I Was There (Or, David Byrne, Smashing Pumpkins, and the Obama Rally)

I am a huge fan of the Talking Heads and basically anything that David Byrne has ever touched. The only other person who I have ever known personally that loves him more than I do is my handsome gentleman friend, Andy. When I discovered months ago that David Byrne was coming to Cleveland, I barely ate for a week in order to purchase the best seats that were available for Andy's birthday in October. Of course, since the show itself was about a week after Andy's birthday we celebrated with home made tacos and a viewing of "Dr. Strangleove" which was exactly how he wished to spend his special day. We counted down the days until we got to see Mr. Byrne and couldn't have been more enamored with him once we were actually there. He was incredible. You could feel his voice permeating your flesh and running through your veins. I assumed that this is what people who believe in god must feel like when they are in church. It was so warm, spiritual, and positive. We bought a copy of Byrne's most recent book of prose, The New Sins, which is further displaying the talent and incredible artistry that this man possesses. We managed to get so close to the stage that we could see how immaculately clean David Byrne's white sneakers were and that he more likely than not smelled the whiskey on our breath. I couldn't believe that I was there.
Fast forward a little more than a week to this past Saturday, November 1st. Andy had bought me tickets to see a band from my childhood that I had never seen. I still can't believe that I saw Smashing Pumpkins for the first time in 2008. Billy Corgan was as cocky and adorable as ever and ever so slightly weirder. I couldn't believe that I was there. If you'd have told me that this experience would fall far behind any other in the same weekend I'd have surely given you a wedgie. I would have said proudly that nothing could possibly top hearing "They Only Come Out at Night" on kazoos, especially in the same weekend.
The very next morning, we woke up after thinking we had slept in but actually woke up at a decent hour considering the time change. We suited up and went for brunch at the Happy Dog before we rode our bikes downtown to attend the Barack Obama rally a mere two days before the election. We waited in line for nearly four hours and then waited some more inside the rally's gates for Bruce Springsteen to perform a short acoustic set before introducing who I hope for the sake of the world is America's next first family.
I don't fancy myself a Springsteen fan but have always appreciated what he stands for and the fact that he has always done so consistently. I was impressed by his set musically and concerning the inspiring things he had to say. When Senator Obama took the stage the crowd let out a roar unlike one I have ever heard. In all directions, all you could see was people. The faces on these people were happy and hopeful. Obama was intelligent, articulate, hilarious, and warm. I wondered how anyone who has been paying even the slightest bit of attention to this election could possibly vote for anyone but him. I don't necessarily agree with everything he has to say about the state of this country and our place in the world, but anyone who does not realize the need for a drastic change in how this country that we live in has I have never felt anything like being at this rally, surrounded by these people. I saw the first black president speak two days before he was elected. I was there. We were there. Andy and I will tell our children and grandchildren the jokes that Barack Obama told on stage that night and of how important he has already at this point been to the world. I am so proud to be alive and able to experience this most important election in the history of the world. I was so elated to have been able to share this most amazing experience with the most important person in my world, Andy. I will be holding my breath until every last vote is counted. I can only hope that every person who was there will wait in line to vote for Obama and make history for as long as they did to hear him speak and witness history in the making.
Don't forget to vote! Don't think we have this one in the bag or that your voice isn't heard. Proud and driven people have died throughout history so that more than half of our population could have a choice. Let's make them proud. Vote not only in gratitude for our history, but for the hope of our future. Let's show the world how far we have come!

4 comments:

Airblaze said...

So weird... I was listening to Talking Heads when I clicked on this. David Byrne is rad, I actually met him a few years ago after a Brazilian Girls show. I'll say it again, He's rad.

Barack the vote!

aparaslifeindeed said...

weird you were talking about Billy Corgan, he ate the restaraunt i worked at in asheville, nc. and i saw obama here too. It was awesome.

Acyd said...

i've been listening to the smashing pumpkins since i was a kid, and i never thought i'd get to see them live, but since they re-formed i've seen them twice in DC and i have tickets to see them again on the 11th.

also, when i was working at a nightclub in DC, billy corgan came in for a solo performance and i practically creamed my panties.

bostontparties said...

weird; I just saw byrne in boston. I think I might enjoy talking heads a little better though; it's certainly more accessible. the jury's out on the sp; sometimes billy corgan's so grating, and when they veer into heavy metal territory...ugh. but some of it is beautiful.