The Spin Doctors Still Got It

There are questions I ponder in those quiet few moments between bothering chatting w/ B and drifting off to sleep at night. Did Switchfoot single-handedly provide the soundtrack for that Mandy Moore movie about those kids in the south who get married in high school? Does the lead singer from Third Eye Blind still look like he does in the “Semi-Charmed Life” video? Are the Spin Doctors still living off the success of “Two Princes?” This weekend I was able to get my answers. And they are, respectively: yes, yes, and hell yes (obviously).

No, I wasn’t transported back in time to the late 90’s. Even better: I had front-row tickets to a music festival with hundreds of bands, backstage access, and free alcohol. Well, almost: a free concert hosted by a Boston radio station that was so insanely crowded we couldn’t even really see any of the four bands that performed. For a music fan, it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Eve 6 started the line-up, but they went on at noon and B and I weren’t able to drag ourselves there in time. Nothing brings me back to my middle school years like a rousing rendition of “Inside Out,” so I wasn’t too upset about missing them (I hated my middle school years).

We were expecting a decent crowd, seeing as how it was an absolutely beautiful day at a well-known venue in the middle of the city. What we weren’t expecting was to deal with more young adults than a free happy hour hosted by Blue Moon and Ben & Jerry’s. Looks like we weren’t the only ones nostalgic for our angsty teenage years.

I’m really at my best on hot, sticky days stuck in a throng of slow-moving people outside a line of heavily-utilized portapotties. That’s what the concert experience is all about, right? Somehow I was able to snag us a spot in direct exposure of the beating sun and right off the beaten path so all the passer-byers were stepping on our blanket and wheeling their strollers over our fingers. We were sweating profusely, trying to hide the fact that we were sweating profusely by pretending to enjoy the Switchfoot song that no one knew (it wasn’t one from that Mandy Moore movie), when we realized we’d never make it to the Spin Doctors at this rate. I had been eyeing a vacant spot a few feet away under a tree, and when I saw a couple saunter off, I pounced. We now had shade and a closer proximity to a blanket full of girls who had thought to bring sandwiches and Chex Mix. I didn’t know if I should try to make fast friends in the hopes that they’d share, or wait it out for them to feed the ducks and then intercept the food.

Fortunately the Spin Doctors came on soon after that and the food envy was forgotten. I was wondering whether they’d open with “Two Princes,” close with “Two Princes,” or just play it over and over since it’s the only song anyone was interested in hearing. They didn’t open with it: shocking. Midway through their set they played a song I knew: even more shocking. B and I were singing along to “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong,” and by singing along I mean repeating the title over and over because those were the only lyrics we knew.

“Two Princes” was their last song, and it was everything I dreamed it would be. I don’t know why I have some weird obsession with that song. Maybe the deep lyrics like “you marry me, your father will disown you, he’ll eat his hat now” initially drew me in. But it’s the underlying message that really resonates with me: this pauper realizes he has no chance against Richy Rich, so instead of buckling down and getting a job, he writes a song insisting he won’t feel emasculated if she wants to buy him flowers; his exact thoughts on the matter are “Just go ahead now.” I sure am glad I’m not in this girls shoes. Suitor #1 is a man with diamonds in his pockets. Suitor #2 is a man who, in his own words, has no future or family tree. Good luck with all that, girlfrand.


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