Thursday, June 27, 2013
That was fun.
My good friend Leashya and I went to see Cyndi Lauper live on Tuesday night. It just so happens that it's the 30th anniversary of the release of her album She's So Unusual. She's So Unusual just so happens to be the first album I bought on vinyl.
In 1983 we hadn't seen ANYTHING like Cyndi. There was punk rock and new wave, but none of the music associated with it was this happy, bubbly, bouncy or poppy. There she was in these crazy outfits that could only have been put together in New York with her crazy red hair all shaved off on one side telling us that girls just wanted to have fun. She then gave us a time after time that made us all cry. She assured us that every one bopped, SHE especially. She was fun and safe and gave us permission to rebel against the earth tones of the late 70's/ early 80's with bright colors and a funny voice.
There was no way we were going to miss this chance to hang out with a bunch of other people our age, including a large number of gay men. Every concert of women pop singers or bands I've attended all have a healthy chunk of the audience made up of men who like men. And they all jump up and down, singing along and being affectionate with their partners. Or, maybe, it's because I live in Austin and that's all over the place.
We drove downtown in my car, parked in the lot I like and then started to wander down the street.
As we were getting ready to cross 7th I turned to Leashya and said "This is that moment when I feel like one of the coolest people in the world. If I could point this out to my 14 year old self, that I'm dressed up to go to a concert in this amazing city with my pierced, tattooed friend I wouldn't have been so goddamn depressed."
As we were approaching the venue, a woman came up behind us and asked if we were all headed to the same place. We agreed we all were.
She slung her arms around both our shoulders and declared "My friend texted me to say that he told me to be here at 7! I said 'Bitch, I was there at 6:45 and there was a long ass line so I went to get some DRINKS'. " And she hung out with us while we collected tickets from will-call then declared disappointment that she had to go find her friend. Don't worry, she reappears later.
We hit the bar and staked out our spot.
Cyndi came out with her red hair, like she'd sported in the mid-1980's. And she played the album in order. And I knew EXACTLY what was coming up next and I could still sing along! I jumped up and down when she started She-Bop along with everyone else. During Time After Time, I made Leashya dance with me the same way I danced with a guy named Eric at my 8th grade graduation dance.
As she swung into side 2 our new friend reappeared! She was meandering around with her strapless dress getting ready to fall down. I didn't want her to flash the crowd so I went up behind her and pulled her dress up. She got excited when she saw it was us and got into a monologue about music, people, how old we were and was telling me some story and was hitting me with the heel of her hand. After 12 or so hits I requested that she please stop hitting me.
She talked about the fact that her friend supposedly had a beer for her and then asked us several times if we wanted any pot. We'd say no, then she'd forget she asked us, ask again and we'd again decline.
A female couple walked by holding hands and our friend yelled "I just want to hug all these lesbians! I love that all these gay people are here and out and proud!" And she ran off to hug some guys with their arms around each other and tell them how she loved them. Leashya and I laughed heartily and then expressed concern that she find her friends and be driven home.
We popped out for the rest of the show and then waited for her encore. For her encore she sang True Colors. I almost cried. And, due to our age, a lot of us had lighters. We held them up and sang along, swaying and doing gospel hands. At the very end, the last line because your true colors are beautiful Cyndi just stopped singing, didn't even hold her hand out and the audience sang like a raaaiiiinbooow. And it was such a great, amazing moment.
Then the lights came up, it was hard curfew of 10:30 p.m. I got my t-shirt and we joined the rest of our fellow fans heading back to their real life of work the next morning.
I want to be one of those women who go to concerts when she's 80 years old, trucking along in her walker with the seat for me to rest on. I'll ask strangers to get me a beer.
Concerts, part of my life I love. This one was great.
Amanda's beauty tip of the day: During the summer you may have to switch your deodorant to an antiperspirant.