What a fascinating weekend I’ve had. Really.
On Saturday, Aaron and I hung out with Kris, then went up to Detroit with Mark to watch a band called Blanche perform at the Magic Stick. The openers were a band called the Waxwings, who weren’t bad, and a solo act (with backup singer/harmonica player) named Brendan Bensen. Also pretty good. I enjoyed his set a lot.
Now, I hadn’t been going to talk about this on my blog, but since the cat’s already out of the bag, I see no harm in repeating what I saw at the show. Mark is a giant fan of the White Stripes, and we’re always geeked when we see Jack and Meg at a Detroit show. They like to support the local scene, especially since a lot of the bands who are growing in popularity are longtime friends of Jack. For instance, members of Blanche were also bandmembers with Jack in Goober and the Peas in the 90’s. Anyway, we were watching Brendan do his gig, and quite enjoying the show. And who should walk up in the crowd next to Mark but Jack White himself! We were pretty excited, and surprized that he’s so much bigger in person than he looks on TV appearances. He looks like a waify dude, but he’s really a decently large fellow, though not quite as tall as Aaron, I don’t think. Anyway, he stayed for a song or so, then left the crowd. We all shrugged and kept watching.
Then, a couple songs later, he came back and beelined for one particular guy in the crowd, who we found out later was Jason from the Von Bondies. As Mark put it when he was explaining the incident on the way home after the show, there’s bad blood between them. Fortunately or unfortunately, I saw most of the incident, though I couldn’t hear it due to my earplugs and our extra-close proximity to the speaker stacks. Jack shouted something into Jason’s ear, they had a brief exchange of words while a young woman (also from the Von Bondies) was poking Jack in the back, trying to calm him down — then Jack White of the White Stripes slugged Jason of the Von Bondies right in the nose. Only show where I’ve witnessed a fistfight firsthand, and it was like freakin’ Celebrity Deathmatch. Jack ended up on top of Jason on the floor, punching his lights out, and it took several people (including one burly bouncer) to break it up. Jason needed help off the floor, and two of his bandmates (I believe) helped him backstage.
So, yeah. Brendan Bensen cut his set short right there and then, and we decided to make ourselves scarce and move to the other side of the crowd. This so that a.) we wouldn’t be shoved into the blood spatters on the floor and b.) so we wouldn’t be questioned about what we saw. Especially since Mark and I saw most of it. Of course, once we got to the other side of the venue, there were a couple weirdos there, too, when Blanche went on — one guy had a giant cardboard cutout of Patrick Swayze’s head strapped to his face, and he had a friend in a satiny gray vest who thought that was absolutely great. Everybody else thought they were both drunken idiots. Strangest show I’ve been to in a long, long time.
That didn’t exactly quench my jones for a concert, either.
Then, today, Aaron and I were cleaning the apartment when Amy called. Anyone who knows Amy or ever met her Grandpa — he died yesterday. They knew he wasn’t in the best health for some time now, but that sort of thing is never expected. You know. I talked with Amy on the phone for probably about half an hour, and asked her to let me know when the service is. If I can’t go, I want to at least send flowers or something. If anyone wants details, I can let you know as soon as I do. Shoot me an e-mail. Grandpa was a great guy with a bizarre sense of humor, and it’s really sad to see him go. It’s also sad that the memorial is going to be more of a soap-opera/three-ring circus with the various family members who hate each other and such. Poor Amy.
So, yeah. Bizarreness all around this weekend. Mark’s hero tarnished, Amy’s Grandpa gone, and our house actually clean. Probably blasphemous to put those three occurrences together in the same sentence, but hey. It’s me.