Friday, April 16, 2010


Noah remembered the obscure anniversary again.

This year, he even remembered it in advance (all the more impressive, in my book) and grabbed tickets to catch one of our very favorite musicians, Rocky Votolato.

And so we celebrated Fort Night on the town this year and caused a bit of a stir when we attempted to build a fort out of tables and chairs at the City Winery.
The show was so, so awesome. A friend introduced me to Rocky when I was a freshman in college and he's been one of my favorites - running tunes (who knew songs about corporate greed could have such a great beat?!), relaxing tunes, hosting tunes (if you've ever been at our house, chances are, Rocky was there too. A never-fail guests-gathering playlist). It's the first time we've seen him live, so these were pretty high expectations.
The venue wasn't really what I was expecting - lots of small candlelit tables and a relatively small, intimate crowd. Definitely a lot more low key and laid back than anticipated, but as my high school friends who used to laugh at how little I jumped and danced around at concerts can attest to - this is just my style. (Cl-ear-ly. So stoic! We are enjoying ourselves, I swear...)
Plus, Johnny and Jessica were able to join us before bidding adieu to the city for the W-E-S-T. All the makings of a great night.
Enter: the one person sitting between us and the stage. Rocky's biggest fan ever. I spent the majority of the evening contemplating how to berate this complete stranger on the blog (even though that's my number one paranoia - that some random stranger I will never, ever see again will realize I've written about them...) and then he ruined it for me by being apologetic and actually kind of nice at the end of the show.

But because his shenanigans were such a focal point of our night, here I go dishing anyway...

I couldn't figure out what about the scene bothered me most. The fact he sang along and acted out lyrics with his drank-three-carafes-of-water lady friend across the table (and we've already established, not especially a singing and acting setting). The fact he was right in my line of vision; no way around him. The fact he closed his eyes, lifted his hands to his forehead in prayer position and fell into a brief trance at the end of each song before launching into wild applause. The fact that he sang along louder and acted out lyrics more expressively on his favorite songs... and he and I have a lot of favorite songs in common. Or the fact he raised several snooty toasts and smugly swished his wine all evening while I have a strong suspicion he's only 15.

Even though I'm forfeiting my "good human" status with all this passive aggression directed at a perfect stranger, Rocky definitely earned "good human" status in my book. We got a chance to chat with him for a few minutes after the show and we were so impressed by how kind and genuine he seemed. The Rileys are even bigger fans now.
Hipster stances and a shouted farewell across the Uptown/Downtown divide at Houston Street.
We'll probably still build a fort, just for good measure. If for no other reason but the fact all the furniture we own is within a few feet of each other. Conditions are ripe for a pretty excellent fort.


Angie said...

That is such a great tradition! We've been known to build a few forts in our house from time to time... :) And we love Rocky too! Klane introduced me to him a few years back. That's so cool you met him! Sounds like a great evening (minus the annoying number-one-fan in front).

Ashley said...

What? How have you not passed along this music goodness yet? Off to the itunes store....

Corey, Alisa, and Elsie said...

You guys are so stinkin' cute. What a fun tradition. That's too bad "the fan" at the concert made it frustrating. Awesome you got to meet him!

Claire said...


Brandon and Erica said...

You are such a good writer! I felt like I was there watching the show, and equally getting just as annoyed with the stupid stranger.

Thanks for the good description :)