I was going to see Lawrence Arms in San Francisco, but Chris doesn’t listen to them and I didn’t feel like I could be at a Lawrence Arms show without, like, buddies around to scream all the lyrics to all the songs with. So I went to Baltimore with Matt and his bros last night for the last night of the Metropole tour and it was the kind of thing I haven’t done since I was, maybe, 17: got a car, drove it to Baltimore, got drunk, got up front, shoved assholes around, hugged my friends, screamed all the words, somehow held onto my glasses and my ballet flats.
It was great. The setlist was a perfect mix of new stuff, favorites, and deep cuts, and the encore made me not hate encores for a second. I was clutching onto Matt, then Kevin, then Brian, then not-my-Chris by turns during “Are You There, Margaret? It’s Me, God,” and yelling “believe me when I say I’m not afraid/I let the devil call me by my name” until I thought I’d cry—because why wouldn’t you, when things are that good?
I lived for this stuff when I was in high school, but don’t do it much now because I’m generally reserved (and got real reserved at shows real quick). Most of the time, it’s not fun to be up front. Chris and I were basically on top of the stage at Rickshaw Stop for Ty Segall and all the stoned-ass northern California teenagers there just wanted to mosh, but Ty Segall isn’t that fun to mosh to, you know? So many shows are like that and though I’m physically able to defend myself (a pit’s never scared me much and I push back), it’s just, like, not my preferred way to see bands I like to listen to.
But you can’t do much else to Lawrence Arms except grab your friends and rush the stage and leap around and yell, “Aeroplane! Aeroplane!” and hug each other when it’s over. Pop-punk matters so fucking much and this is why.
(Other things: Matt took this photo; I punched a guy after he snarkily complimented me for being a trooper, because girls to the front; my phone died and I fell asleep on three different shoulders at Brewer’s Art; have we talked about how great the squish-faced cat was?)
- Friday: Some sort of breakfast/snacks ($10); maybe beers and food if I go out ($25)
- Saturday: Breakfast and lunch after working out at home ($0); whatever the hell we decide to do in Baltimore before the Lawrence Arms show ($40?; the Lawrence Arms ticket was $23 but I bought that last week); maybe more beers ($20)
- Sunday: Brunch, probably ($15); groceries ($60); watching X-Files on my couch, alone ($0)
- Friday: A sort of breakfast/some snacks (kombucha, apple, almond milk yogurt, raisins, and two of these, because Yes stopped selling these, which is terrible!; $15); a sort of dinner/some snacks (chicken, spinach, strawberries, hummus, carrots, vanilla gelato; $25)
- Saturday: More groceries ($40); beers at Max’s ($13 with tip); a torta ($10 with tip); post-show/thank-you booze, cigarettes, and inexplicable sunflower seeds ($20); Uber to Baltimore Soundstage ($6!); Lawrence Arms poster that I quickly lost ~in the pit~ ($1); a million beers I didn’t buy ($0; thanks, bros)
- Sunday: Black hole aka Target ($68); Bed Bath & Beyond for the full-length mirror I went to Target to buy but of course didn’t find ($20); more groceries, this time to cook for the week ($25)
- Total: $243
I haven’t done one of these in two weeks. I was in San Francisco hemorrhaging money and/or eating $4 toast. I also hemorrhaged money this weekend, but a lot of it was on groceries that I turned into lunches for the week. Amazingly, I did not overspend in Baltimore, though I did drink a ton and `pet a squish-faced cat.
People gather on a roof terrace in the District of Columbia as lights come on in nearby buildings, April 1967.Photograph by Joe Scherschel, National Geographic
The Manhattan Bridge from The Brooklyn Bridge.
Sometimes when I say “I’m okay”, what I really want is for someone to hold my hand, look me in the eyes and say “I know that you’re not okay, here is $1,000.00”.