The Dan Andriano Adventure aka How to spend $500 on a $14 ticket

So I’ve written previously about my love affair with Alkaline Trio, Dan Adriano’s voice and songs specifically and how he was coming to Chicago on the 24th of September and I wanted to go.  Originally I was all stoked because I thought it was in the get my boobs out and ride a jaguar bar, alas I was mistaken.. It was simply at Bottom Lounge and the ticket cost all of $14. Dan is touring in support of his Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room  Hurricane solo debut. Which is fabulous because it is all Dan all the time.   And also fabulous because maybe, just maybe, just mayyyybeeeeee he’d play something anything at ALL from This Addiction.   I’ll rip the band aid right off you now and tell you he did NOT in fact play a damn thing off that album.   Sigh… one of these days I will win the lottery and bring those dudes to a local venue and make them play that album for me and a few hundred friends.

Bottom  Lounge is a 4 hour drive away.  Which means that in order to attend this event I have to in order of preference…. a-find an overnight sitter so The Husband and I can both go b-find a friend who can stay overnight and pickup the hotel c- drive up and back with a friend d- drive up and spend the night by myself and get some shopping in e- drive up and back by myself .  I think all of those situations had been in play multiple times before I had finally given up on Friday that I was not going to make it to the show.    Saturday morning I woke up  ready for a weekend of absolutely NOTHING.   The whole weekend lay before me like a beautiful blank canvas of possibility. Oh the projects I could  finish, or start, or plan to start. The book I could lounge and read, the garden I could putter in. The possibilities were endless.   I lounged in bed with The husband snuggling and such until well after 9:30.  I came down after a shower for a yummy breakfast sandwich.  As I stood at the island eating,  reading the  paper  and chatting with the love of my life about missing the concert later he says to me.

“I’ve got an idea but it’s crazy”

Right away I know where this is going, and it’s likely going to be spontaneous, a tad chaotic and expensive.  Now we aren’t made of money, but you don’t need to have much money to sometimes have more money than sense.

“What is it?”

“Why don’t we all go up there and  take the kids someplace and  I’ll stay in the room and watch the kids while you go to the concert”

At this point is is 10:30AM EST, the concert starts at 7:30PM CST and the doors open at 6:30PM CST.  I munch my egg sandwich thoughtfully.

Then we enter into the period known as discussion.  It basically goes like this and lasts another 30-45 minutes because the conversation goes in spurts and we each move about the house doing whatever else is it we need to do on Saturday morning.

“That is bat shit crazy talk”

“Can we make it happen?”

“Let’s try to make it happen”

This is where Mommy gets to play make the magic happen.  Disney doesn’t have a damn thing on me.  I play this game all the time at work, it’s my job. I used to do this all the time pre AD.  The major difference between then and now is now I get help making that magic happen at home. The Husband solved the Nanny, the kid packing and the Lexus oil change, while I handled the budget, the tickets,  the hotel and the dog coverage.

3 hours later we are all in the Lexus (I guess I could just call it the car now since  I sold the Mazda for $1200 I’ve already spent and good bottle of vodka I am likely to never see)  and headed to Chi town.  The plan morphed several times since inception but landed on.

Drive the kids up to Chicago, let them swim in a pool for 30 minutes, ditch them with a Nanny service for the evening while we go to the concert and have a nice evening out.  We arrive at the hotel room at 4:45 CST.  The Nanny comes at 6:00 and we head down to catch a cab to  Bottom Lounge where we are going to eat and watch the show. This was the very first trip our kids have been on with us that was NOT all about something for them.  They have been to both Disneys, the one in Florida multiple times. They have been to water parks and coaster parks and Lego parks.   They have been to Zoo’s and Children’s Museums and  rainy crowded festivals with people in character costumes.   But they have never been told go pack your stuff and the most exciting thing you can hope for is a hotel pool and a nanny.   Turns out this is pretty exciting for them after all. They really got a kick out of seeing the windmill farms and the city skyline and the very very crowded streets.  They thought it was super cool to have Nanny C come and take them to dinner on a little adventure of their own, bring them back to watch a movie in their big hotel bed and fall asleep.   Gas $60  Tickets $38 Hotel $150 Parking $35  Nanny+ dinner for kids $190  Dinner and drinks for Mommy and Daddy…well you get the picture.

Now  I should take a step back here and let you in on a little secret. I can’t deal with too much chaos for too long without needing some way to let all the anxiety is causes me out.   Bat shit crazy spur of the moment ideas almost always end up in me needed to shed some emotions at some point in time, especially if they have lots of moving parts and things to consider and cover, which they always do.   I thrive on the excitement in some ways, I like delivering under pressure, but pressure is a funny thing. It has to be released or it builds too high and causes issues.   This blog has chronicled many ways in which I  shed emotions and hormones, but we haven’t gotten to  one.

Having  a good/spar/spat/fight with your spouse.   All of this stress finally comes to a head  as we enter the cab and discover it is NOT a credit card cab.  YES, I KNOW by city code they are all required by law to take the credit cards. Someone needs to tell them that is all I’m saying.  This is really no issue though b/c the driver tells me it’s less than $10 where we are going.  Great I say and I tell The Husband.  Who informs me he has about $5.  I absolutely lose my shit because I had just asked him upstairs if I needed to bring cash ( I had plenty)  in my jeans and he said no so I brought a $20 bill and that was it.   I was expecting YOU to take care of the cabs I snarl.  Remember our finances still remain separate.

Now let’s step out of the heat of battle for a moment and analyze this.  We have our tickets, the venue takes cards, there is likely the ability to find an ATM and get cash one we get there should we have to. There is plenty of cash in that cab between the two of us that this doesn’t have to be a big deal. Oh but it is…….

It’s a big deal because this is an easy and old stress fight to fall  back on.  This particular flavor of adventure stress is like in the top 5 of Lola and The Husband repeatable go to arguments and spats.   We go through the motions, he escalates , I spit back. He spits I snarl back.   This is the first couple of minutes of the cab ride also so the driver gets to be in on the joy and I’m trying to get my stupid seat belt buckled and the clip is acting like I’m trying to take it’s anal virginity without asking first or lube.  I fling it back towards the door and it makes a really loud clank on the window.   Now there is only  silence in the cab.

“What’s that?”

“Seat belt wouldn’t stick”

“You crack window?”

” Nope not even close, it’s really strong”  is about the best I can muster to move us all along to another subject

Great, now I’ve pissed off another cab driver here.  I’m going to get a rep.

Then a take a moment and start to look around this cab I’m at the cooling off period of my fight in.    It has all the required signs about taking visa etc. the license all that.   But this dude has his groceries in the back seat behind my head and all over the lining in front and above my head at these push pins, with pictures of people and stuff.   Including a couple of hand written signs pinned OVER the regulation stuff that say things like  I don’t REALLY take credit cards and this is an independent cab.

This cab cab looks like the inside of PJ’s probable secret room off/under the garage is what I’m saying.   And I don’t mean in an “I am Batman” way. I start to have a moment of panic, this dude is mad and he’s totally going to take us to an abandoned building and rape and kill us.    And then the universe provides me with a perfect opportunity, another cab cuts us off in traffic.

“He didn’t even signal before he cut you off did he?”

This opens up dialog for all of us to go on about what a noob d-bag the OTHER cab driver is and we safely arrive at our destination without anal raping or murder. The Husband pays the guys with my $20 and we both unspokenly know the fight is over and forgotten.  This is how it works in long term relationships, fights can sometimes just be fights and nothing more.   It’s been a while since we were in a place where a fight can just be a fight, and it feels glorious.

We  check in and get wrist bands, get seated and have amazing yummy dinner.  No kidding the menu here is awesome and I’d like to go back just to try some more things on it.   I settle for the Brie and beer onion burger and tater tots.  The Husband gets Stilton and bacon burger and onion rings.  I’m drinking vanilla vodka and diet cokes, my fall drink. He is hitting the beers.  We eat and go in for the last half or so of Elway, who was awesome. Followed by Dave Hause who was amazingly awesome.  Both new bands for me and both must haves.   I walk in and walk right to to whatever open spot I like in the middle and my body guard/husband follows me.    By the time Dan is on I’m literally feet away from him and the music.  Dan did an amazing job but I made zero new friends because the little chatty d-bags next to me didn’t like it when the tall girl told them to STFU.

Dude had a Finch T on,  so I tried to let it go for a bit, but I made magic happen to get there and I didn’t talk through HIS guy.   The Husband says he didn’t even worry,  my eyes cleared both their heads and I don’t play when I’m pissed.  The made do with texting about what a cuntress I was for the rest of the silence.  Evil grin.

The set was great, I am learning to appreciate the lyrics of a lot of Dan’s songs on a deeper level the more I hear them. And while at a live show I tend to listen  more intently than say in the car while driving or while writing.  I mean it when I say that man’s voice is like salve to my soul. I’m a tiny little bit in love with him in a non creepy way of course.

It was sadly an all ages show and had to end at  ten.  It was also sad because we could of brought the kids and they would of loved it, though it would of been far less enjoyable for the two of us.    MiniMe and The Destroyer have been getting a real music education since Mommy decided listening to her music was better than radio Disney any day. I had to deal as a kid, they can too.  We stuck around for a a a bit and then walked for a bit and then caught a cab back to  Nanny C and the sleeping children.   Yesterday morning we got up and drove home in mostly rain.   I am still catching up but it was all worth it.  Now If I can just figure out how to get him to sing me some things off of  This Addiction…..

The Alkaline Trio two shows at Metro in Chicago adventure

Last week the Husband and I snuck off to Metro in Chicago for not one , but two Alkaline Trio shows.

Metro in Chicago is this old, architecturally  astounding like  maybe  1200 person  venue.   There is a very small main floor and an even smaller balcony.    This is the midwest in  August in a record heat wave. It is HOTTER THAN A MOFO in that place.  But it is worth it to see a band so close.   The sound could be a little better, I had a horrible time understanding what Matt was singing both nights if it wasn’t a song that I knew inside and out.   I never have a hard time understanding what Dan is saying. His singing voice is like salve to my heart.  The problem wasn’t Matt though, it was me.  I’ve still got some listening to do.  Alkaline Trio has been around for 15 years but I’ve only been a fan for about 1.   Alkaline Trio got their start in Chicago. This is their town, this is their venue, this is where it all started for them.   This is their 15th Anniversary Show and they brought  along the Smoking Popes and River City Extension for the ride.  And even though both are bands I’d never heard both are really good bands.   Metro is non smoking inside, which has to be not only for air quality but also safety because I am telling you that place is tiny.   The bar is cash only and this is how the drinks are poured.

AK3 Metro Monday 08/01

The double s are poured like shots. It’s more like fill a 20oz glass full of ice and vodka and then put a splash of diet coke on top for color.   I can only assume that the singles are poured like doubles. I wouldn’t really know, but here is what I did find out.  A half empty stomach, a very hot club, and 3 of the Metros doubles from hell will make you have to leave the show in the middle of Clavicle the first night.

Monday 8/01 Set List

We had already left too late from the hotel earlier that night and encountered Paul McCartney concert traffic.  We arrived to the club  near the end of the Smoking Popes set but still got very good floor near the back standing room.    We also both had really high expectations for seeing this band that connects us as a couple.  I offered to take one for the team and stay in the form of  “I’m ready when you are”.   I must of looked pretty awful on our way out because security gave me a whole bottle of water.   Then I remember some puking on a cab with my head hanging out the window.  Metro is in a big bar district which has to make puking pretty common right?  At least I am a considerate drunk and  it wasn’t IN the cab.       I usually make a plan and tell somebody else what the plan is and stick to it for my liquor.   I failed to adjust my plan on the strength of the drinks and the heat. And I paid the price.   On the upside we had tickets for both nights and Monday night was the earlier show.  I was passed out in my hotel room before 11pm.  .  I dragged my  hungover butt out of bed on Tuesday morning at 8:30 for the 4 mile runnsihmostlywalk along the lake with The Husband while I got a lecture I deserved on what should probably be done differently on night two.

Yes that IS a lady riding a jaguar with her boob showing. I think this is false advertising. If I go in that bar I will NOT be able to get a boob out and ride a jaguar. In line Tuesday 08/02

We had a nice lazy day involving nothing more than a yummy brunch that I wished I had more of an appetite for  and a long aimless walk around Millennium Park.    Dinner was an awesome little  Mexican place right across the street from Metro and we got there in plenty of time to line up with the crowd before the doors opened.  This gave us a spot right on the rail of the  balcony where I remained without leaving once to pee or drink anything for the rest of the night.   So we were able to rock on from start to finish and then head  back to the hotel to bed.  And this time no one puked on the cab.

Tuesday 08/02 Set List

Overall I’d say this show experience was bittersweet for us.     Alkaline Trio has been a band for 15 years, but is a new band for us.   The Husband found them via This Addiction on Faction. That led him to deeper research and  Radio, his I should fuck off and die song during the worst of the almost divorce.    He later  turns me on to This Addiction album.   At some point I tell him about how much I love Alkaline Trio and he leads me to Radio  for myself.  So it could be my fuck off and die song for PJ.    There is no happier tune to angrier lyrics ever written. C-Lo Green’s Fuck You pales in comparison  to  Radio .  Yet they didn’t play it either night.  Radio is lyrical genius.   It wasn’t awkward getting music from The Husband during the almost divorce.   We had a mostly amicable almost divorce, you might even say it was fairly civilized.  Which means it still  sucked gigantic donkey balls but was made slightly  more tolerable by the fact that we could still connect.      They also didn’t play a single solitary thing from This Addiction either night.    So we had gone to two shows hoping to hear any  of our songs we most love live, and  missed hearing a majority if them because they weren’t played.   Monday night someone in the crowd  had a set list on an iphone so we had already been delivered the disappointment that we wouldn’t be hearing anything from This Addiction.   All  the music was great because AK3 is an awesome band,   but it just wasn’t going to be a legendary spectacular concert adventure night.  It was just a show we missed some of.   Which I know disappointed both of us.   We both love this band, it connects us in a weird sort of healing way.  All of the hate has long since evaporated for both of us but we BOTH wanted to hear Radio, and we  might of missed it.    Tuesday night they didn’t play it either but we left left feeling much better.  We agreed on the cab ride home that we had more listening to do.  But we both love the band enough to keep doing that listening and catch them another time when we can better sing along to the earlier stuff.   I’d even like to go see Dan at that lady riding a jaguar place, but it’s on a week night and a long drive.   Maybe I could listen to this on the way up…It’s a live version of Radio at Metro Playing a Halloween Show in 2002.   Nice make-up there Matt.  I think I like the shirt and tie from  Monday night best. 🙂


08/18 update- Dan Andriano is playing 9-24 and not at the jaguar place…oops