“It’s like a legal Drunk in Public.” Basically, this is the mentality that friends of mine adopt when it comes to tailgating. You hang out in public, almost always outside, be it a field or a parking lot, and you drink….a lot. There are barbecues, people bring sandwiches, there are a ton of people around to meet and with whom you can bond. But the biggest draw for a lot of the people who go are the freely flowing kegs. It unleashes our inner frat boy, which resides closer to the surface for some of us, and we get a little crazy. As someone who has tailgated homecomings, basketball games, horse races, Spanish Class, and pretty much anything you can muster, I’ve become a bit of a pro. But this reason is not, surprisingly, why I’m so excited about Shamrock Fest tomorrow. It obviously comes into play, but it’s not the main reason I can’t wait to head to RFK with thousands of other people.
The real reason is that I’m a huge music snob. Always have been, always will be. I’ve kind of always been that guy that people go to for good music, and I can’t help but think of my clueless parents for starters. My mom and dad were visiting me in college once, an excessively rare occurrence, and my mom was trying to remember a band that she had wanted to buy the other day. I started to prod to see if it was okay for her to submit herself to an entire album of the music and asked her what band she thought she might like. “I can’t remember…I think it’s Nickel something? Nickelback?” After the laughter subsided, I made sure that she was certain of the name. “What kind of music do they play? Canadian shit rock?” My mom vehemently disagreed – “No, it’s more like bluegrass and country. I like it!” Once I had informed her that she was thinking of Nickel Creek and they were, in fact, a decently talented act, we had a veritable crisis averted. To be sure, if anyone in my family bought a Nickelback album, I wouldn’t be involved in any future holidays or family events.
What it comes down to is, I haven’t heard any good new music in awhile, so I’m aching to get out and hear some great live music and fall in love with new bands. I’ve been listening to Carbon Leaf for four or five years now, but other than a handful of other acts, I’m heading into this with no prior knowledge. Granted, I tend to steer closer to another genre, that of the college & indie scene over the Irish rock slash jam band palette, but the two styles are by no means mutually exclusive. There are going to be literally tons of bands playing tomorrow, and I’m open to hearing some great new stuff. Something like eleven stages and over fifty bands will be performing, so odds are I can find new stuff to enjoy on my way out to Philly next week to check out grad school.
However, to fully assert the fact that I am not, in fact, Irish, I’ll probably wear either orange and/or plaid. And I’ll most likely be pregaming with a heavy dose of the Water of Life. Because we all know that the life philosophy of Cheat to Win is embodied by pregaming a tailgate. See you at RFK tomorrow…