Ben and I traveled to Boulder, Colorado on the 18th for the Aesop Rock concert. We drove for nine hours (by we, I mean Ben,) in a freaking blizzard. The roads were hell, and we left so late that we had to drive straight to the venue without stopping at the hotel. The driving conditions and our tardiness did not detract from the fact that we had some amazing conversations, shared great stories, and witnessed things ranging from a palatial truck stop, to a horror-movie-esque gas station. We did manage to stop at the local Wal-mart near the venue to procure two silver sharpies; the sharpies were purchased with the hope that I would get Aes to sign the lyric book I mentioned in my previous post.
I was trying not to panic because we were running late, but I'm pretty sure that my excessive map checking and phone flipping gave away my anxiety. At one point while trying to find the venue I said something to the effect of "If we miss the show, my fucking life is over." I think my anxiety was compounded by the fact that I had consumed twelve times my daily dose of sugar, and we had been listening to an awful audiobook, Paulo Cohello's, Eleven Minutes, which could possibly be one of the most horrendous books I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing. As a serious aside, Cohello uses so much mystical language, and blatantly contradicts himself throughout the book, that I literally wouldn't hesitate to burn a copy of this novel. Anyway, we finally found the venue, The Fox Theater, but parking was virtually non-existent. It is a college town and we parked in a lot that was gated and had a sign stating that tickets would be issued for all cars parked after 11:30 p.m. I told Ben that the ticket would be worth it, and we parked.
Seeing "Aesop Rock" on the marquee literally gave me chills. We made it inside, and the show hadn't even started! I was so incredibly relieved that we didn't miss any of the show. We managed to get close enough to the stage that I could reach out and touch the stage, only two tiny people were separating me from the space that was going to be occupied by my favorite artist. The air felt electric to me, and the anticipation was literally making my chest hurt. Then, it happened, Ian Matthias Bavitz came onto the stage.
Aesop came onto the stage, and I screamed like a twelve year old at an 'Nsync concert. It was almost surreal seeing him perform, he literally sounds better live than he does on CD. His performance was flawless. He was accompanied by Rob Sonic and DJ Big Whiz, both accomplices helped to make the show one that I will never forget. Aesop dances like a total weirdo, but it fits with the music. At one point he was standing on one foot with the other leg stretched out behind him, both hands clasped in front of his chest, sort of like a handicapped ballerina. He smiles like a little kid, and closes his eyes when he raps. Between songs he gave numerous accolades to Big Whiz and Rob Sonic, there wasn't any of the pompous self-proclamations of greatness that most people associate with hip-hop. The only bling he wore was his wedding ring, that he pointed at and stated "I can't," to a skanky girl that was showing her boobs to him, and begging him to come over. This was a real performance, by a real artist, and the experience was better than I ever could have imagined.
He performed some of my favorite songs, "Labor," "No Regrets," "Daylight," "Nightlight," "Big Bang," "Catacomb Kids," "Fast Cars," "Pigs," and even Ben's favorite, "Fish Tales." Basically, I love every one of his songs, and each one made me happier than the previous when I witnessed his body spew the vibrations into the microphone. I could hardly move throughout the whole show, I just kept one hand on Ben's belt, and smiled from ear to ear!I probably looked handicapped with the way that I was acting, I have never felt so happy. It was surreal seeing his tattoos in person. I have stared at picture of this man for hours on end, and there he was, feet away.
The show ended, and he announced that he would be signing stuff at the merch booth. We waited for about fifteen minutes, and he came out. I stood in a line that was about three people long, and was poised like a dork with my sharpie opened in one hand, and my lyric book in the other. Each person that moved I took one small step forward.
I talked to Aesop Rock. I made Aesop Rock laugh. Aesop Rock put his arm around my shoulder. Aesop rock is immortalized in a photo where my head is resting on his shoulder. Aesop Rock signed my lyric book. Aesop Rock made my year, and he doesn't even know it.
I managed to stay cool as a cucumber during the encounter, but went beavershit crazy once we made it outside. I have never been so excited, I almost cried. I screamed, I beamed, and I hugged Ben over and over. We walked with our arms around each other, and I just kept repeating "I met Aesop!" I looked at the picture at least fifty times in twenty minutes. I called my mother and best friend (Travis) at two in the morning on a Thursday to tell them about the event. I now have the picture of Aesop set as the background on my Macbook and my Ipod. I'm getting the picture framed with the lyric book, and yes, I will gladly drive in inclement weather for hours on end to see him again, someday.
P.S. I feel terribly guilty that Ben didn't get a picture with Aesop, I didn't have enough of my wits about me to even offer. Thankfully, Ben didn't seem to mind.