I don’t know what’s lasted longer: my time away from family and the US or the months (years?) since I’ve seen live music. I’m sure many of you music fans reading this are in the exact same boat. What a wearying time we’ve all had. You feel the disconnect almost daily, but you feel the distance even more when loss happens and you can’t share the pain.
After a difficult, almost-two years, I’m thankful to be able to send YO off to university and to get back to my Mom and sister here in the US. I hope to see my brothers soon, too. Since YO’s college goodbye in August, I’ve been laying low and sticking close to my sister’s place—up until last weekend, when she and I dipped a toe back in to the concert waters.
The venue was The Merriweather Post Pavilion, a largely outdoor space, and the line-up was a fun slice of ‘80s pop: Squeeze followed by Hall & Oates. My sister had a spare ticket because, well, you had to be vaccinated to get in. I won’t go into details here about who was originally supposed to take that ticket… it’s a bit of a sore subject! But I was happy to be there because I like both bands and—bonus points!— I’d never seen either one before.
Getting in took four steps: vaccine card check; metal detector wand (gun check?); bag check; and finally ticket scan. The friendly staff made the whole process quick and efficient—it took longer to get beers—and I didn’t see anyone complaining or yelling about their freedoms. Hey, we’re Gen X eighties music fans! We’re used to conformity, we don’t expect special treatment, and we just want to have a good time. Soon enough, my sister and I were toasting to the evening, enjoying the show, and chatting about important topics like, who was cuter: Tilbrook or Difford (a split vote); who was cooler: Hall or Oates (see below); plus all the Britishisms we learned from Squeeze songs: flannel (washcloth), local (the pub), and tenner (money), to name a few.
I also learned from my lawyer-sister that a Daryl Hall paternity case is taught in law schools as a lesson in jurisdiction. Many years ago, ol’ Daryl had a one-night stand in Minnesota that resulted in a son. His lawyer argued that Daryl had no connection to Minnesota, and that the case to decide child support should be settled elsewhere, an expensive proposition for the new mom in need of money. Her lawyer countered, and won, because Daryl had left behind his underpants that night, which was enough of a connection for the courts of Minnesota. Pro tip: don’t forget your undies! The kicker here is that over the years Daryl paid only the minimum child support required by the state and really made no effort to know his son, thus proving that yeah, maybe he is not the cool one.
That being so, you can’t deny that Hall & Oates created a shed-load of great songs. Squeeze too! While it felt a bit weird being there—we definitely masked up as we moved through the crowd—for a brief few hours, my sister and I were able to enjoy one of our greatest pleasures: live music!
all photos by therockmom