s last night, too, which never makes an outing worse. Even besides Zach – who finally allowed me to answer the age-old question “Would you schtup at 19 year old?”, and in the affirmative, no less – the other members of the band were quite cute. The lone girl was definitely my kind of girl. She had a ruffle on her skirt, was wearing sneakers, and played a mean violin. Kevin, the beleaguered sound guy, also the only member of the opening band Animal Hospital, was super cute and really really nice. He asked me what they should go see in Ottawa, and I told him they should have breakfast at Ada’s.

Then, the best part!, the Great Dater showed up, so I got to finish a great evening of music with a lovely bike ride through Ottawa’s quiet side streets with the snackiest boy at the bar by my side.

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