I saw The Police and Elvis Costello at an outdoor venue on a perfect summer evening but the REAL show took place in the parking lot before a single note was played.
I was part of a pack of five suburban couples who met early to tailgate and relax before going in. It seemed like a harmless enough activity. Some food. Some beer. You know the drill. I knew two of the couples just slightly and the other two I had never met before. It was getting close to showtime so we started to pack up our chairs and gather the hundreds of empty beer bottles that were scattered around us and, unbeknownst to me because of the beer and weed induced haze I was in, a fight broke out.
One of the wives went up to one of the husbands and said that she has become increasingly alarmed about his brother’s drinking habits (his brother and sister-in-law were also with us and standing off to the side). Even though we were about to walk into the concert, she felt it was critically important for us to hold an intervention RIGHT THIS MINUTE, in the middle of the parking lot. I barely knew these people! I don’t want to sound callous, but I didn’t want to miss the opening act. I like Elvis Costello.
Brother #1 walked up to his sister-in-law and said, “You put her up to this, didn’t you?” “No, I didn’t.” “Yes, you did. You’re a two-faced liar and I can’t stand you.” “Fuck you!” etc. It escalated. Brother #2, the supposed alcoholic, got angry, said, “We’re not going in!” and ripped his and his wife’s tickets into tiny bits and threw them into the breeze. Shout. Shout. Shout. Yell. Yell. Yell. People stare. Brother #2 got into his car with his drunken, red-faced shouting wife behind the wheel and drove off into the evening.
There was an apology offered afterwards and a lot of talk about ruining the concert and unwittingly dragging us into a family drama. I graciously accepted their apology but I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I thought the entire episode was tremendous fun to watch. I wish I could hit rewind and watch it again because I missed a few lines of dialog.
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Sting, Schming. Stuart Copeland is the ninja grand master of the fill. They could have kept the camera on him throughout the entire concert. That would have been fine with me. Sting came out and sang Alison with Elvis Costello. It was a nice moment.
Sometimes I wish that I could stop you from talking.