When the lights dim, the cropreviously toasting and loudly speaking/laughing with their peers, falls silent for a brief second as they all turn toward the stage. The brief pause filled with anticipation, followed by arms raised cheering. Then the Peanuts theme plays. Everyone throw out your sad Christmas tree because it’s that time of year again. Throwdown! Each year around this time, my friends and I take a magical journey back to our youth, reverting to our 22 year old selves by seeing a band we used to see way back in the day, when the following was true in our lives: Someone's always up to something one thing's always understood if nothing happened in a minute wait another, something would
Sure it wasn’t Queensbury, but it was Hemenway.
So we pilgrimage (ok, it’s a short pilgrimage) to see the Mighty Mighty Bosstones this time each year for the Hometown Throwdown. Allowing escape to the younger version of ourselves. I still have the blazer I wore to the Middle East shows. I remember how much I loved the Doc Martins I wore, back when we could go 5 nights in a row. The only thinking shocking about 5 nights in a row was that we could afford it. Five nights which would result in actual weight loss, despite beer consumption. So sad to say, but these days 3 nights feels a bit crazy and completely wears us out. The youngsters stare us like they can’t believe we can rock it out, but oh, us ageless hipsters, we can.
Every year I’m astounded at the young people who love the band as much as we do. What turned them on to this band that tours and puts out albums infrequently? Last night Dickie asked for a show of hands for who was old school. The actual 22 year olds around us were all waving their arms in the air. I turned and said: you are so NOT old school. You don’t even know what old school is. These guys were playing when you were in a crib. We were watching them play when you were in a crib. I don’t have pictures or video from my first Throwdown because there were NO cell phones then. Ponder that, wee one. (note: if you think debating with a 22 year old whether they are old school or not is a good idea, it may be time to question some of your life choices or have another drink. Note 2: when they brought Nate Albert out, pee wees did not seem to know who he was. I think my point is made). Yes, I see it. I’m not even my parents in the above paragraph, I’m my grandparents (why would anyone want a vcr? But I digress). Dickie is rockin some fine red docs.
Despite my apparently early onset old age crankiness, the Throwdown is one of the highlights of our year. We dance, we sing, we watch (mostly) the same boys we’ve watched for all these years enjoying themselves doing the same. The matching suites, the lights, the faux snow, the confetti, Santa and Blanta… it’s all part of one fantastic, fun experience that you can’t get anywhere. How many things do you love when young that grow with you so you can continue to love them? It’s a gift to have all this (and the Boston sports teams.. come on!).
In the end it’s about old friends, the kind of friends who can pick right up after not seeing each other for a while without missing a beat, still having fun together. So as long as they do it, we’ll be there. Thanks boys and happy holidays.
Last hurrah? Na uhhh, I’d do it again.
Significantly better pictures here: http://bdcwire.com/gallery/show-scenes-mighty-mighty-bosstones-hometown-throwdown/