Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Earlham Vortex

I was soooo excited to find out that my favorite band, Blues Traveler, were playing in Richmond, Indiana! The BT website said that it was at Earlham College and it was a free show for students since it was homecoming weekend. On hearing this news, I was a bit hesitant about going to the show because I believe that the best shows are those where people actually pay for their tickets... you know those people are there because they really care for the band and not because it was free.

I called the number listed on the website several times because I kept getting a voice mail. There was no information on the recording about the show, which was a bit frustrating. I finally decided to press "0" and that got me to a receptionist of sorts. She told me that I needed to speak with the Runyan desk for tickets. I called the Runyan desk and the person that answered the phone took my info and said that she would mail my tickets since they didn't have a "will call" desk. Seemed simple enough.. sort of.

I ordered the tickets on Monday, October 2nd and the concert was Friday, October 13th. On Monday, October 9th I called the Runyan desk to check the status of my tickets since I still hadn't received them. The person I spoke to on this day told me that they NEVER mail tickets and they would be waiting for me at "will call" - now I was officially confused and could not help but wonder what was happening over at Earlham that they had such a lack of communication!

Jenny picked me up after work and we drove directly to Richmond. We both wanted to go to the show early so we could take our usual positions at the front of the stage. When we drove into Richmond we were trying to find Earlham - we had a map which really wasn't too helpful. I had been caching in Richmond before and was semi-familiar with the area but didn't remember seeing a college in town, so I wasn't too helpful, either! What we did find was that there wasn't too much happening in Richmond - the Applebees seemed to be that happening hot spot of Richmond - how sad is that?

We finally found Earlham and the gymnasium, which is where the concert was. When we arrived there was only a handful of people there. I went to the information desk and asked a woman where the "will call" desk was. She said "What??" and I said "I am looking for the "will call" desk" and she said "What??!!" and I said "The concert here tonight... I am looking for the place where I pick up my tickets" and she said "Oh, the concert is over there" and pointed toward the gym doors. Uh, thanks, lady.

Next, we walked over to the place where they were setting up for t-shirt sales... surely they would know where I pick up my tickets! I asked the guy and he said "What??" and I repeated myself and he looked at me blankly. He pointed to a more official looking person and said I should ask him. The guy turned to me and I started to ask him and halfway through my question he said "hold on a minute" and walked away. I turned to Jenny and said that we had just stepped into the Earlham Vortex where all things are strange. When the guy came back I asked about "will call" again and he said he didn't know. I came to the conclusion that there was no such thing as "will call" in Indiana.

We decided to hang out and wait for something resembling a "will call" desk to show up. We sat outside the gym and saw many frightening things. I thought it might have been a full moon but I was wrong, HOWEVER, it WAS Friday the 13th. Earlham College is the land of many scary outfits.. and scary people wearing them. We got to witness a bit of the Earlham dance troupe's practice. It was like a train wreck... so wonderfully bad. THEN the most awesome thing ever!! This guy walks down the hall wearing long black palazzo pants and a black long sleeve button-up shirt that was buttoned all the way up. He was carrying a huge martial arts-type stick. He walked into the gym and went to town with the kung fu moves. He kicked the ass of an invisible-someone for over an hour.

We finally saw a couple of girls start to set up a table that looked like it might be used for tickets... or "will call" where I am from. After they set up, got the tickets out looked officially in business I went up to the table and said "Is this where I pick up tickets?" and the girl gave me "the hand" and said "NOT YET!" so I said "when?" and she said "7:30"... it was about 7:00 and at that point and I could really see the point in making me wait... NOT!

While sitting there waiting I saw other people go up to the table and were handed tickets. I watched in amazement. I decided to convince myself that these people were alumni and that they had priority since it was homecoming weekend. This explanation almost made me feel better. I was gettting alittle irate because people were beginning to arrive and there was a line forming at the door of the gym. We had arrived first but were not going to have to stand in line due to the unorganization at Earlham Vortex.

Around 7:20 I went back to the table where there were now 3 women sitting and looking quite official. I asked if they were open yet and they said "not yet" - what the hell were they doing?? I decided to stand right in front of the table until they opened. They were irritating me! Jenny stood with me... I think the Kung fu dancer guy in the gym finally scared her! After standing at the desk for several minutes this kid walked up and asked one of the girls if they were open and her response was "oh, yeah... we've been open!" WHAT?! I wanted to kick her. When I got the table I said "ohhhh... you're open now?" and the girl said "yes" and I said "well, I've been standing here, one foot away... you couldn't tell me?!" She just looked at me and gave me my tickets.

The Earlham Vortex got a little stranger when we finally got into the gym. We had to wait in line a bit but luckily we were entertained by palazzo pants man. When they opened the doors we went directly to the stage where there was no one standing. Odd. Everyone was sitting down and I was concerned about the. I asked one of the ushers if we were allowed to stand at the stage and she said the area between the chairs and the floor were for dancing and if you stood there you had to dance. That sounded absurd, so I laughed. She said that everyone had to sit prior to the show. What the hell is that all about?! That's the strangest thing I ever heard, but at this point, considering Earlham... it made perfect sense... um, yeah.

Jenny and I sat in the chairs waiting patiently while discussing the horrid unorganization and fiasco that was the Blues Traveler show. While discussing the many oddities of Earlham this transgendered kid in front of us turned around and started chatting with us. She is a sophomore and was full of information - apparently, even some of the students think Earlham is somewhat of a vortex. We also learned that the flake at the so-called "will call" desk is her housemate. Hmmm... sorry to hear that.

When the house lights went off everyone rushed the stage. I just knew it was going to be a sucky crowd.... here are my main complaints:

1. Free shows = bad crowds
2. The crowd only knows the songs Run Around and Hook
3. Body surfing is for the mentally challenged
4. Dry campus = sober band = not as much fun
5. Sitting at at Blues Traveler show = wtf?!
6. Silly girls that scream dumb things to the band like "come to my soccer game tomorrow!!" Yeah, that's what they want to do!

I think the thing that irritated me most were the two guys standing in front of me. They just stood there. Here, the band was, totally rocking out and these guys didn't even move! Toward the end of the show one of the guys handed John a paper with the word "Imagine" on it. John told him that they couldn't play it... then, a couple of minutes later they did, indeed, play Imagine. The two guys in front of me suddenly came to life.

Here is what I don't get... Why on Earth would you come to a Blues Traveler show, who have some of the greatest songs I have ever heard, to request ANOTHER bands song? I mean, really! You stand there like bumps on a log all night and when they play another bands song you finally get a little life in you. To me, it was a total insult to BT. On top of that, the guy took the piece of paper with the word "Imagine" on it, turned around and raised it to the crowd so everyone would know it was HE who requested it. I REALLY wanted to kick him.

Ohhhhhhh, Earlham!

The show ended and I, again, was disappointed that they didn't play my favorite songs... I suppose they were too busy playing OTHER bands songs. It was a good show, regardless. The highlight was when they brought out that 13-year old kid from America's Got Talent' (I think that's the show, anyway) that played the harmonica. He definitely gives John a run for his money... and is it odd that I was strangely attracted to a 13-year old? I think it was the harmonica - no worries.

I should have gotten the transgendered kid's email address. She was quite fun - and from Centerville. She told me she was 19 and I almost choked. Ack! I could be her mother! Oh my!

After a stop at Frisch's we headed home... barely escaping the vortex of Earlham's weirdness.

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