so a half hour later found me sitting grumply in the back of stanieldaniel's car, speeding down the freeway to downtown portland.
the parking was MADNESS. after driving around for awhile, we pulled into a parking area specifically for the crystal ballroom. the guy took our money and pointed in a general direction. so we drove.
now. i've been in a lot of parking garages in my time, and NOTHING has been as cramped or terrifying as this. teensy turns (to be made in daniel's 800 mile wide empala) and everywhere there IS parking, is marked as highly restricted, subject to towing. we get to the top and someone in an suv waves us to back up. ?!?!?? we're freaking out as we try to maneuver BACKWARDS what we couldn't do forwards... and try to zip to the next area up... and find a gate down. at this point, there are four or five cars behind us, all angry that we're not moving up.
so i get out of the car and trot back down, notifying everyone on the way that the stupid attendant sold us all parking spots at $5 a piece, when there is zero parking in the garage. everyone is highly understanding, thankfully. i talk to the guy that took our money, and in a thick accent, he sighed heavily and said 'YOU CAN PARK ANYWHERE'. but everything is restricted, doy! "you can even park there!"... yeah, genius, we all could have used that bit of information ages ago.
so i go back up the ramps (praying that a car won't come barreling down and squash me) and inform each of the cars. parking is still cramped, but we're all appeased now.
we get there like a minute before Nada Surf goes on. truth be told, the only nada surf song i knew was "popular" from back in the day, and i hadn't been impressed. i think i even accidentally owned a nada surf cd, but never listened to it. the show was nice, their bass player chain smoked although it was a no smoking venue. (preppy girls behind me on the way out in valley girl voice: did you SEE the band smoking up there? that is SOOOO nasty. at least i couldn't SMELL it.) three guys, the lead singer reminding me a bit of jason falkner, the bass player with dreads and a constant cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and a drummer that looks like screech's older brother. some of the people around me where obviously there for guster, as they kept sighing heavily and looking annoyed that nada was still on the stage. RUDE.
so guster comes on for there HOUR AND A HALF SET. i had an idea that they were older than i had originally anticipated, as i had seen them on letterman (or somesuch show.) their live show was AWESOME, though, i would definitely go see them again, especially if i'm not freaking out because i'm tired, sweaty, my back hurts, my knees are killing me, etc. the drummer? PHENOMENAL. well, not so much on the kit, but when he was behind his giant bongo set, which he apparently plays for 3/4 of their music. freaking AWESOME to watch him flail all about with cymbols and tambourines and snares ... i had thought that he had a kick drum behind there, but nope! they also played (besides the regular guitar, bass, and synth) banjo, trumpet, and cowbell ;) and the sound was very tight.
i'm also happy that i have my hearoes! i had invested $15 in a pair of musiciany ear plugs awhile back and this was the first time i had gotten to put them to use (as i've forgotten them all other times.)