I had a dream. I had a dream that one day I would smuggle a flask of Jack into the 2003 Capitol Hill Block Party, jump onstage wearing only a tube-sock-augmented teal Speedo during Presidents of the U.S.A.'s "Lump," stage dive in mid-projectile vomit, and body surf all the way up 12th back to my apartment for an all-day orgy scored by DJ E-Zilla.
'Twas as noble a dream as little black boys and girls joining hands with little white boys and girls; alas, both were dashed when I instead opted to spend Saturday at Ozzfest, a haven for doughy, rat-tailed gas station attendants in Confederate flag tank tops. In lieu of celebrating the Hill's status as the 11th "Most Rock 'n' Roll Town [?!] in the U.S.A." (according to May's Blender) at the block party, I did so Friday, guzzling seven free cocktails in two hours at the Garage's "Media Bowl-o-Rama," during which Weekly associate editor Katie Millbauer's +1 accidentally thwacked an alley employee in the face with a 14-pound ball. Which one of y'all bitches wanna say this paper has no street cred now? After the customary weekend coke party (have you heard? Capitol Hill likes the coke. No Pepsi in these parts!), my night ebbed as I stumbled around Linda's, rapping Nas to the fortysomething Bellevue "bridge and tunnel" crowd. Party!
The next morning, in the interest of being "reportorial," I suggested to my Ozzfest road buddy, Dan, that we leave at 9 a.m. and experience the entire, literally and figuratively bloated devil's horns fest from the get-go. My covert rationale: One of my new, ironic pet bands, the Revolution Smile, was supposedly playing prenoon. My real rationale: I was still drunk. For some reason, Dan agreed. Imagine our surprise when we got to Auburn's brand-spanking-new, neatly mowed White River Amphitheatre around 10 a.m., procured a schedule, and found that 15 no-name bands were playing the second stage in the parking lot, then at 3:30 p.m. we'd be allowed to enter the pavilion, which at 6:30 p.m. would feature headliners Chevelle, Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, and Korn.
Oh, did I mention the sign at will-call that read: "Due to illness, Ozzy Osbourne will not be performing tonight"?
Unforeseeable circumstances like these come together in mysterious ways to make you question the nature of your relationship with your +1. What the hell would Dan and I do for what was shaping up to be 11 hours together? Travel the grounds? The ancillary attractions didn't exactly cry out Church of Satanthe most popular were a strongman mallet contest, a body-painting booth, and the serial-killer art collection of Korn frontman, Jon Davis. Have sex? We're both straight, but I later caught two Wal-Mart shoppers laying pipe without intrusion in the pavilion. Lay out? I'm a sexy, unburnable, olive-skinned Italian, but Dan fears sunlight. Self-reflection? Sprawled on the still dewy leaves of grass, I mused of fanciful romance with a young lady of such pulchritude and spirit. . . .
Whoa! That's it! We could rock out with our cocks out (so to speak) to bad metal! Seeing as how Ozzfest graciously arranged for us to watch every silly-ass band on the bill without interruption, well, we did. Cue a procession of surprisingly poppy thrashersthe n-goths of Nothingface, the sincere big brothers of Depswa, the pummeling, tan Texans of Unlocomost dressed in baggy black shorts and tight black tees, all informing us that they'd be signing autographs in the FYE booth afterward, then chilling in the J䧥r tent. Among these unknowns were the Revolution Smile (think Puddle of Mudd meets . . . ah, shit, just think Puddle of Mudd), who were promptly bottled, U.K.-style, and responded with the eloquent, galvanizing "Missed me, bitch!"
By 1:30 p.m., the lawn was as preternaturally wasted as a Matthew Perry/Tara Reid love child. Young women strutted by the barricade separating the lawn and pavilion, some wearinguh-ohbeads. An Eminem clone beckoned the fair ladies:
"Show me your tits!"
"Show me your titties!"
"Show me your tits, you fucking dykes!"
(Fucking dykes give in, show their tits, standing beside male friend.)
"Hey, get out of the way, you fucking faggot! Let's see those titties!"
By the time the pavilion finally opened, I was ready to shoot Dan just to watch him die. We have varying misguided affections for all of the main-stage acts, even Chevelle, whose Christian Tool act was so banal that the lawn jocks started tearing up sod and pelting the poor non-journalists in the cheap seats.
A black curtain dropped after Chevelle, and when it rose 15 minutes later, Marilyn Manson sprinted out in his swing-kid-meets-der-fhrer duds and instantly justified half of the ticket price. He tugged the panties off a made-to-look-disfigured Air Force pinup dancer, then stood above a brick shithouse security dude and quipped, "I'm very sexually aroused by a big husky man's fucking neck."
Next wasOOH-WAH-AH-AH-AHDisturbed, during which kids in wheelchairs started crowd surfing, vocalist David Draiman munificently tugged them onstage, and a girl with the best tits in the house showed us her tits, but we were all too enraptured to notice. Draiman later growled, "You will not see people in wheelchairs crowd surfing at a fucking 'N Sync show."
He's right. But you don't see bowling balls in the face and all-night coke parties at Ozzfest or a fucking 'N Sync show. It's good to be home.