I Am At a Concert, In My Mind

Buy us some shoes and maybe take us for cola.

When Jon Fratelli walked onstage on Friday night, my mind didn't really process the image.

It was like watching a movie after reading the book: Before you see the movie, you have a mental image of each character.  You know what their voice sounds like in your head, the inflections of their speech in certain lines.  Then you watch the movie, and your ideas are forever obscured- not obliterated, just smudged like you set your hand in a watercolor painting.  The faces of actors patch over the faces you invented.

That was what the Fratellis concert was to me, but not in a bad way.

I first heard about the concert on the radio over the summer- I remember disbelief that a small town like mine could get a band like The Fratellis.  The concert was at a street festival to celebrate a local college's homecoming.  I was determined that this one should be my first rock concert(that I attend, at least).

A Brilliant Lie
My dad and I got to the festival early and listened to two terrific bands- A Brilliant Lie and The Sleepwalkers.  In between the two, we had dinner at a nearby restaurant.  Luckily, things hadn't filled up too much, so we were really close to the stage for both.  We left the audience for a few minutes to walk the lively streets and when we came back, the crowd had tripled.  We shouldered our way somewhere towards the middle and spent the rest of the night gradually rippling forward.

The Sleepwalkers
When I listen to The Fratellis' music, I'm sure they are beady-eyed, seedy characters that never smiled despite being constantly unconcerned.  I've listened to them since third grade, but never seen photos of the band or really looked into any information on them.  When a tech guy with long, rippling blond hair and a bushy mustache jogged onstage and started fiddling with the drum set, I totally thought he was a musician in the band (although, to his defense, he looked neither beady-eyed nor seedy).

When the actual band strolled onstage, I couldn't believe it was them.  I couldn't see the singer's eyes beneath his fedora but I saw the smile that reached his sharp cheekbones.  The easy stance of the bassist.  The drummer and keyboardist, both so focused yet so comfortable.  Everything about the band worked like a machine- everything move, every stroke fit in to each other.  I couldn't wrap my mind around it- were these people really the sounds that had spewed from my iPod earlier that morning?

Jon Fratelli's voice was so much smoother than in recordings.  The band played each song just different enough from their albums that you felt the spontaneity necessary in a rock concert.  But, for the most part, the songs matched the recordings, so we could sing (or scream) along.

The night, cool and clear, held a full, white moon above the stage.  I wore boots and danced the whole time.  When my feet started to ache, I danced more.  My dad, who is experienced at rock concerts, said this concert was long, but when Jon said good night in a Scottish accent so pleasant that I was dissuaded of what the songs were really about, I felt as though the night had started but a moment ago.

I have been at the concert ever since, I think.

Go write.  Lovingly,

Heather <3

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