A band started like any other – a group of people putting their skills, or lack thereof, together to form sound and eventually end up performing on a stage in front of a growing audience and then releasing music and merchandise to the world. This band would make their début concert officially as The Residents in 1971 in San Francisco. The band members remain anonymous to keep the focus on their art output instead of their good looks.
My dad first saw them in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1990 at their Cube E: The History of American Music show. They left quite the impression – enough for him to have five of their records on iTunes and to attend another concert – Wonder of Weird: 40th Anniversary Tour – 23 years later in another country. I would be lucky enough to be in town when The Residents played at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix.
It’s one thing to see a new concert…and to be one of the younger people there, but it’s neat to know that your dad was about your age the first time he saw them too. I’m glad we got there when we did. The staff was friendly and Caroline and I got matching t-shirts and wore them during the show. We were close enough to touch the stage and the guy next to me close enough to catch the spit of awesome as it was launched from Santa’s lips.
I enjoyed the oddity, the simplicity, and the nostalgia that I knew my dad and Caroline were feeling. He told me afterwards that they were laughing at me, in a nice way, when I had my camera poised for pictures in my right hand while using my GoPro to capture video in my left hand. I wanted to take it all in, but there is the struggle between letting the camera watch the show and enjoying it live for myself. And an odd note: I caught myself staring at Santa’s 70-year-old hands and watching the sweat drip from his nose.
There was a kid in the audience that was mimicking Santa’s every hand motion and raising his hands in the air as if accepting Jesus in church. I am so glad that I was beside him with someone in between and not behind him having him constantly block what little I would already be able to see. His hands interrupt the video that was shot from the back of the venue. I hope that kid enjoyed the show though and found what he was looking for.