Sunday, July 2, 2017

Arroyo Seco Weekend gets curmudgeon up off the couch

Last week I went to the first ever “Arroyo Seco Weekend” in Pasadena, just to confirm what is only hinted at by the junk mail I receive—that I am truly old. 

Apparently, “arroyo” is the Spanish word for “surface of the sun.” Saturday and Sunday each featured more than a dozen bands in a festival human-rotisserie setting. 

We took the Gold Line over, and it was hard to tear myself away from that sweet, sweet air conditioning. So old. Seriously. I thought about just riding on to Chinatown. 

I stood in front of one stage for so long, I decided to crouch down on my haunches for a bit. My balance being what it isn’t, I fell back into a guy behind me. He laughed it off, but an hour later he fainted onto me from the heat, and his friends and I poured water on him and fanned him with our hats. 

There was so much pot in the air I had to check my hands to see if I was smoking it. Turns out it was every single other person there. I grew up in the ‘70’s, so I’m chill, but this was like a scene from a firefighter training video.

Musically, I am not adventurous. I fall into the stereotype of most humans who stop buying new music in their 30s. So it was nice that my wife got tickets and forced me out of my Marvin Gaye/U2/Paul Simon comfort zone. 

We saw an L.A. band called Dawes, whose logo featured the slogan, “We’re all gonna die.” Their music gave no indication of the method, however, and was catchy. 

Alabama Shakes is a band whose CD I couldn’t get into a year or two back (See? I’m trying) but live on stage they killed. Streaming sweat, their lead singer was like a preacher who would be damned if she was going to let us leave without redemption. (“Attacking, defending, until there’s nothing left worth winning/your pride and my pride, don’t waste my time.”)

I was glad to see Weezer, a ‘90’s band who my wife and I saw back when we were still dating, and it’s hard to go wrong with Tom Petty and with Mumford & Sons. 

I probably should not have eaten those chili cheese tater tots, or the five-mini-cupcakes-kebab, but hey, sometimes I like to project a recklessness I do not actually feel. 

. . .

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