Sunday, January 16, 2011

Survived a Night Out

It is now 10:30 p.m., a bit more than 24 hours from the start of the Christian Kane (http://www.christiankane.com/) concert my wife and I attended Friday night. Kane's music is Southern rock, often with a harder edge. I like "The House Rules" (album and single), though country music is a fraction of my CD collection.

Side note: I still prefer to own CDs and then import at a high bit-rate for iTunes. Also, I still use my CD players for classical and jazz and there is a noticeable difference.

I did well, all things considered, and we did remain through the entire concert. When I was an undergraduate, many years ago, I went to several concerts and regularly went to Los Angeles clubs to listen to music. Because I like jazz and "American standards" (think Sinatra), the places I like most are nothing like country bars.

My ears are still ringing, slightly and my legs are sore. But, I did okay. In fact, I think I did better with the music volume than my wife. The worst thing was the mix of perfumes and colognes. I still can't get some of the strong scents out of my mind. Two women were especially drenched in perfume. Only smokers would have been more annoying. Please, people, you don't need to bathe in perfumes. It gives me, and many others, a horrible headache.

I will admit, today's trip to a mall was difficult because I'm still not relaxed from last night. I really didn't like being in the mall at all. I just wanted to get home as soon as possible. I generally do okay in the larger malls, but today it was crowded and noisy, which was too much after the concert experience.

I would rather have remained home all weekend after the concert, to decompress.

How did I manage to attend a concert in a bar? There were some careful choices made to help with the adventure.

  • I slept in and did little during the day that could cause any stress. I knew concerts like this, as opposed to jazz or classical music, are loud events. It is a country bar, not a martini lounge.
  • I didn't take my iPod Touch or anything valuable that could be lost or damaged. I also selected old cloth gloves with split seams instead of my favorite leather gloves. This turned out to be wise, because my gloves were lost in the coat-check room. I put them in a shallow pocket by mistake, but did secure everything else properly. (The problem with gloves, scarves, jackets, and sweaters is that you have to remove layers once inside. Everyone seems to lose something during the winter.)
  • We arrived several hours before the concert began, which was at Toby Keith's Bar & Grill. This gave us time to learn the layout and adjust to the crowd and noise.
  • We had dinner there, and it was good. I like simple, traditional food and it was good. Eating can be relaxing, at least for me.
  • We found a position at the back of the dance floor, also a good distance away from the bar. This meant that we had open space around us for much of the concert. Only a few times did anyone bump into us, usually on his or her way to the restrooms.
  • We allowed the crowd to rush out, before we did.

Overall, it was a good experience. I don't think we'll do that again anytime soon, but I enjoyed seeing a talented actor/singer in person. If I were to attend another concert, I'd rather it be acoustic.

I have to add that the crowd was great. The people were polite (I was called "sir" several times) and not the slightest bit "rowdy" considering the venue.

Though I need a few days away from people now, it was actually less stressful than public transit.

6 comments:

  1. I can really identify with the ringing in the ears, I think I've developed tinnitus. Could be from too much nicotine delivered by the e-cigs I've used the past 2 weeks. Trying to break an old habit.

    And I can identify with the headaches from people's perfume or cologne. Some people really do seem to drench themselves with it. Always hated it, and powder, even the smell of some lipstick. I've quit going to movies at theaters and such, just because of those things.

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  2. @Clay: How do you deal with the smells in public spaces? I end up feeling sick, along with the headaches. I have had to leave classrooms, trains, and busses to catch my breath. Thankfully, the trains run every six to eight minutes, but it is horrible when someone is either over-frangranced or has failed to bathe.

    I don't have a good way to deal with smells in places I can't leave.

    The sounds in some places are too much, too. That's annoying because I really love a chain (Big Bowl) that plays music too loudly. The food is so great that not being able to enjoy it is upsetting.

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  3. I used to live in a high-rise building, 12th floor. Riding the elevator, when anyone got on who had perfume, I pushed the button to get off. Sometimes I had to hold my breath until I could get off. To answer the question, I avoid perfume by any means necessary, (usually by leaving).

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  4. I don't have a VERY good way to deal with smells, but I do find that carrying a handkerchief and occasionally discreetly breathing through it for a few minutes helps quite a bit.( Obviously you don't want to be SEEN doing this as most people will take it as a rudely heavy-handed hint instead of a real issue. I've also got asthma and I think the fact that most people who know me know this also helps as it's less likely to attract attention when I step off to the side and put something up to my face).

    I also wear earplugs when attending concerts, which help a lot to prevent ringing ears afterwards.

    I have the same problem with Noodles & Company and a few other chains. Micheal's Craft store was less bad the last time I went there but the one by me has caused a lot of issues for me in the past. Sometimes it's not the loudness itself but it seems like certain PA systems put out some odd high frequency noise that makes me feel disoriented and ill.

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  5. Great! I'm so glad you and your wife had a good time. I like the tips that you give to other people; they are practical!

    I haven't been to a concert in years. I think that I would prefer a smaller venue because I'm older and cranky.

    I hate overpowering perfumes and I'm with you 100% with smoking. When I go to Marshall Field's (it will never be Macy's) here in Chicago, going to the perfume counter is like hitting a brick wall. The pain starts right above my eyes and just pounds.

    I have allergies.

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  6. The bar and grill was great for someone like me. They give you a wristband so you can step outside for air or just to get out for a few minutes. The outside is covered with a metal awning which means there can't be smoking within 20 feet of the area, too.

    I often need short "escapes" that aren't possible at a huge concert but are okay in a setting like the one we visited.

    There were several people in wheelchairs. The staff was gracious and helped them all night, even reminding patrons not to block the view for the young people.

    Thumbs up to a staff that was everything an employer would want.

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