Just got back from the trip to Seattle and the Scissor Sisters concert.
First off, some shoutouts:
Megan: Thanks for letting me crash at your place (and separate shout-outs to your roommates for being patient with all of us) :) and thanks for sharing the NYE pix and recaps, the picture-taking excursion to Gasworks Park, and the giggles over the impromptu Blazing Saddles line recitations. You are too much fun, girl! Bitte-schoen, baay-by. .
Lorie and Wendy You both rock my world! I always look forward to spending time with you! Here's hoping we all got - or get - some decent sleep! :)
We all met up around 5pm at Megan's place. For once, I was the first one to show up - a little early even, as it turned out! :) Megan's got a kick-ass house in the artist-intellectual neighborhood of Wallingford/Fremont in Seattle - right near the water. Great view! Megan wound up driving us all into Seattle, as none of us really wanted to negotiate downtown Seattle at night, especially after experiencing varying degrees of sleep-deprivation and/or bad days. Just who the hell designed Seattle's streets anyway? The Marquis de Sade? Megan handled them like a true pro. I was impressed.
I always experience a feeling of agoraphobia, of being overwhelmed by big cities, after so much time spent here in my cage in B-town, but seeing Seattle all tarted up in her bright lights, Lake Union gently reflecting them like something in an impressionist painting, I fell in love with her all over again. We had dinner at Pacific Place, in a restaurant named Gordon Derweinerschnitzel Fahrvignugen something or other. . My eyes were bigger than my stomach, so I went in thinking I'd partake of their gourmet burgers and fries, but wound up sticking to a salad - which alone could've fed a small army - and getting an infusion of caffeine with limitless refills of Coke. Next time, just run an I.V., okay, love?
From there, we headed to the Paramount Theater which, as Megan pointed out, with its ornate architecture, looks like something out of "The Age of Innocence." We had great seats in the mezzanine section, looking down at the main floor - which was standing room only. The opener was a techno group called, "Hey, You Can't Dance!" J/K. It was something - Willpower. And while the music was decent, the choreographed moves with the lead singer and his two backup dancers made it look like Olivia Newton-John and Dieter from SNL's Sprockets had given birth to strange love-children with an affinity for Jazzercise. At one point, the lead singer was even writhing all over, and humping, the floor. Think Madonna at the 1984 VMA's. Minus the wedding dress. Minus the charisma. Minus the sex appeal. I told Megan and Lorie, "That's probably the most action that boy is going to see all night." Ooh, snap! Did I say that aloud?? .
Hey, You Can't Dance! did about a half-hour set, which was followed by another half-hour of watching the roadies set up for Scissor Sisters. By the time a sheer scrim was lowered, with the band's logo projected onto it, we were soooo ready for things to start. Wendy and I had recently bought the CD, so we pretty much knew the songs, although Wendy remembered a couple I hadn't. At last, backlights outlined the silhouettes of the two singers and the two guitar players against the scrim. Woooooo!
SCISSOR SISTERS KICK ASS. Their music - if you haven't heard it - channels a combination of Elton John-type piano based pop, mixed with dance and disco, and a healthy dose of attitude and risque lyrics. The album is really strong. Great hooks, tightly produced. Love the whole CD. But in performance...THEY. LET. LOOSE. At 80-bazillion decibels, you can feel that dance beat thrumming in your breastbone. They know how to work the crowd. The two singers, lead Jake Shears and a voluptuous woman whose name escaped me, but whom I'd like to be when I grow up, :) are wonderfully charismatic. Jake is lithe and lean and seems to be channeling - to some degree - David Bowie. And the BeeGees. That boy has a wondrous falsetto that had me wondering just how much fucking starch he put in his underwear. And yes, Wendy, I have to agree: after watching him prance and dance across the stage, I think I needed a change of underwear. . The whole groups seems to have taken 70's glam and refined it for the new millenium.
The two guitarists also managed to pull off an interesting switcheroo throughout the show, trading off between playing electric guitar, bass, acoustic guitar, with one guitarist also managing the backup synth/drum machine. When they first switched off between lead guitar and bass, Megan and I looked at each other, confused: "Wait I minute: I thought the *other* guy was the bassist."
Special treat: a slower, stripped down version of Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out that got everyone singing along with them.
The audience was an amazing potpourri of people. Everyone from gay and lesbian couples to older "Mom and Pop Mainstream" types who were probably around to see Elton John in concert in the 70's, to us 30-somethings. By the time the band launched into their encore, complete with Take Your Momma, the whole place was on its feet dancing and clapping.
Wendy had bought one of the band's logo tees before the show, and after being wowed by them, I had to buy one, too, as we attempted to file out of the theater through the mass of bodies. We were all pretty tired by then, but I think Wendy and I had kind of got a second wind. She even ran into one of her Myspace friends outside the Paramount! and took a moment to say hi. :)
We gathered back at Megan's. Wendy and Lorie headed home for the night, while Megan and I went down to Gasworks Park to take pictures. It was butt-cold, but a beautiful night. The clouds had parted just enough to reveal Orion hanging over Lake Union. Megan took a few test shots, with the camera's flash firing. Managed to startle a couple that was making out near the water. :) I tried to take a few shots with her camera (I had stupidly forgotten mine here in B-town), but managed to blur most of them. Megan fired off a few keepers, which we should be able to post soon. (hint, hint, Megan.) :)
The park itself is a mix of the grotesque and the beautiful. The remains of an old refinery loom up in the shadows above the grassy area, but the boardwalk along the water offers a breathtaking view of the Seattle skyline, complete with the Space Needle. I was being charmed by the place all over again. Some stupid little inner voice suggested, "Maybe we should just move back to Seattle, skip the L.A. thing."
ARGH! No. Every time I've made a decision out of fear or a need for security, things have always turned to shit. No more. Seattle will always be my playground, but it's time to move on for sure. On the drive home today, I listened to the Singles soundtrack, remembering being an undergrad in the early 90's, when Seattle had suddenly gone from, "Seattle? Where's that? Isn't that where it rains all the time and people still use whale-oil lamps?" to being reborn in grunge and flannel. I let myself jog briefly down memory lane, then switched the iPod to shuffle mode. Can't linger in memories too long.
Postscript: Megan, I about gave myself a heart attack last night. As I was getting ready for bed, I reached into my messenger bag, searching for my iPod. I wanted to listen to a little music before I fell asleep. No iPod. Shit. Where's the iPod. Oh, crap! I left it in my car! Shit, shit, shit! So, dressed in my PJ's, I donned jacket and boots and headed out to my car, probably looking like some homeless person wearing her last set of good clothes. I was praying my car hadn't been broken into. Thankfully, it hadn't. My iPod was still there, resting comfortably in its little nook under the radio. Whew! Thank god for quiet residential neighborhoods. :)