Friday, August 6, 2010


Vince and I were invited to join two of our good friends at the Devo concert the other night at the Ohio State Fair, so we happily accepted their invite. It’s not that I’m a huge Devo fan, but I wanted to go because (a) I haven’t been to the Ohio State Fair in nearly two decades and I thought I should see if it had changed any. (It hadn’t. Much. Still lots of food concessions, Lemon Shake-Up stands and booths where you can buy Elephant Ears. Whatever they are.)

Oh, and (b) I haven’t been to a concert in, well, I don’t know how many decades. I figured it was about time I climbed out of my non-concert-attending rut and I thought I might better handle the concert-going crowd for a band from the 70s as opposed to the frenzied crowd attending, say, a Lady GaGa concert.

I guess I’ve never been a fan of huge crowds and ear-splitting music. Doesn’t matter if it’s a mellow Michael BublĂ© concert, chances are there will be some major honkin’ speakers so the guy sitting in the very last row can hear – and my good ear will be ringing for several days. Not a great thing when one ear doesn’t work at all and the other one is aging as we speak.

Nevertheless, I gamely sat in the surprisingly comfy chairs (they had backs, which makes any stadium-type seating more comfy) and I did not wear an ear plug!

And I have to tell you – I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

Devo band members have to be pushing 60, but they put on a great show! They jumped around on stage and sang their little hearts out and even had several costume changes, including the plastic flowerpot thingies they wear on their heads and the yellow pull-apart jumpsuits that mid-song they, well, pulled apart. Eventually they ripped them off entirely and threw the pieces to the crowd.

(What do fans do with such “memorabilia”? Make a little Devo shrine with their scrap of jumpsuit? Hmmm…inquiring minds…)

While it’s true that I pretty much only recognized (for sure) Devo’s signature song, “Whip It,” I still tapped my feet and bounced my head in time with the rest of the music. I suspect I have heard some of their other songs before, but couldn’t sing along to any word-for-word like some of their true fans.

I can’t imagine being such a Devo devotee (ha) that I’d walk around wearing a bright blue plastic flowerpot on my head, but there were many others who did. And, while I wouldn’t pay actual money for one of those hats, I wouldn’t have thrown it away if I’d caught one that lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh threw into the crowd during the show.

After all, Halloween is coming up in a coupla months. Or, heck, I could use something like that to plant some petunias. (What can I say? We simply don’t have the extra room for a Devo shrine.)

Just prior to entering the center for the show, the four of us explored some of the booths at the Fair and my friends made a stop at a miles-long candy stand that sells stuff I hadn’t seen since I was a kid like Wax Bottles, Mary Janes, Jawbreakers and Bulls Eye Caramels. We picked out some of our favorites and spent way too much money for nostalgic trips down the memory lanes of our childhoods.

I found it rather amusing that the four of us sat munching Good & Plenty candy while waiting for the show to start. It wasn’t all that long ago that we would’ve been drinking some good & plenty (of) beer before attending a concert. And, heck, it wouldn’t necessarily have needed to be good – just plenty!

My, how times change!

But all in all, it was an enjoyable evening spent with good friends. And I can now say I’ve been to (a) the Ohio State Fair this century and (b) a Devo concert.

After we left the fairgrounds, I sort of wished I’d stopped at the Lemon Shake-Up stand. And, sadly, I still can’t say I’ve ever tried an “elephant ear.” Maybe I can work on that goal in the next decade. No ear plugs required!

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