On Friday, I finally had the opportunity to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Understandably, Karen O is a bit of a legend back home, though being half-way across the world is no exception. The Hordern can easily take about 5,000 people and it’s set up like a tennis pavilion – bleachers on all sides, a spacious concrete floor, and a massive dome top. Since the floor is not at an angle, you’re really banking on the stage elevation – and yes, it’s high enough even for a 5 foot person (like myself) to see regardless of where you stand. There’s also an unspoken rule that if you’re close enough to the stage (and this is a punk rock concert), you’re party to a mosh pit. So hopefully you’re wearing comfortable shoes and ready to move with the crowd.
Hmm.. I always figured mosh pits were violent and that moshing often resulted in bruises and other pseudo-self-inflicted injuries, but this was a good time. I mean… fuck yeah.
It probably depends on the band that’s playing.
My neighbor, James, introduced me to his brother and his girlfriend – and luckily, James also knew the guy that was in charge of the catering so we were drinking for free all night. I tried my first Toohey’s Extra Dry – pretty standard, somewhat like our PBR (or whatever’s slightly below it). Then we quickly switched gears and downed one glass after another of screwdrivers. I would’ve killed for a bacon-wrapped hotdog. Instead, I settled for something much bigger…
A bacon cheeseburger, medium rare, topped with lettuce, sauteed onions, tomatoes, beets, pineapples, and a fried egg. Lest I forget… there was also a basket of fries. I’d say it was a pretty good turn out =) Then I did a night cap at a paddington pub… a solid cold pint of Kronenberg on tap. It was a good night. I slept well.
The next day was another whole day affair for the love of music… I headed out to Hyde Park to check out Sydney Festival First Night and watched (what must’ve been) thousands of families and little kids running around (and inside) the fountains. I had to do a fair bit of exploring to find The Domain (our main stage for the night’s key event) and guess what I found when I got there??
Al Green, his backup singers and the full band doing sound check. Woo hoo!
They sounded so good, it almost made me really sad about not being part of a band anymore. They were also rehearsing some of their songs, so it was interesting to see how he interacted with his backup vocalists.
God, I wish I was in the same line of work.
I spent all afternoon laying in the open park in my swimmers and layering myself with sunscreen. It must’ve been 85 if not hotter. I was really asking for it. I lasted maybe 20 minutes in the sun and then settled for a nice shady patch under a tree. Etta was supposed to come out, but she never showed up. I was in the middle of The Domain with probably close to 12,000 or more people and I knew no one.
And then Angus asked me to sit with him and his friends, share their wine, beer, nachos, cheese and crackers (picknicky stuff)… and I suddenly found myself making new friends =) Angus is a DJ looking to move to Malaysia and his girlfriend, Meegan, works as a buyer for a retailer. Their friends: Justine, Gretchen, Rommie, Matt, Julian, Brad, and Joshua are exactly the kind of people I would probably hang out with in Brooklyn. They’re all a bit of a character… especially Julian.
I’m not sure how best to describe him – he’s a little crazy, a little immature, but very protective and somewhat brotherly… he likes to have fun, a lot of fun – and he spends most days of the week cultivating his ever growing social life.
As Angus puts it, “if you know Julian, you’ll know half of Sydney.” I don’t think he was kidding.
We’re going to see Avatar today and, shortly thereafter, meeting his friends in Bronte who live by the water, but also happen to have a backyard pool. Apparently, we’re also eating ribs at some incredible BBQ restaurant… it should be a pretty good Sunday.