oh. my. god. tonight was insane. crazy, beautiful and insane.
KW and i went to see the foo fighters at roseland tonight. queens of the stone age were the opening band. it would be an understatement if i said they sucked. the magnitude of their suckfullness cannot be measured by existing technology. honestly, geez they fuckin blew. i hadn't ever heard of them before this show (because i'm an old geezer), but both KW and some other friends of ours completely love them. in fact the only reason i got to accompany KW to tonight's show was because those friends were unaware that QOTSA were the opening band when she told them she had tickets. turns out she got tickets for tomorrow too and they are going with her then because they love QOTSA so much. (actually, by "today" i mean sunday and "tomorrow" is monday. i haven't gone to bed yet, it's still "today".)
i on the other hand HATED them. i thought they were just stupid. i actually rolled my eyes at their lameness. what is this, 1985? ugh, stupid stupid stupid. awful. gee, i shouldn't hold back what i'm really feeling...
but then - foos! glorious, wonderful, kickass, rockin foos. god, they came out rockin and rocked our fuckin nuts off for almost two hours. dave grohl is a superhero. i had the best time, they did everything i wanted to hear. we were right up in front, off to the left side. which was great, but i'm an old biddie now, so i was constantly, warily, on the lookout for emerging mosh pits or the flailing legs of a crowd surfer. i somehow always manage to get kicked in the head. well, i escaped unscathed, i know you were worried. the set was perfect except for the ASSHOLES with the fucking backpacks next to me. what are you, staying overnight at the foot of the stage? and there was a coat check, so just step off with the rationalizations, asscrap.
okay, here's where it gets wacky. we decided to go around back and see if the tour bus was still there. it was, and there was a small crowd of folks waiting for autographs and whatnot. what the heck, let's hang around for a while. so there were some more irritating people there too, but we kept waiting because we figured as soon as we left, the band would come out and like invite everyone back to their hotel or something and we'd been kicking ourselves for not waiting. they finally did come out, but i didn't get close enough to ask dave to autograph anything and then they all got into a van. as they're loading up the van (with people) KW says "we should go jump in a cab and say 'follow that van!' " i said "K, cabs don't really do that." i laugh as we walk down 53rd street towards 8th avenue, which goes north. when we reach 8th, the light turns red so the foos van stops. we cross in front of it, as KW waves down a cab. we're laughing about how we're going to get the cab to follow that van!
so we get inthe cab and KW says to the driver "you know how in movies, people always say 'follow that car!' ? well, would you really do that? you see that van at the light is full of rock stars and we want to follow them." and by god, the driver said yes.
except our cab was on 8th avenue heading north and had the light, while the foo van was on 53rd stopped at the red. would they go straight, across 8th? or turn and go up 8th ave? our cab driver needed to make a move. he ended up going up 8th, but stopped right after the light, by the side of the road, and waited, to see which way the foo van went. well, the foo van went straight, across 8th ave so we were like "oh well, that was fun for the 2 seconds it lasted. take us home instead." so the driver took us up to 55th and then left and then left again onto 9th avenue, which goes south, since we needed to head downtown.
you know what comes next, right? up ahead of us we see the foo van turning onto 9th as well. pandemonium ensues, the driver is told to ignore our homeward bound instructions and to go ahead with the follow that van directive. he obliges our madness. the chase commences. KW guesses they are going to the soho grand hotel. as we head down 9th and eventually turn onto 14th street and head east, it begins to look like she's right. they're not going out of town, they have another show tomorrow. and what other downtown hotel is there? during our journey (which i cannot BELIEVE the cab driver is going along with) i call ryan on my cell phone and tell him what the hell we're doing. then i call my sister, who had called before i left for the show and told me she hated me for getting to go see the foos, and tell her of our escapade. she tells me it sounds more like something she would do, and she's proud of me. i tell her i'll keep her updated. i end up calling her several more times as the night gets weirder and weirder.
finally we reach our destination, which is indeed the soho grand. we have the cab driver pull up ahead of the foo van and we get out. i tip him outrageously. taylor and his porn star girlfriend (tm KW) get out and go inside. dave stays in the van. ??? what is going on. he knows he's been followed? he's going to another hotel? a bar? we stand on the curb, wondering aloud what's going on and what to do, when we see two people our age in a mini van parked by the curb. the guy in the passenger seat asks if we followed the foos there and we say yes and relate that taylor went inside and dave's in the van. they say they are going to continue to follow the van if it leaves the hotel with dave in it. we say, really? then they say yeah, you wanna come? i shit you not. so then we get in the minivan with these TOTAL strangers, in NYC, and we're off, following the van up 6th ave. what the FUCK are we doing?!
so KW introduces us to our fellow stalkers/kidnappers, vanessa and danny. they're from queens. luckily they are seemingly normal, and also think what we're all doing is kinda nuts, but funny. and fun. the van turns onto houston, heading east. aw yeah, heading towards my hood, baby. at this point, the van seems to be actively trying to shake us. it is entirely possible we are imagining this (as will further be evidenced by events i'm getting to), but seriously, it lags back at lights, changes lanes a lot, etc. and when we get to first ave, they get in the left hand turn lane but instead of going up First, they make the turn and go down 1st street (yes we were at the corner of 1st and 1st. the nexus of the universe!), back west. what are they doing? are they trying to get away from us? they HAVE to notice we're following them since we made quite an impressive turn in order to get through the light and follow them down 1st street. when we get back to bowery they make the left and go back onto houston heading east again. we've just gone in a complete circle. we decide to give up the ghost, leave them in peace and just go home. as we approach the light we go ahead and pass them, as vanessa and danny have kindly offered to drop me off at home.
and then, as we pass them by, danny and KW look over and notice the driver is not in fact glaring at us as we imagined, but actually he's looking to the right, at the storefronts and is pulling over to the side and stopping. they weren't fleeing, they were lost! they stopped in front of Idlewild, on east houston, which used to be Den of Thieves. we were past them at this point, so we made the turn at 1st avenue again and went back west, intending to park and go in. it was at this point that we learned that vanessa was only 20. and unfortunately Idlewild is the kind of bar that has a bouncer kind of guy out front, carding people. well, we'd cross that bridge when we got to it. we found a parking spot on bowery near houston and got some money at the ATM and walked over to the bar.
as expected, vanessa couldn't get in and danny (the nicest boyfriend in the land) wouldn't go inside without her. i felt awful since they were the reason we had gotten this far. KW and i went inside to check things out and i told vanessa and danny that i'd come back out and give them the scoop. we go in and head toward the bar. Idlewild is designed like an airplane, with real airplane seats and crap. you walk in and it's an open space with bathrooms to the right and some seats to the left and a square bar ahead of you. you can walk around the bar and behind it is another smaller open space with booths on either side and a DJ in the back corner. we walk up to the bar and see members of QOTSA all hanging about in various spots, but no dave. we start to head around the bar to check out the back area when KW clutches my shirt and through clenched teeth hoarsely whispers "RIGHT. THERE." the bar is dark and smokey and my ears are still ringing from the show so i can't hear K's repeated directions on where "there" is, so i'm looking back and forth, left and right, like some junkie ray charles. not exactly the studied nonchalance i was going for. finally i get that she means behind me and lo and behold, there he is, leaning against the wall near the corner of the bar, chatting up two very tiny blonde chicks. we belly up to the bar for a couple shots of courage and i try to think up something witty to say. because i have to say something, we didn't go through all this to just skulk in the corner, staring.
while we're waiting, the tall blond singer guy (not the one with the stupid facial hair) from QOTSA comes up behind us, trying to get to the bar to get a drink. we make room for him and KW chats him up a bit, asks about his tattoo. he was actually quite friendly and nice. too bad his band sucks. at this point i'm getting a little tired and tipsy so it's time to make my move. i order another beer and tell KW i'm heading to the back of the bar, which is where dave's gone off. she is insistent about not being able to say anything and stays at the bar. when i get to the back, it's incredible. dave is standing there, talking to the tiny chicks and he's right there and if he weren't a big ole rock star i could just tap him on the shoulder and say hi! but i can't. i'm physically unable to make a move. i went back to the bar to get KW since she'd enjoy the proximity to her future husband. by the time we squished into the back again, it had gotten more crowded and i was getting frustrated. we decided to go, but as we stood at the corner of the bar while KW put her jacket back on, dave appeared again and this time he was talking to a guy and a girl who i could tell were strangers/fans also since he was only two feet away and i could hear their conversation. for some reason this made me feel like that made it cool for me to go over too. why should they get to say hi and not me?
so as he started moving away from them, i touched his arm and said "excuse me." he leaned in to hear what i was saying. "i just wanted to say hi. i was at your show tonight and had a great time. thanks." he says "cool. thanks. thanks so much." dude! short, sweet and to the point. then we left. somehow, getting home and watching the cat catch and kill two mice he found behind the bookcase was anticlimactic.