You’ve never met me, as you can’t afford to fly all the way from your home in Fiji, rent an inconspicuous vehicle, and park on my street to observe me in my natural habitat. But by the loudness of my writing voice and the many feats I intend to achieve in the coming years, you probably have the impression that I’m tall. It turns out I’m not. In fact, I stand a few inches below the average height for American males. I once blogged about my big shoes, noting that they had changed my life by fraudulently increasing my height to above average, thereby making general admission rock concerts much more enjoyable.
I recently used my big shoes to attend a concert at Fenway Park (yes, that Fenway Park!) to see the volatile Jack White (first time an adjective other than “mercurial” has ever been used to describe him in the popular media). It’s a show I’ll remember for quite a long time because it was so excellent on so many levels. So allow me to focus on the biggest negative, as I like do. Ten minutes before the concert began, the producers turned down the lights, making us think the show was about to start, then trotted out an emcee-type who gave us a smart little lecture in how to behave in modern day rock concert: put away your phones. You don’t need to text and make phone calls, and best of all you don't need to take photos because you can all go to Jack’s website to download, at no charge, pictures taken by a professional photographer. How sensible!
What we have here is a picture of someone shooting video on his phone. This happened on and off all night long, comprising maybe a quarter of the show. I would have tapped the lad on the shoulder and said, “No one is going to watch your stupid shaky-cam video of Jack. You’re up here in the 48th row and the sound on your iPhone is going to suck.” Unfortunately, he was several rows ahead of me, rendering his shoulder untappable. I might have thrown a beer cup at him but I was drinking only water at that point.
This habit of young concertgoers to digitally record every moment of every rock concert they have ever attended is rendering my big shoes largely worthless. I’m seriously considering buying stilts for the next show I attend. (In case you’re wondering, by the way: the camera I used to get this image was held at chest height, impinging on no one’s sight-lines.)
Jack, for his part, tore the place to pieces, playing songs in just about every Western genre of music known to man except classical (he’ll get there eventually, no doubt). After ranting against Rolling Stone (which continually raises hopes via email that my free subscription will come to a merciful end, but then fails to deliver), and smoking his way through every era of his chameleon-like musical history, Jack stood in triumph with his awesome band and said something like, “That was just you and me! Not your cell phone! Not YouTube!”
It was a great message. If only it were true.