Monday, April 23, 2007
Hip, hip, hip
The last time I went to Hampton Beach was the summer of '95. Bryan, Tara and I cruised around one evening in his aqua Grand Am, visiting the arcade and driving down the strip beside the beach. It's a grimy place, smelling of fried dough and full of trash, teenagers, bikers and tourists. It's where The Tragically Hip played last Saturday night. L and I relived the past, getting our pictures taken in the photo booth at the arcade beneath the Casino, and playing skee ball. I felt so much better after playing. I had forgotten how good it feels to hurl balls into holes. L had never done it before. I may have discovered that outlet I have been needing. The concert was fantastic! It was a mellow crowd, and even though I didn't know much of their music, they played their hearts out. It was over 2 hours after the openers the Constantines played. I had 3 tickets for the show but L's friend couldn't make it. We saw a guy hanging around the box office and L approached him after he left it and told him that we had an extra ticket. The man asked how much, but I had said that I wanted to give it away. So we did. The guy looked at us incredulously and said it was really nice of us. There were loads of Canadians at the show, wearing hockey jerseys or Canadian flags draped on their backs. It was a polite, mellow crowd.
We visited Durham before the concert, after we had a late lunch with my sister and returned her children. Durham is the same, and although the Licker Store has closed Breaking New Grounds took its place the same angsty people still hang out front on the street at their tables, drinking their coffee, eating their gelato and looking pensive and sulky. I always joked it was the place where poets sat in black, waxing about the world. It's been about 10 years since I graduated, working at the library and deciding to make a career of it.