I went grudgingly, all the while thinking I’m too freakin’ old for this. Going out on a Saturday night to see a band was an infrequent thing even when I was in my twenties. These days I am hauling that particular decade of my life on a trailer hitch.
This night out was reminiscent of a scene in SOUL SCENT, when Fia and the gang take a well-earned night off from their work in rescuing the spirit of a suicide. Unlike yours truly, a militant introvert, Fia was so looking forward to going out with her friends and just cutting loose. Things started out well, the fun presaged when a priest and rabbi walk into the bar. But this living joke signals a dark turn in the night’s events: cruel words lead to an act of kindness and then to a violent confrontation that brings an end to the fun night out. Fortunately for the story, Fia is young and resilient.
As I got into the car, I took a quick look behind us to see if I could spot the trailer hitch and my lost youth. But while youth may fade, introversion is forever. Before I could even buckle my seat belt, the sirens from the Introvert Early Warning System wailed and the broadcast in my head declared we were at DEFCON 1. This is not a drill—repeat: this is not a drill. Approaching extrovert territory. Shields up. Set phasers to stun.
The extroverts had congregated in a venue called All Star Music Empire to enjoy the nightlife and two rockabilly bands, Miss Laurie Ann & The SaddleTones and Jittery Jack with Miss Amy Griffin. The crowd was laid-back and friendly, welcoming us and pointing us to the drinks, cake, and pierogies. The presence of pierogies and cake reassured me that this crowd had good intentions, so despite lingering misgivings about the high concentration of extroverts, I holstered my phaser. As I made my way to a comfy couch, I met someone who had recently adopted a Coon Hound puppy, so I told him about my Plott Hound. But before I could properly warn him that he was in for a wild ride with this hound puppy, the music started.
Rockabilly has a manic edge that bleeds through the restraining influences of country and blues. Emerging during the early 1950s in the Southern US, it is perhaps the closest living ancestor of today’s rock and roll. Crawling forth from the musical primordial goo, it shook the hillbilly hay seeds from its proud, greased back pompadour and roared to life.
The music has inspired a thriving subculture, where vintage muscle cars and rolled up jeans complete the greaser look. Dancers kick loose with frenetic energy, jivin’ and boppin’ in time to the slapped upright bass and pounding beat of the drums. These dedicated followers of rockabilly shows know how to have fun.
And age didn’t matter. I could no longer cling to my mantra of being too freakin’ old for this. In a brilliantly executed lateral move, I now declared myself too freakin’ introverted for this, at least for the full-on, audience participation portion of the night’s entertainment. But don’t get me wrong, the music is awesome and you’ll someday find me at another show. Meanwhile, rave on, rockabilly people, enjoy the night.
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By Wildfire Willie [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons
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