Entry 0033: Seeing the Sonics

heresonics introsonics

LP: Here Are the Sonics!!!

1998 Norton Records NW 903

Favorite Track: Psycho

LP: Introducing the Sonics

1998 Beatrocket BR 114

Favorite Track: Psycho

I have a habit of seeing bands when they are not in their prime. I am also happy to put that bit of musical snobbery to shame because it isn’t true. The original members of the Sonics are in their 60’s, but they rocked as hard as I imagine they did in the sixties. If you have a chance to see them, do it. Their new songs are just as entertaining as their old classics; their setlist is the perfect mixture of old and new. I try not to get my hopes up too high for a band to play my favorite songs. They could be sick of them for all I know. But Psycho and Strychnine are my jams. I also dance around in my jammies to Have Love, Will Travel; Boss Hog; and the Witch.

They played all five.

This was a concert I almost missed. I have been plagued my migraine symptoms for a while now especially light sensitivity. I was worried the stage lighting would mess with my head. A friend told me to go because it is most likely the only chance I will ever have to see the Sonics. It dawned on me they are old and probably don’t want a crazy light show either. I took the chance and stood waiting for the 17 bus to take me to OTR. It was late, I counted four buses going the other way before the 51, 19, and 17 all showed up at once with the 17 being last and almost driving past me. This was a sign of things to come, but more on that later.

I ate at MOTR pub and had some delicious mac and cheese. I also learned that the same people run the Woodward Theater across the street and everyone there was going to the show. One person had an original Sonics Boom LP and I may have drooled on my shirt. The jukebox also had the worst Fall cd in it. The Woodward Theater reminded me a little of the Metro in Chicago: a wide open auditorium with a small stage and some balcony seating. A fancy bar was tucked to the side but otherwise it was rather bare bones. The owner (?) was an old guy running around in a Cramps T-shirt so I knew the place was going to let the music speak for itself. I ran into an old acquaintance who bought me a fancy drink and told me some bad news about yet another person overdosing on drugs. The opening band were solid. The lead singer came out wearing an Egyptian headdress like he was Sun Ra. The venue went from empty to being full pretty fast. Everyone was happy.

While waiting for the Sonics to come on stage, I saw a very pretty girl leaning against a pillar by herself. I had seen her earlier in the night and I decided, “Oh hell, might as well go and be awkward around her. Chances are she will just roll her eyes and go lean against some other post.” Instead we started talking about comic books. She immediately said, “You are awkward, but not as much as I am” which made me laugh because I had thought I got away with being normal for once. Then the conversation turned to Hot Tub Time Machine and the idea that life can change on the circumstance of a chance meeting. She then asked me to join her upstairs to watch the show and I followed her. The Sonics started and after two songs I told her I had to go dance in the crowd. She nodded seeing my enthusiasm. I asked her to meet me after the show and ran down the stairs just in time for Have Love, Will Travel and Money. When they ended their set on Psycho, I became a dancing maniac. I hide my Sonics records every winter and only bring them out during the spring and summer where I listen to Psycho nearly non-stop. People were chanting for an encore before they even left the stage. They, of course, rocked us with three more songs including Strychnine and the Witch. I had to go to the bathroom immediately afterward, luckily not peeing myself during the Witch.

The girl was no where to be found.

Then the bus drove past me twice. I was clearly at the stop and waved at him way a block before he had to stop but he kept going so I ran to the next stop and he kept going. This lead me to get drunk at Arlins and pass out on the couch watching Seinfeld. But my head was fine and I am so ready for Peter Hook and the Light Monday night.

I said baby, you’re driving me crazy

When you turn me on

Then you shut me down

Well, tell me baby, am I just your clown

Psycho!”

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