Part 9: Don't turn the volume down, I'll just stand back a little bit.

That wet, drenching, just slippery and way too slick sweat last night was a special sweat.

It was summer concert sweat.

Specifically, it was a 311 summer concert sweat- the kind of sweat that changes the color of your t-shirt, makes rubber beer bottles slip out of your hand, creeps and crawls into your eyes, and causes you to think Gatorade is running out because of how fast you drink it.

But it's also the sweat of nostalgia. It's the sweat of familiarity and knowing that despite all the bullshit, some things are right in the world. P Nut is always going to roll out a killer bass solo despite what the cost of gas might be and Chad Sexton is always going to lead the most bad ass drum jam this side of the Mississippi regardless of the absurdity of Bush's Economic Stimulus plan. Nick Hex and SA, those dudes are always going to be bouncing around the stage, singing and rapping their hearts out despite the pretty sound economy and the guitarist will be shredding the shit out of Stage Right if those Mormon kids go back with their crazy families or not.

Although with that sense of familiarity comes the sure-footed signs of uncompromising reality.

I'm getting old, dude.

Not ancient or anything, but really, things just aren't what they used to be.

And I'm totally fine with that. If anything, I've grown accustomed to realizing my age at concerts. At Widespread Panic in Towson senior year, Paul and I got yelled at by some G D hippies for getting too close to the stage, making me realize that shit man, the party's over here. Time to move on. At It, the large Phish thrown down up in Maine, the apocalyptic lot scene and the vacant eyes of all those kids tromping through the mud hit me hard because none of it seemed real anymore. It was all happening around me, as opposed to happening with me. Now that party ship was setting sail too- and drug tests had become a symbolic change as well as very real one. Then last night at 311, where the kids walking by just kept getting younger and younger and someone was feeding all these little ninjas some might fierce jungle juice cause they were all absolutely wasted- gals crying and dudes all jacked up looking for the next fight- the disconnect was there again.

Yet at the same time, concerts have also been where I've felt the youngest and most at home. Spearhead, G Love, 311's show last year, Phish shows in '01, Beastie Boys just to name a handful.

So really I don't think it's as much about the band as it is some kind of crazy crash landing of fate and timing and high temperatures. Which really isn't that bad. Because if you're going to have a age-realizing moment, it might as well be accompanied by some good music.

It'd be a damn shame if it happened at the grocery store.

They play shitty music there- nothing to realize your age too. Good to buy milk too, but terrible to define yourself too.

All John Mayer is going to make me realize is that I need peanut butter.

Thanks for nothing, John.

ps. Thanks for the tickets Molly and Zack Attack.

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