July 10, 2005

An evening with Toby

Yes, I admit it, I went to a Toby Keith concert last night, primarily because Amo is a huge fan and I bought her tickets for her bday, but also because I wanted to see first-hand if my expectations were on target. Here's a little rundown.

We arrived at Nissan Pavilion a few hours early to tailgate, bringing enough beer to knock out the Bush twins, and enough food to feed a mid-sized (but not overly large) Boy Scout troop. Foolishly we didn't bring chairs. We were herded (literally) to the rocky area of the parking lot after being handed a very large trash bag at the gate. I guess we looked messier than the average honky tonk. I was prepared for the worst, but then I heard the last few country concerts at Nissan got pretty rough and there were lots of fights. I want my mommy.

The first thing I observed in my self-appointed role as anthropologist was that the entire parking lot (and I'm not exaggerating) was packed with oversized SUVs, pickup trucks, and 4x4s, all American-made. I was quickly assured of our forever dependence on foreign oil. The lone exception was parked right next to us, a trio of hoity-toity sororoty girls from DC in a beat-up Integra. They were drinking some fancy sparkling wine drink out of a can (if that's possible) and discussing the graphic details of their highly active sex lives. The SUV behind us was occupied by two guys, one in the front, the other in the back, with the windows rolled up. Now, let me mention that it was about 90 degrees. The guy in the front kept leaning over and doing something in the front seat. Lord only knows what. They spent about an hour in there at least.

The next thing I observed is that bras are not only optional, they're apparantly discouraged. Skirts that come within the same zipcode as the knees were also hard to find. Sure, there's no shortage of slim, bronzed college girls wearing next to nothing, but even the...er, plus sized...ladies were in similar garb. Just not right. I wondered if there was some dress code of which we hadn't been informed. Thankfully, I'd chosen to wear a Harley-Davidson shirt Amo bought for me, and not the "Thank Allah the North won the war" tshirt I was going to wear.

On a similar note, I noticed that the concert was, let's just say, not multi-cultural. I don't think I've ever felt so uncomfortable in a crowd of 40,000 white people. It's one thing to assume it's going to be that way, it's another to actually see it in real life.

Once inside, we proceeded to consume enough beer to qualify us for 2% dealer cash back on our next purchase of a Nissan automobile. At least, I sure hope all that $ got me something besides a drunk girlfriend and a slight hangover. Our seats were actually quite good, I'd never sat in the pavillion at Nissan, but we were in row B of the back section so we were high enough and had nobody in front of us so we had a nice clear view. Thankfully, the 7 foot man in row A decided to stay seated the whole performance.

The show itself wasn't half bad. Toby has a bunch of slow songs, but didn't play them, keeping the excitement level in the crowd pretty high. There was lots of pyrotechnics to wake up the drunks every now and then and lots of hootin' and hollerin'. I even knew just about all the songs from Amo's Toby crash couse and the car-ride in. I used the opportunity of some of my less favorite songs to purchase a tankard of water-like beer for Amo. I can handle one less song about bombing Afghanistan into the stone ages, thankyouverymuch.

The interesting thing I noticed was that Toby's guitar was basically silent the entire concert. Even on the songs where he played (there were many he didn't), he might as well have been strumming a duck. Wait, the duck would have made more noise. I wonder if the sound guy did that by accident, or if Toby is such a bad player that they don't let him take part in the music mix. His guitar did have a gigantic Ford logo on it. Funny, I didn't know Ford made guitars. Maybe that's why they wouldn't let poor Toby play with the real musicians?

We headed out a tad early because Amo was turning green and made our way back to the car. While we were sitting there waiting for the other couple we arrived with, some young punks walking by the car opened and shut our passenger-side door. Who does that? We were also treated to the site of a college-aged girl with her pants around her ankles, urinating into one of the oversized garbage bags. I guess they are good for something. She then stood up and gave us all a glorious view! Thanks hun, your parents must be so proud!

Needless to say, a good time was had by all. However, I appear to have missed a sizable chunk of American culture growing up. I'm not yet sure if that's good or bad.

Posted by pinkerton at July 10, 2005 1:09 PM