Tuesday, August 9, 2016
The first sign that this was going to be weird was when we pulled the van up, and two guys stumbled down the stairway that led to the stage carrying a third guy who was too drunk to walk, and seconds from spilling his cookies all over the road cases. These three were followed by a steady, firehose-like stream of drunken young people. As we loaded in, we were like salmon swimming against the stream. And the stream was seriously hammered. It was 3:30 am, and we were scheduled to play a 5am sunrise concert to close out the seaside bacchanal know here on the Italian Adriatic Riviera as Notte Rosa (Pink Night) - where the pretty girls wear crowns of flowers, and the pretty boys do their best to impress them. There wasn't a person over the age of twenty-five in the vast horde, and by the time we took the stage, they had been raging all day and all through the night. But from the first notes the drunken throng pressed up to the edge of the stage and sent a wave of happy, drunken, manic energy our way. For the hour we played, the scene was always on the razor's edge of spinning out of control. As I worked the crowd I thought: "Fuck yes! This is rock and roll the way it should be!" I also feared for my life. By 6:30, the sun was up, the show was over, and most of the kids had begun their long unsteady walk home. That was a gig I won't soon forget.