The Kiwi invited me to celebrate his last night in New York by seeing Bright Eyes at Radio City Music Hall. While I am not a huge fan, I thought it would be interesting to watch an Indie rock band try to negotiate its way around the home of the Rockettes – snowflakes, disco balls, crappy Christmas decorations and all.
As soon as we arrived at the Hall of Cheese, I remembered why I don’t go to shows so much anymore. It's because these affairs are skinny jean, dirty hair manplosions – a sea of unwashed hipster boys and the occasional patchouli-doused girlfriend. Sitting next to us was Exhibit A, who had obviously just left his room for the first time in five years without showering. Despite what appeared to be an unhealthy relationship with food, Exhibit A was rocking some denim originally designed for Joey Ramone and 95 pound girls, creating an effect akin to sausage casing. Kiwi and I speculated that the jeans were impossible to remove and had become one with his flesh, rendering bathing and unrestricted lower body movement impossible.
Exhibit A was a fan of Bright Eyes – perhaps their biggest fan. Every so often, he’d stand up, wave his arms frantically and scream:
“YOU ARE SO AWESOME! YOU ARE SO AWESOME! WOOOOOOOOO!”
I am not one to frown on unbridled enthusiasm. I like to get down, get funky just as much as the next person. But I do have problem when that enthusiasm unleashes an intense manpourri – an unusual mélange of greasy hair, BO, wank and unwashed jeans.
In his usual courtly way, Kiwi offered to provide a human barrier to Exhibit A. Nevertheless, the fumes were getting to us – Kiwi struggled to remain conscious while my eyes watered profusely. Holding Kiwi’s wool scarf to our faces, breathing in several sprays of my perfume, we were powerless to the manpourri that stewed beside us.
Finally, during a particularly bad Tom Petty cover, Kiwi turned to me and said, “Let’s get out of here.” We stumbled through a cloud of post-pubescent funk and emerged, mostly unscathed, onto the street.
It was a fitting end to Kiwi’s New York experience. We hugged each other and I flagged a cab.
“Don’t go away and never come back,” I said.
“Just watch – you’ll be back. You’ll miss the funk too much.”
“Yes. And so much more, P."
Above image by David Shrigley