As you may or may not know, my boyfriend Alex had never had a true concert experience, as I like to say. I had seen Morrissey and Devo live, but concerts hadn’t interested Alex. So for his birthday, I got us both tickets to see Electric Six, a band that we both enjoy and that he thought he might like to see live. The show was in Covington, at a place called the Mad Hatter, and tickets were cheap. So, for the past few weeks, we’ve both been so excited for the show. Friday was the day, and here’s my recollection of how it went.

Friday after my practicum, I ran some errands. I was able to leave Muncie by 11:45, and made it to Alex’s house around 1:00. He was very patient to wait for me, as he was hungry, but he had made us a delicious lunch. After we had lunch, we set out for Cincinnati.

We made it to my aunt Jo and uncle Dave’s house around 4:00 or so. We got a little lost in the “spaghetti bowl of interstates,” but we made it there safely and chatted for a bit. Aunt Jo and Uncle Dave served the two of us dinner – beef stew over egg noodles – and dessert – a rum cake. We were having a great time and good conversation, when I realized that it was almost 7:00 and it was time for Alex and I to go. We wanted to get to The Mad Hatter early for the show, as the ticket said it would start at 8:00.

We couldn’t find the place at first, but Alex had recognized the chicken place that he had saw on Google Streetview and pulled into the adjacent building’s parking lot. There were only three cars, so we didn’t think we were in the right spot, but I recognized the address on the mailbox from the directions. So I ran around to the front, and sure enough, it was the Mad Hatter. It was nearly deserted. When Alex and I tried the doors, they were locked. So we went back to the car and waited. More people started showing up.

Turns out, the doors didn’t open until 8:00. Alex and I were lucky to find a table in the back. The experience would have been miserable had we had to stand for the entirety of the night. The first band (not billed on our tickets) went on at 9:00. They were rather abysmal.

The second band (also not billed on our tickets) went on at 10:00. They were better than the first band, and rather fun. Alex and I bought our merchandise and I ran it out to the car. We each got a t-shirt, and then Alex bought Electric Six’s new album, Zodiac. We played it on the way home, and I now have a copy of it in my car that I’ve been playing over and over. I really like “Clusterfuck!” “Jam it in the Hole” and “After Hours.” They’re truly the same band we’ve always known and loved, but with some modifications.

While these bands were playing, Alex and I chilled at our table. We talked to people playing pool beside us. One guy was from Louisville and had seen the band before. He was drunk and swore that Dick Valentine was some sort of evil entity. I’d believe it.

Then there was my horrendous visit to the bathroom. Normally, I wouldn’t write about such a thing, but I thought it was an amusing story. At the Mad Hatter, there was a giant neon sign that said “Restrooms,” but only one door underneath it. Alex and I assumed that it was the only bathroom, which he said wasn’t “female friendly.” Inevitably, I had to pee. I walk in the door, and there are three stalls. The first two had urinals, the last, a toilet. None of the stalls had doors, and the toilet, as I found out, wouldn’t flush. It was one of the grossest places I had ever been.

Later in the evening, I needed to visit the bathroom again, and was determined not to go to that icky one again. I asked one of the bartenders if there was a women’s restroom, and lo and behold, there was. The first door past the bar and easy to miss. On my way back to the table, I laughed upon knowing that I had mistakenly used the men’s restroom before. (Note: I told this story to my mom. Apparently, she had done the same thing at a bar/club before. Like mother, like daughter, I guess.)

Anyway, a third band (actually billed on the ticket) went on at 11:00. They were decent, and played a good cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” At this point, they were finishing up their set, and I encouraged Alex to leave our table and move closer to the stage. He had had a headache at dinner, and he doesn’t like crowds, so he would have been perfectly content to sit at our table all night. Of course, because I am his crazy girlfriend, I couldn’t have that.

I ended up in the first/second row from the stage and in the center, with Alex right behind me. He held onto me during most of the concert, for which I was thankful. Electric Six started their set at midnight, and the crowd was crazy. I had never been in a crowd like that before, so this experience was actually rather new to me, too. I was hit in the cheek by something and people were stepping on my toes and pushing me around. I never really realize how small I actually am until I have guys two feet taller than I am or twice my weight pushing me around like a rag doll. I was having fun with the band, but I was also scared for my life.

I had no idea that there were so many Electric Six fans from the Cincinnati/Lexington/Louisville area, but I guess so. The crowd was like a frothy sea, people jumping and trying to advance closer to the stage. I was pushed into other people and apologized sincerely. I reached back and tried to hold Alex’s hand. I got the guy next to him, instead. He was a good sport about it and joked, “You can hold my hand all you want!” This drunk girl came up by me and I couldn’t understand half of the things she was saying. She looked at my angel wing earrings, and showed me the earrings in her ears – they were nooses.

At one point in the show, the guitarist (I think it was the Colonel) stood on the monitor and intentionally knocked one of the ceiling tiles out with the neck of his guitar. The guy in front of me broke the ceiling tile over his head, and I don’t know if it was a tile, or a person, or what, but my glasses were knocked onto the floor. The black floor, with the darkness of people’s moving feet. I thought for certain someone would step on my glasses and I would be completely screwed. Luckily, I saw one tiny glint of light on them, and dove to pick them up. Alex only saw me diving, so he thought I had been hit, but I was fine.

The band was great, really. I would totally go to see Electric Six live again. I hope I get the chance to see them live again. They were wild, and the crowd was probably even wilder. They played some songs I didn’t recognize, but they did play “Danger! High Voltage!” Synthesizer,” “Gay Bar,” “Gay Bar Pt. 2,” “Infected Girls,” “Formula 409,” and “I Buy the Drugs.” “Dance Commander” was one of the encores. Alex said he liked that best, because the crowd wasn’t actively trying to get closer to the stage, and everyone was just enjoying the music.

The show ended around 1:50 in the morning. We were covered in sweat, beer, and Red Bull, smelling like cigarettes, and our ears were ringing. On my way out, I snagged the last Electric Six promo poster off the wall. I would have kept it for myself, but I let Alex have it instead. After all, the concert all was his birthday present; it just happened to be something I could enjoy, too. I was glad he enjoyed it, though, despite the madness. I know it isn’t something he normally would like, and he would have much rather been at our table, safe. Many times during the show, I kept thinking, “He’s going to hate me so much and never want to come to a concert with me again!” He surprised me, though, and actually thanked me for dragging him up that close to the stage.

We got lost on our way back from the concert. Pulled into a gas station, where a police officer pulled someone over next to my car while Alex got a drink. He came back, and his thought I had done something wrong, amusingly enough. We were all right, though, and found our way back to Aunt Jo and Uncle Dave’s house at around 2:40. We were in bed by 3:00.

We were woken up at 9:00 for breakfast – French toast and sausage. I was a zombie, aching from the previous night’s revelry. I slept for another hour after breakfast.

We left a little after noon and went to the art museum. It was neat. We had been to the IMA before, so this was a welcome change. There was a special exhibit on armory and weaponry, and one covering two centuries of wedding dresses. I’m sure you can guess which one Alex wanted to see, and which one I did…

After a small snack in the parking lot, we drove back to Indiana. We stopped at Alex’s house for dinner. I was glad to see his parents again. It had been a long time. Then, we both drove (but separately) to my house. We hung out with my mom, and Alex spent the night.

Sunday, Mom made us breakfast – more French toast! – and then we did some work on my car. The check engine light has, unfortunately, come on again – the second time since I bought the damn thing, and I still don’t have my title. Needless to say, I’m pissed. I can’t even park the car in front of my apartment or on campus, and I’m having issues with it again. Alex thinks he knows what it is, but we are going to get it checked out before I throw money at it. I’m so glad he knows some things about cars. It helps, since I don’t.

We parted ways in the afternoon. I got back to Muncie around 2:00, did some homework/studying, and went grocery shopping. Then, I made potato soup, but I’ve already talked about that…

In short, this weekend was fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for anything more – great band, good food, interesting art exhibits, and some well-deserved quality time with the man I love. It reminds me how much I love my life, even though it has its sucky points.