Sunday, June 09, 2013

Stick in the Mud

Saturday night, Guns N' Roses headlined the Governors Ball music festival on Randall's Island.

I'd seen them twice before. Or rather, for the fundamentalists, I'd seen GNR 2.0 twice before. (I got into them too late to see the original lineup.) First time was in 2003 at Madison Square Garden. Second time was in 2005 (I think) at Hammerstein Ballroom. Flaws and all, they're kind of "my" band. But I wasn't going to see them headline the Governors Ball because I just couldn't justify the cost of admission.

Of course, Saturday afternoon — like some kind of deus ex machina — I get access to some free passes to the show.

I'd already reconciled that I wasn't going to see them this time around. Saturday, I'd planned the quietest, most antisocial day for myself. But I couldn't possibly turn down a free ticket to a GNR concert. That would be unconscionable.

The mud was epic on Randall's Island. There had been a torrential rain the previous night which rendered most of the concert grounds... a massive pigsty. A great big mud pit. This is the point where I'd share some great photos with you... but my phone got STOLEN halfway into the Kings of Leon set. This free concert ended up costing me after all.

I don't know what fucking happened. I was being careful. The only thing I can figure is that somebody picked my pocket because I had it and then I didn't have it. God, how I replayed the moments leading up to the realization of the loss. I recently had to replace my computer and now I had to replace my fucking phone. This free concert ticket suddenly had a price tag attached.

I'll say that it's a credit to GNR — they were so good, the loss of the phone didn't bother me as much for a spell. They got onstage on time AND they sounded incredible. All of them. I wasn't the greatest company because I was so preoccupied with my lost phone and thinking about the expense of replacing it. A shame that this repellent theft had to sully what would have been a great and carefree evening.

We trudged out of the venue caked in mud. We listened to the echo of GNR's standard encore "Paradise City" as we hopped a bus back to the city. It was a great, great show. Over a longer arc of time, the fact that I lost a phone should be more of a footnote for my memories. During a bizarre short-term when money was tight. A few heartbeats before my next big windfall.


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