There I was standing on the floor of the packed arena at San Diego State University watching Queens of the Stone Age for the first time. They were touring for the album Lullabies to Paralyze that had come out in March. I had come alone, which by this point was nothing new, because I couldn’t recruit any of my friends to come to the show with me. Shortly after the band started to play “Feel Good Hit of the Summer” I was lucky enough to meet two generous stoners who didn’t mind sharing their joint with me. I say lucky because this was a rare occasion where I didn’t just sneak in my own. Not that I “had” to have one, but it always enhanced my experience. The beauty of this concert was not only that I got to see Queens of the Stone Age for the first time, but the fact that they were opening for Nine Inch Nails. This was to be the second time I had the pleasure of seeing them. Towards the end of the interim between bands camera flashes started going off in anticipation of Trent Reznor and the rest of his band hitting the stage. This is when it finally hit me. I had always wanted to write a book but had never quite figured out what I wanted to write about. When I was younger I never really took that many pictures but the camera flashes got me thinking about how other people document their life through the pictures they take. It is said that a photograph is worth a thousand words. With that in mind someone can look at one of their photographs and tell you exactly where they were, who they were with, and all the circumstances surrounding that moment in time. When I started thinking about this it dawned on me that I document my life in the same manner through my concert ticket stubs because I’ve kept one from each concert I have ever been to. I can look at the stub and tell you the exact date, who attended the concert with me, where I worked at the time, who I was dating, etc. That is what spawned this blog (originally intended as a book).
This concert was special because it was a “2 for the price of 1.” Let me explain. By this point the internet had taken over the ticket world and more specifically the legal ticket scalping world. Basically even if you logged on to Ticketmaster, etc. right when the tickets first went on sale you would still end up getting really crappy seats that were expensive because the legal scalpers had figured out a way to suck up all the good tickets that were not already given out to radio stations, etc. I say this because I had pretty much all but given up on buying tickets the traditional way and instead tried to buy tickets off of people looking to get rid of them at the last minute. This was one of those times but I ended up buying it for way less than face value (I want to say $20) from a legal scalper. He said that they just bought too many and now were trying to unload them for something.
Nine Inch Nails was touring for With Teeth that had come out in May and this was the first night of the tour. They came out behind what looked like a giant mesh screen that images were projected onto and they proceeded to take us on a thorough musical journey. Jeordie White (better known as Twiggy from Marilyn Manson) was in this incarnation of the Nine Inch Nails touring band. So they played what seemed like a full set but all of a sudden they stopped playing and disappeared for quite awhile. Nobody knew what the hell was going on until Trent came out and apologized to the crowd saying they had an unexpected emergency and would be coming back to make it up at a later date. It turns out what happened is they had to cut their set short because the drummer Jerome Dillon had a heart-related health issue that caused him to be rushed to the hospital. They ended up coming back on November 20th to play the “make up date” which was just fine with me.