Seven, friends, was my age of enlightenment. I was seven when a desperate little fish flopped around on the pavement, gasping for air, just seconds before Roddy’s piano exploded. PETA’s been pissed since then, yet I – the super animal lover – paid no mind to the suffering fish. I cared only about the auditory orgasm I’d just experienced; the song Epic by Faith No More was everything my polka-dot-lycra-shorts-wearing self craved. The music video played on MTV Brasil 24/7, and the videos for From Out of Nowhere and Falling to Pieces (my favorite of the three) were also popular. FNM exploded in Brazil, and is a band still adored in South America and Europe – not sure why Americans never gave these guys the attention they deserve.
Hours were spent in front of the living room TV, banging my head, playing air guitar, jumping from couch to couch, trying to recreate the melody-followed-by-screaming that only Patton can come up with; the man is a beast of a vocalist. I also took cue from him when it came fashion; for a while he sported the half shaved hair-do, which I felt compelled to duplicate. I stood by the sink at 8 years old, with my pretty hair tied in a high ponytail. With a fine comb, I separated it into two sections: everything above the line, which was at mid-ear, was left untouched – everything below it, I cut and then shaved off. I wore my Last of the Mohicans cut proudly to school, but none of my dumb friends knew who Mike Patton was, and I struggled to make that trend popular. I got one girl on board, though.
Nowadays I leave the hairdos to the stylist and the head banging mostly for driving. The insulation of my moving vehicle permits me to scream as loud as I can too, something I couldn’t always get away with at home.
Faith No More remained a favorite band throughout the nineties until the fuckers broke it off in 1998; I was barely 15 and never got to see them play live. I did catch Mike Patton in concert three years ago on his Peeping Tom tour and ambushed him after the show; we spoke a bit in Portuguese and a bit in Italian, but I was too sober to offer him my panties.
Just kidding, I was pretty drunk. But you see, I do actually go for the music. It was for the music that I sat out in front of Chicago’s Grant Park gates at 9am on August 6, 2006 until they opened at 11am. I and another few hundred lunatics engaged in a mad dash to Lollapalooza’s main stage, where the Red Hot Chili Peppers would be playing that day – at eight o’clock at night. A couple dozen kids had gotten to the park earlier than me, so they reached the stage before I did, leaving me in a third standing row. “Amateurs,” I thought. “I give them till 3pm.”
I’d overestimated their endurance, because at around noon, they started disappearing. “I’m just gonna go get some water,” one said. “I’m gonna go check on my friend,” said the other. I saw the weakness in their eyes; they were dehydrated under the scorching sun and had brought no food. As each of them took a step back, I took one step forward. By 1pm, I had my stomach against the barrier and was face to face with stage security. I’d brought one litre of water with me and two muffins. It was hot, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to drink too much water or else I’d be jumping not for the music, but against my bladder. I made friends with a security guard who was kind enough to order me a veggie burger and throw some water on my face every now and then. Around 6pm I decided I needed a nap, if only to forget about the pain my poor boobs felt, being squeezed against the barrier by the big, drunk dudes behind me. I turned around to face the crowd, back flat against the barrier to keep my spot, and sat on the ground, head between my knees. I napped for thirty or so minutes until the crowd started pushing hard again.
Queens of the Stone Age preceded the Peppers, and by then, I was all sweat; mine and everyone else’s. I was jumping and singing – probably to Go With the Flow – when I felt warm liquid running down my right leg. I stopped for a second to make sure I wasn’t peeing on myself – nope, not my urine. I looked to my right, and a kid looking like he was about to pass out said, “sorry, dude, I had like, 8 beers.”
I thought I might mind getting peed on, but I didn’t. I laughed at him, and helped push him up so he could get carried out by security before passing out. I minded the crowd surfers’ kicks to my head more. Only for a second though, because the Peppers were on fire, and I had the best seat in the house.
My girlfriends were at the show too, but they thought my “first row or nothing” approach to concerts was “crazy,” so for that little adventure I was on my own. As I’ll be this Friday too, when Faith No More play at the Williamsburg Waterfront in Brooklyn. I’m getting to New York around 11pm on Thursday, and will be up and out my friend Inna’s door around 10am of Friday – with a litre of water, couple of sandwiches, iPhone… in line for my first ever Faith No More concert.
Anyone who knows me should be picturing me screaming and smacking my skull right now, because that’s what I feel like doing at the thought of Friday night.