I love music. I love concerts. I have seen some great shows in my lifetime. From Bowie and Billy Joel, to Lady Gaga and JZ. I love concerts, and while I find that the number of shows I attend each year has decreased, the reason for that decision is not what you may expect.
Specifically, the toilet to tush ratio of the venue. Look, I’m 50, and a clean toilet without a long line is worth its weight in Sting CDs, if the CD value was bang-out retail at Sam Goody in 1991.
When I receive an alert about an upcoming concert tour coming to my city, I take some time to consider several factors including viability of performer, potential that this may be their final tour, and finally the toilet to tush ratio.
The performer’s viability can be impacted by their perceived talent on my end. For instance, when Justin Timberlake said “bye, bye, bye” to the rest of N’Sync I knew that this would be a formidable performer. He’s like a modern day Sinatra with the ability to act, dance (better than Frank) and fill a room with his talent. There are other performers who didn’t fair so well from a breakup with a band, I’m looking at you, David Lee Roth.
Solo performers, who never were a part of a successful band or group, are another category altogether. For them, I have the “accessory test”, which is this: if the performer had no wind machine, back up dancers or costume changes, would they still be entertaining? If the answer is no, then we move on. If the answer is yes, they receive a Cher start of approval, and we buy that ticket!
I am picky about my bands, if all members of the band can sing in harmony, or if there is a horn section, I’m instantly in. If the bass player is completely sick, that passes muster, and if the front man or woman has the right degree of Jagger-esque swagger without being a complete narcissist, it is likely that you will get my approval.
Now, to the touchy, final tour, category of the assessment. Here’s the thing, final tour may not be about age, but about health, about their perceived interest and love of touring, and about their marketability as an act. I will be the first to say, I have definitely seen acts that I was presuming would never tour again because of their age, and I had not had the benefit of seeing in their earlier prime. There is a caveat here, never believe Cher when she says its her last tour.
When attending one of these potential final tour shows, I choose to either bring my daughter or a friend who is just as irrational about said performer as I am. I feel that exposing my 10-year-old to as many Mommy-approved classic concerts will be good for her soul, if not for her appreciation of the power of a Marshall stack and a strong stage presence. As for the irrational friends, that is just good karma right there.
Now, while I won’t admit that the toilet to tush ratio is a deal breaker as it pertains to concert going, I will state this: Porta-potties are a no go. Period. I don’t care if John Lennon, Amy Winehouse, Hendrix and Momma Cass all rose from the dead for a tribute show, and all there was available on the concert grounds were Porta-potties, my answer would be thusly, “I will watch the live stream. I have a perfectly good toilet at home.”
In large venues, regardless of the age of the place, there are never enough women’s bathrooms. So, I intentionally pick a pre-show venue where I trust the bathroom situation for dinner/drinks, and then stop drinking. It’s a desperate move, and as I continue to age, it is increasingly difficult, so, I have specifically researched the set list for tours so I can determine when I can make it to the bathroom without missing a favorite song.
Yes, this is disturbed behavior. And please, before you encourage me to do more kegel exercises, I will tell you this – unless someone comes up with a SoulCycle type of exercise cult for kegels I am not seeing this happening, so if I’m going to continue to rock-on, I need to strut my tush in approved and time tested ways.