Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Airborne Toxic Event

I got a chance last night to tear myself away from the art table, get into a car, and actually leave town and enjoy myself for a few hours.

I bought the tickets for the Airborne Toxic Event show back in September as soon as I found out about it and as soon as they went on sale. So, for me to cry "I'm just too busy to go" would have been lame having waited for this day to come along for months.

And, it wasn't just a regular rock and roll show. No, this was something different. The band that I've come to love were actually going to play in one of Denver's performing art halls and be backed up by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

So, buried under work or not, I was going to this show.

I worked most of the morning and a lot of the afternoon but, by five o'clock, I punched out of work and Monika and I drove down to Denver. We walked along the 16th Street mall, got some dinner, and then headed back to the concert hall.

We found our way inside and found our seats. Because I had gotten tickets so early I picked out a couple of great seats so we were right up front, eye level with the stage, with no one in front of us. Monika went out to explore while I watched our stuff and listened to a few conversations around us. It turns out the guy in front of me with the camera was actually with 9 News and was taking shots for publication. I'm sure these photos I nicked from the Internet were his so thank you man with the camera.

Monika came back in a hurry and asked me if we thought a DVD I had already bought last fall would be a good gift for any of our friends. I wasn't sure but she told me the catch. If she bought a DVD we could get backstage after the show and meet the band. Of course I told her to buy a DVD so off she went and returned just before the show started with the DVD in hand.

The show started and it was just incredible. Rock and Roll mixed with classical music. How can you go wrong? The web page I grabbed these photos from actually explains it a lot better then I can. And, if you'd like, there are a lot more photos over there to see. Check it out HERE.

And, after the show we got into some sort of a line. I wasn't sure if the band was going to come out to the lobby or what was going to happen. But, after a while, they let us all go downstairs, show our new DVD, and let us wander backstage. We followed the rest of the people into a small room and down another flight of stairs.

Now, I figured a meet and greet might be the band behind a table while everyone formed a line and met them and had them sign stuff. Kind of like what I was used to at a comic book convention. But, this was as far from that as possible. It was just the band in this room, all mixing and mingling with the public. It was like an odd cocktail party where the only way I could tell if anyone from the band was near me was to look for the crowd of people with a little circle of space in the middle of them. I figured, somewhere in there, was someone from the band.

In that kind of situation I'm really not the best. I love the band and all but it's always hard for me to meet someone on such unlevel ground. I know what they do and who they are but they have no idea who I am. So it's hard to really have any kind of genuine conversation with someone like that. And you're also vying for someone's attention as a whole group of people swarm around them trying to get their two minutes in there as well. I do wish I had more of a chance to actually talk to the band, ask them questions, and even tell the bass player that I bought a bow for my bass guitar because I had seen him use one a year and a half before.

But, in the end, I told each of them I really enjoyed what they did, said thank you, and had them all sign the DVD.

But, leaving that room it really gave me the itch to do something of my own again. To see a large group of people really love someone for what they do from the heart makes me realize I'm kind of wasting my talents on clients who's reoccurring comments include, "the crotch looks weird."

So, for that, thank you Airborne Toxic Event. Not only for the great show, the great music, and for shaking my hand. But also for opening my eyes up just a little bit more.

And, if you're not familiar with the band, here is one of the videos they did when they released their first album. Once a week, for ten weeks, the band performed one song from their debut album in an acoustic setting. And, while the Calder Quartet may not be as big as a symphony orchestra, this video will give you a good idea of what I saw last night.


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