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28 February, 2008

Not for me, thanks

A thread at the independent Porcupine Tree Forum, on the topic of drugs at concerts, has been running since last August, but I've only just noticed (without intending to be judgmental) that of those members whose profiles state their ages, those writing in an authoritative manner (which isn't quite the same as being authoritative) about the 'mind-expansion' offered by drugs and asserting that drugs are an enhancement to concerts, are all under 20.

I openly assert (not 'admit', as that implies wrongdoing), that I've tried a range of drugs over the years, though nothing illegal within recent memory and I no longer drink. My choice, and I certainly have no moral objections to drugs. However, I found the 'mind-expanding' aspect totally illusory: things might feel more profound in the moment of feeling them, but they're not. Really – they're not. Trust me; I have been there, though I grew out of solipsism fairly quickly.

Likewise at concerts: marijuana and alcohol might be 'fun', but they didn't genuinely enhance the music (for me). I found that I enjoyed some concerts whilst at the concert, but had no recollection of setlists, etc., afterwards, or even whether the music was any good. Cannabis & concerts was very much a failed experiment for me, and as I've said before, I attend concerts to ignore the crowd and listen to the music, not 'to party' or to 'get inside the experience (man)', so I stopped drinking at concerts well before making the decision to stop drinking.
It's the difference between wanting to appreciate the music and remember it weeks later, and wanting to solely live in the moment, for the transitory thrill. I'm not saying one is 'better' than the other, but I choose the former.

The trigger for cutting alcohol out of concerts was a Fish show on the 'Field Of Crows' tour (Liverpool Academy, 05/04/04). I remember the bar, Fish walking on stage... and absolutely nothing else until the walk back to the railway station. What a waste.

Whatever; so long as other people's head expansion doesn't block my view of the stage and I don't have to partake of their drugs (i.e. no smoking in concert venues, cannabis or otherwise), I'm not bothered what they do.


Heh, I guess it's true what they say: You will never be as smart as you were when you were 18.

Difference is, once you reach a certain level of maturity (usually linked to age, though not necessarily), you start to realize that you do NOT, in fact, know everything, and so you start to actually listen to what other people have to say as well.

Posted by Deviant at February 28, 2008 08:18 PM

I think there's a difference between having a couple of beers before or at a gig, and getting so drunk you can't remember the gig afterwards.

I'm going to have to cut down on liquid consumption when I've needed to visit the loo in mid-set, though.

I think one drawback of drink and/or drugs is that they can create the illusion that a band is quite good when the reality is they're really rather rubbish. 'Beer ears' is a similar sort of phenomenem to 'Beer goggles'.

Posted by Tim Hall at March 1, 2008 06:03 PM
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