Blacking Out

In one week, Adam and I are rocking System of a Down and the Mars Volta, thus marking–at least in a roundabout way–the start of my month-long epic of concerts, musicals and sporting events. In case you’ve missed the memos, I’ll be documenting it all on my online travel diary; until then, my research paper will be keeping me firmly tied to this desk I’m currently occupying.

I am, however, officially starting to prepare for the month ahead by entering a period of self-induced blackout. Lemme explain. I’m a person who likes to arrive at a show with a clean slate. Some don’t: my buddy Bob, for instance, en route to see Tool in 2001, insisted that we listen to AEnema because “the definition of a great band is a great live band” (which is true, to an extent…although that definition categorically eliminates the Beatles from any serious “great band” discussion, which makes me question its merits). Me, I didn’t want to listen to AEnema–which is why, as of this evening, I won’t be listening to System of a Down until next week. Moreover, I won’t be checking their website for setlist updates, either: seeing as System doesn’t tend to mix things up, I’d rather go in not knowing what they’ll play or when they’ll play it (although I’d be willing to wager my firstborn on a “Soldier Side” / “B.Y.O.B.” double shot to open). Same goes with U2 and the Rolling Stones–the Stones in particular, since they tend to play the same show night in, night in. (Both times I’ve seen the Stones I’ve known exactly what they’d be opening with: “Jumping Jack Flash” in 1999, “Street Fighting Man” in 2002. Not a huge deal, but still–I love not knowing the opening song…and yes, this probably explains a lot.) As for Pearl Jam, I figure I’ll do the same thing for consistency’s sake. Plus, I’m not really eager to know if they’re doing their acoustic set or not–I’d rather just wait til Thunder Bay.

So! This is where we stand. Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a jackhammer working outside that I’m desperately trying to ignore.


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