I woke up on Sunday and watched the first fifteen minutes of 54. It's a lousy movie starring the ever-retarded-seeming Ryan Philipe as a guy who drives from Jersey to Manhattan and finds magic and excitement in the glamor of Studio 54. Later on Sunday, I experienced the same feeling of excitement, except that I was driving through the Holland Tunnel in the opposite direction, into the magic of New Jersey's Asbury Park and, more specifically, Asbury Lanes.
Asbury Lanes is a bowling alley with a stage growing out of the center five lanes with walls on either side of the area in front to keep the partiers from dancing on the active lanes and fucking up people's games. I'd been playing pinball that afternoon at the nearby Silverball Museum, and the lighting inside Asbury Lanes is so beautiful that I went from hanging out inside a pinball museum to what felt like hanging out inside a pinball machine. Asbury Lanes normally showcases punk and hardcore music, but on this occasion, the Fool's Gold tour was occupying the stage. A-Trak and Flosstradamus have been playing house parties on this tour except for this show.
As I already said, his show felt like being inside a pinball machine, and all the glowstick activity and light-up hula hoop ladies only added to that, but it also felt like I'd time-traveled to six years in the past. Everyone there was psyched to be photographed and no one there knew what VICE Magazine was. In New York, people will begrudgingly let you photograph them, but a lot of people see it as an invasive act. The kids at Asbury Lanes were so, so thrilled to be photographed. It's like they'd never seen a camera before, although it could just be because they were all nice kids.
The part I'll remember most about this show is how friendly everyone was. I felt like I made friends with half the people in Asbury Lanes. Outside the bowling alley, there were some kids who looked like they were still teenagers trying to get into the sold out show. One kid offered me money and molly if I could get him inside. The show sold out, but it seemed like I saw everyone who'd been lurking around the door eventually get in anyway. I met a lot of friendly jocks and this one neon raver jock who was dancing with glow sticks on strings. I also got to meet A-Trak, who kinda looks like he could be related to me if you check out the photo of us. I noticed that a lot of the girls looked kinda like porno flick bitches. I thought I might have seen April O'Neill, the alt-porn lady that Hipster Runoff makes fun of a lot.
Flosstradamus warmed up the crowd. I love those guys. For some reason, I forgot what they looked like even though I'd drawn them for an I Heart Comix poster a couple months back. I also forgot that I drew them. My memory is shot. Once A-Trak got on stage, people were flipping out and just loving life. A-Trak DJed for hours. People were dancing all over and people with light-up toys were doing their thing in the darkened corners of the venue. One guy almost crowdsurfed into the turntables, but I managed to catch him under the arms when his head was maybe three feet from knocking over the music.
A-Trak was playing all the hits, and during pregnant pauses, he would grab the mic out of its stand, say "Bowling," and then put it down. I noticed less people photographing the show with their phones. There were some, but the last few rap shows I went to were just oceans of extended arms holding iPhones. People took their photos when A-Trak came out, and then they put them away and danced for the most part.
I was stage diving, and when I came down, some guy yelled at me,"You're too fat to stage dive!" I said,"Hey, that's not very nice!" and he responded, "Just kidding, where's the after party?" In conclusion: A-Trak rules, Flosstradamus rules, Jersey rules, Asbury Park is great, Asbury Lanes is one of the best places to see live music I've ever been to.
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