Archived Story

‘Good time’ not what it used to be

Published 8:00pm Thursday, May 10, 2012

I’m getting older.

This fact became clear to me last week when an old high school buddy of mine called and invited me to go to the crawfish boil music festival this past weekend.

The event is held every year in downtown Birmingham and features some big bands and huge amounts of those delicious little bugs. Since my buddy had purchased some VIP tickets for Friday night, I simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to hear live music while stuffing my face with wild abandon.

The night’s featured bands included two acts from the 1980s – The Cult and Jane’s Addiction. I was familiar with both of these bands, having heard their music many times during my college years. So, it seemed only natural to step down memory lane with the company of a good friend.

And that’s exactly what we did.

On our way to the show, we talked a lot about are families and current life circumstances. But, we mainly reminisced about the old days, almost wishing we were still in our early 20s, having fun and always chasing a good time.

To my surprise, however, that wishful thinking ended when we got to the venue. Instead of chasing a good time, all I could think about was chasing crawfish. Once there, we both loaded up with four plates (literally all we could carry with two hands), found us an empty table and proceeded to chow down.

While we were eating, some country singer I’d never heard of was on stage, singing about drinking and partying. The crowd was going wild. I basically ignored it all while I polished off my delicious meal.

While we were eating, I noticed several concertgoers had taken the country singer’s advice and had become slightly inebriated. Well, let’s say some were extremely inebriated, to the point walking was a challenge.

To my surprise, I would eventually join this shameful parade, but alcohol had nothing to do with it. My problem resulted from too much food. But, the effects looked very similar as I staggered around looking for free bottles of water to wash it all down.

Eventually, I shook off the effects of my full stomach and made it over to the concert area just in time to see The Cult take the stage.

It was loud.

In fact, I eventually had to put paper in my ears to ease the pain. While others in the crowd were jumping up and down and having a good time, I was hoping my stomach would stop churning while I searched for more paper to stuff in my ears.

By the time Jane’s Addiction took the stage, I was ready to leave. However, I was interested to see what their stage props were going to look like, since they are famous for a very visually oriented show.

I was not disappointed.

Their show was more performance art, rather than a straightforward concert. There were beautiful women in huge dresses sitting on swings hoisted high over the stage. Video screens placed around the stage consistently blasted a multitude of images that overwhelmed the senses. To say the least, I was impressed.

That’s when a very large couch appeared on stage and those two beautiful women proceeded to do… well, let’s just say if Jesus came back at that moment, I would have been embarrassed beyond belief.

Needless to say, we left.

In my youth I would have taken the country singer’s advice and chased a good time with the best of them. In fact, two beautiful women on a couch would have been a dream come true.

Last Friday, however, the only couch that interested me was one I could sleep on.  All I wanted to do was go to bed.

I am getting older. That’s for sure.

Roger Steele is general manager and advertising director of The Outlook.