- Most people I wanted to see either were not going, graduated before me, or graduated after me.
- I don't really remember much about high school--I was working 35+ hours a week--so most of the evening would've been spent pretending that I remembered who many people were and how I knew them.
- It cost $100...and I'm cheap. I mean, c'mon, that's a lot of PBR.
- There was a dress code...and I refuse to dress up more for recreation than I do for work.
- Day one party was at a honkey tonk. Enough said.
- Day two party included a dj playing eighties music...and I hated that stuff enough when it was current.
So, it was clearly time for alternate plans.
Friday night, I went to day one of a heavy metal festival of local bands at a San Marco bar/sweat box with my friends K and M (hey, by using just initials, I feel just like a 19th century Russian novelist!). First, it was great to hang with the K-M duo...I had a blast. I also learned many things...like M was actually in my 10th grade English class. Why didn't I know this? I blame my own stupidity, bad memory, and the fact that I was in one of the most ridiculous and long suffering unrequited infatuations of my life. Mostly, though, I was just stupid.
I don't remember any of the band names, but the evening went like this: first up was an "old school" metal group...old school meaning that the singer was in his late 39s at least. They were pretty good, but not without weirdness. The bass player was the son of the guitar player. The bass player had the "let's twirl the hair in time with the music" bit down pat. The singer was this huge guy who parked himself at the center of the stage. The guitar player was shaved head with the requisite pointed goatee. Later in the set, the guitar player's wife flashed her breasts at the band...which included her son. Just be thankful I'm not describing the phallic nature of the band's tee shirt design.
Band two was...not great. The singer alternated between low growls and high squeals. Their songs were similarly not great...they included the random insertions of jazz segments before going back to noodley over-playing, and the only way you could tell the song ended was the guitar player assuming the "Rio statue of Jesus" pose.
Band 3 was a pretty tight metal band from Gainesville with a singer who was only 2'4".
Band 4 was actually my favorite...the guys looked like they were having real fun, they sounded like a cross between Judas Priest and Ozzy Black Sabbath, and they even did a cover of "The Trooper." I wanted to see if they had cds, but they left after their set and never came back.
Band 5 was called Carnivorous Carnival. Yeah, I know. The band consisted of a drummer, no bass player, and two guitarists. As opposed to the other two guys, who dressed more or less like normal people, the singer wore a clown mask and talked about how "this next song is for everyone who feels like a freak"...well, maybe you. They drove 85% of the crowd out the door.
We sat through one more mediocre band before leaving. Overall, it was fun, but the 122 degree temperature (Kelvin) inside the club did distract from the evening. When I got back to my parents' place, all of my clothes were soaked through. The next day, there was a salt evaporation line on my shirt.
Reunion day two was also with K&M. Their nephew was playing in a battle of the bands competition for teenage musicians. His band was good, but the bit I will never get out of my head was the wanna-be 13 year old musicians playing Eric Clapton's "Cocaine." Went to European Street for lunch and ran into J and his lovely spouse (whose initial is escaping me). After hanging out at the awesome K/M casa (I love high ceilings) and scaring the hell out of their 6 cats, we went to see the Jacksonville Suns play because nothing says sanity like sitting outside in 95 degree weather...but at least it was cooler than the metal festival.
After getting something to eat (which should not be as involved as it was...why do so many restaurants close before 10?), we went to the former "Monty's" for some beers. As a pleasant surprise, there was an R&B band playing...wearing matching red shirts and playing Booker T & the MG-esque toons. All in all, a good way to end the night, and K&M made the weekend more fun than I would've ever had at the reunion.
And I am still not getting any work done, by the way.