Mumford & Sons and Aggression

11 Nov

A year ago today, I went to hear Mumford and Sons live.  With friends.

It was a special night.  First, because it was my friend’s birthday.  Second, because he loves Mumford and Sons.  Third, because we live next to the House of Blues and had never been.  And we’d wanted to go for quite a while (in fact, my friend and I and his wife all had tickets to a show a few months before but he and I had to cancel because we were sick. His wife, the one who didn’t care as much about the House of Blues, went without us.  Figures.)

But this show was perfect.  Let me count the ways.

1.  A slightly aggressive meat-hater tried to give me a brochure on how horrible it is to eat eggs and chicken.  I believe his opening line was “you look like the type who doesn’t eat meat!” which I take to mean “you look more approachable than the very tall men and women you are standing with.”  Either that, or he assumes all petite women don’t eat meat. But after I told him that I think meat tastes great, he left me alone! That never happens.

2. We headed for the mezzanine but we couldn’t stand in the reserved handicapped section.  So we could see the stage but not very well.  But a nice bouncer came up to inform us that he’d give us advanced notice when no handicapped people managed to climb the stairs to the mezzanine and he “unreserved” the area.  He said he’d make sure we got front-balcony standing room. Sometimes being petite rocks.  So does odd rules like having a handicapped balcony section of standing room only in a building without elevators.

3.  We got the perfect spots to stand right against the railing, directly above the band.

4.  A brilliant singer/song-writer who wore the most pornographic clothes came up to the balcony after his act and stood next to me. This was not a highlight. I’ve never seen such a sad, depressed person up close like that.  It was written all over him “I’m supposedly at the height of my fame and trust me, the view is no better from here.”  He looked horribly lonely and jealous that Mumford & Sons was just a little bit closer to “height of fame” even though I think he also knew it doesn’t count for anything.  When I later related this whole incident to one of my close friends, he said “Wow, you keep coming back to this.  It bothered you a lot, didn’t it?”  Yes, it did.  Plus, the whole man wearing woman’s heels + hair longer than my entire body + see-through white tights and no pants. It was surreal.  And sad.

5.  Okay, there was a moment, a pang, when we realized the Mumford guys had spent the afternoon playing soccer in a park across the street from my friends’ apartment.  And they had been at home.  They could have spent the afternoon kicking a ball back and forth with some pretty sweet musicians.

But even that didn’t dampen our moods.  The entire evening was great…except for when my friend got aggressive.  I had never before seen a cat fight (I have since – although this one lacked the drama of hair-pulling) but a woman and her “husband” (as she called him, I hate to accuse someone of lying, but…) tried to worm in front of us.  She was clearly very high, had arrived very late, and was determined to push her way into the best view.  I think I realized how non-confrontational I can be. I had no desire to let her get in front of me but I also shy away from conflict with heavily drugged people.  I guess the rest of the crowd felt the same way.  She pushed her way thru the crowd until coming face to face with my friend.  My friend was not going to let anything get in the way of her husband having a perfect view on his birthday.

There was some name-calling and yelling and a lot of scary looks and even, yes, some hissing.  What can I say.  It was kinda awesome.

Who knew that “Little Lion Man” and “Roll Away Your Stone” could lead to such aggression?  From an anthropological view, it was very exciting.  Even the sweetest people have their limits.  But push them one step to far and even they manage to explode.

Some days, overworked and underfed and exhausted, I feel myself getting closer and closer to that edge – and wondering when I will just give in and cross to the other side.  The cat fight this summer between two female students pulling hair didn’t do it.  The drunk employee didn’t do it.  Being accused of slashing bike tires didn’t do it, but it definitely made me see red for a bit.  If the accusation had been made about anyone else – a close friend, a sibling – I’m pretty sure someone would have gotten hurt.  Accusing my family and friends is my limit.

Here’s hoping for  many more “not quite” moments – when I get upset internally but still manage to keep from exploding. Little bits of Liz would be unpleasant to clean up.  As would trying to contain the Tasmanian Devil side of my personality.

“But oh, my heart was flawed, I knew my weakness…hold my hand, consign me not to darkness.”
-Mumford and Sons

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2 Responses to “Mumford & Sons and Aggression”

  1. Ian Ashby November 12, 2011 at 5:34 am #

    love it Liz. Hope you never have to get into a cat fight! almost bought tickets for that gig.Had waited all week for when they went on sale and when i woke up, i forgot. When i remembered in the afternoon all seats had gone and i’m too old to stand these days. Did my standing and pogoing and spitting in younger days when The Clash were around. Not sure i want to see opening acts like yours anymore though. Hope to see you some time soon. Ian.

    • ezelie November 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

      You’re not too old to stand! I mean, we’re ALL too old to stand in the mosh pit with the crazy people. But standing in the balcony with a railing to rest on while gazing down on the pogoing/spitting can be nice.

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