When I saw this year’s band listings for Coachella, a tiny part of my rock soul whispered, “You should go, there are so many great bands playing!” The rest of my weary self can think of a million reasons why not to go. While “I’m too old for that shit!” is my overriding reason not to attend a ginormous music festival in the California desert, hating large crowds of any kind comes a close second. And to be fair I have always hated triple-digit temps, large crowds, and porta-pottys. While I was willing to put up with it back in the day… not so much now. I can also claim to have seen many of the bands back then (34 of them to be exact) and don’t need to repeat the experience surrounded by drunken hipsters sweating into their beards and ten dollar beers. I was also just a bit bemused by the fact that I needed to put on my reading glasses to read the band names in that small font on the flyer.
I have loved going to see live music since my very first show at the age of 15. (Boomtown Rats at Wolf & Rissmiller’s Country Club). And as I have gotten older that fervor hasn’t changed, though what I’m willing to put up with at an event sure has. I still see about five live shows a month, but I feel like I paid my discomfort dues in my youth at Jabberjaw, smashed up against a sticky wall, or at Al’s Bar, peeing in the alley because that was less gross than the actual bathroom. Age hasn’t made me more resilient to these distresses, just more of a wuss. Now instead of looking for a spot by the stage, I look for a place to sit down.