My dad invites me to the Amon Tobin concert at the House of Blues in San Diego and asks if him and a friend, Brinn, can crash at my place after – of course! I do some research and there is a lot of hype about this guy and his ability to create sight, sound, and feeling that overwhelms the senses. I buy my ticket a week before the show and had gone by the library to print it out a couple of days later. I don’t end up printing it until about 2:00 pm on the day of the show and then my guests arrive around 7:00 pm.
We go to dinner at Don Panchos located 0.2 miles from the house after I receive a copy of my dad’s book – Stay in the Magic, and a loom from his wife, Caroline. I get a veggie burrito, Brinn the Californian, and my dad the shrimp El Diablo – spicy. I know we are headed towards 5th street in the Gaslamp District; Caleb and I have walked there many times, but as we approach in the car I am at a loss and navigating us in the wrong direction. Lucky for us, Brinn has brought his smart phone and quickly redirects my dad to a parking garage across the street from the venue.
Up to the fifth floor and into Karl’s reserved parking spot (more on that later), through the building to the other side and we find ourselves to be the first in line at 8:20 pm. The doors open at 9:00 pm and I am forced to return my professional Canon to the car, but a GoPro is allowed. I will not get any decent footage as I’m too distracted and the button too easily pushed at the wrong times. The opening musician was Holy Other. I enjoyed the beats and the rhythm of the artist as he played with a calmness as if practicing at home.
The videos I watched online in no way prepared me for what I would experience against the railing at the edge of the stage. The curtain disappeared and behind it was this large cubed structure made of white blocks. The crowd noise crescendoed along with the lights and sound of the performance. My eyes felt small compared to the large sequence of images appearing before them. The sound makes my clothes and internal organs vibrate as what I’m watching appears to be jumping out at me.
I have some level of comprehension knowing a smidgen of the processes that have gone into creating this show and was willing to stay there until the sun came up. Amon chooses to wear a spacesuit, to match the show, and was working up a sweat entertaining us. I will be going to another show in hopes of capturing more of his amazing abilities in my eyes and mind. One of my favorite parts was when he was using a Kinect – large hands in the foreground composing and his face in the background and then a large box section in the middle of his stage set allows you to see inside (when he so chooses) – and see the man behind the curtain.
After the show I was hoping for more, but the house lights came on and I could hear the set being taken down with no sign of Amon making another appearance. We make our way across the street, pay for parking in the lobby, up the elevator, and across to the car. My dad notices a note on his windshield, “Hi! This is a reserved parking spot, next time you can be towed 🙂 Karl” My dad, a fellow believer in karma, left a reply note of his gratefulness as we all realize the effect that would’ve had on our wonderful night.
Back to the house by 1:00 am and Brinn was kind enough to introduce me to Ableton – a music making program that I can use to make my own soundtracks to my videos. It’s after 2:30 am and we are still full of post-concert energy, but we know tomorrow comes at the same time everyday – time to call it a night. Up at 6:30 am will get us to the Seacoast Grill before they open, so we head to the sand. We will make it past the pier and a heavy fog will join us and the now invisible surfers at sea. The long-billed curlew and willets eat breakfast – running down to the shallows as the tide will allow.
Watching them makes us hungry and we head to Katy’s Cafe for coffee (that the guys didn’t like) and sandwiches. I got a spiced chai latte and a bagel. Conversation with these two is great and the topics so varying, but our voices seem to mute as we marvel at the Pacific Ocean from the Coronado coastline. We drive up there after breakfast and my dad has the same difficulty I do – driving fast in a beautiful place, but this morning there will be little traffic and less worry. A left on First St from Orange Ave and we are parked.
There is more sand, more surfers, more birds, more views, and this time we all get our feet wet. Well, Brinn got his knees wet too – one to soak up as much as he can and bring it back with him to Phoenix, but the humidity is not allowed. My dad was bamboozled by the condensation that had formed on his windshield; he is used to having a dashguard to prevent the Arizona sun from cracking his dash in half. He prefers dry heat. They can only stay for so long before their lives and duties back home begin to demand their return.
I am dropped off at home with a hug and a handshake. I tell them (and their help and advice and motivation) our welcome back anytime – like tomorrow. Brinn would’ve stayed the weekend if UPS was able to ship people – a brilliant new business idea. They are gone before noon, before Caleb has the chance to get home and say hello, but they leave their hellos for him with me as Amon Tobin continues to play in my head.