A Moment To Pretend: Blur at the Hollywood Bowl
  • MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2015

  • Posted by: Sabrina Cognata

Hours before I made it to the Blur concert at the Hollywood Bowl, my friend Susanna gave me two joints, one was a "crazy" joint and one was a regular joint. Then she told me one of them had a cherry wrapper and the other didn't. I couldn't remember which was which, so I pulled out one at random. It was not the cherry wrapper. I smoked it while my friends lean against my car somewhere in a random neighborhood in Los Angeles. Overhead, the palm trees curve up against an auburn sky as the sun receded into the distant memory of every son-of-a-bitch sitting in traffic. We are real American beings, really waiting for a fucking Lyft to pick us up so we can venture into the soundscape that is the Hollywood Bowl without having to deal with the living nightmare that is their parking situation.

A bald man in a gold colored car zipped by us, then stopped, rolled down his window and declared himself our driver. We got in and someone asked how I was, and the self important part of my personality really needed validation because I decide to tell everyone about the dude from Time Warner Cable who wrote down my personal information and contacted me. And how I am waiting for him to come kill me. Commenting, as we pulled up in front of The Hollywood Bowl, that I hope my stalker finalized his murder-rape-kill plan for me post Blur because I'd like to go out on a high note.



The three of us crisscrossed through the crowd, sneaking in booze/drugs/contraband with veritable ease (If it's a leased event at the Bowl, like the Blur concert, they don't allow you to bring in booze, but that's an easy sidestep. Just get a decent boxed wine and rip the bag of wine out of the box and put it in a bag with your blankets/coats. It's almost impossible for them to notice and I have gotten away with it at a myriad of places that allow you to bring stuff into an event). We set up our food and drink station once we are at our seats and begin noshing our way through Courtney Barnett's set. If you're expecting me to have anything to say about her set, you're out of luck. I didn't go there to see Courtney. I already know I don't hate her, but I also couldn't care what was happening on stage. Is this awful? Probably, but I'll provide you with a synopsis of her when I intentionally go to see her perform.

It was around this point that my friends decided they are going to have an argument. Since they are dating, it's one of those small annoyances of being a third wheel. He got up and sat with her. They talked in animated ways until someone remembered I was there. I looked at my phone and never once glanced over at them. They headed to the bathroom. I wondered if I would be lucky enough to see Blur alone. I was not. They returned and acted as though nothing was wrong. If I start an argument with anyone, including a significant other, it's not over until someone is crying tears of blood, so I really appreciated their incredible behavior modification.

Then the lights went out and my lover-boyfriend-muse Damon took the stage and nothing could steal away my attention. That is, except for the people whose seat we were sitting in. So my trio moved. Then we moved again. And finally, we looked up the seats on our phones to realize they printed out totally fucked up and finally, two songs into Blurs set I could sit down and focus all my attention on the majesty taking place on stage. I was happy.



And here's the thing; this concert is clearly something that Damon really wanted. During an aside after "Ghost Ship" and before "Coffee & TV," he addressed the crowd, explaining to them how in the height of their fame, the closest they got to performing at the Bowl was passing it hungover on the way to bullshit their way through radio interviews. Like an elusive mistress that's kept you waiting, The Hollywood Bowl ushered in Blur, their friends and fans--and no one left disappointed. And then they rolled into "Coffee & TV" even though Damon makes everyone on stage hold up a second so he can finish his point because if you really want to perform at The Hollywood Bowl, you might as well take a moment and let everyone know.

There were a series of epic moments including Damon leading the entire audience in harmonizing the end of "Coffee & TV" making me find a new love for a song I listened to nonstop during the worst year of my life (If you really need to know, I broke my neck and the year was shit, but, Blur, Blur was always awesome). Later, after "Ong Ong," Damon disappeared offstage for a second and then returns with Fred Armisen, who sang a tailor made version of "Parklife" that sends the crowd into a fucking tailspin. And a four song encore that consisted of "Stereotypes", "Girls and Boys", "For Tomorrow" and "The Universal" that ensured I would likely be the last person at the Hollywood Bowl.

But the moment the universe unzipped happened during "Tender." I can't say that the performance of the song was anything special but there was this moment in the song that transcended everything I thought I know about everything and a lone tear rolled down my face. Some may say it's the moment that my heart grew three times, but others may disagree with this. No one knows for sure. But it's during this song that an ex of mine texts me saying, "I've got MDMA." And I am merely a weak woman with an appetite for all things nefarious. So as the concert comes to an end, I text that ex back and tell him where to meet me so we can roll together and pretend, for a moment, that this was our moment. Then I light the other joint, the one with the cherry flavored wrapper knowing it's the crazy one, while we walk down Highland and into the soundtrack Blur provided for the evening.

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