Friday, July 23, 2010

Everything You Wanted to Know About Recycling, 311, Beer Cans, Jumping, Offspring, and Making New Friends ... Give It To Me Baby

Press PLAY to hear the Offspring. Guaranteed to make you feel like the Energizer Bunny.

Wednesday night, I made a new friend "Anastasie" while volunteering on the Green Team at USANA Amphitheater in West Valley City, Utah. The occasion was the Pepper - Offspring - 311 Unity Tour.  Ana and I met in the heat of the summer afternoon at the front gates, and we got better acquainted while Offspring was on stage.  The joint was jumpin' when the band played "Pretty Fly For a White Guy".  The electricity was indescribable.  We were in the aisle rocking out with the young concert crowd.

Around 9 pm, the band 311 came onstage, charming the crowd with  "Beautiful Disaster," "Hey You," "Down," and an amazing drumming marathon that lasted at least ten minutes.  The band transitioned from reggae to rap to rock with seamless finesse, and they kept the crowd in the air the entire night.

I kept working during the concert ... quite a few cups were in the aisles.  We try to educate recycling, but the happy concert goers are focused on the concert, not on recycling or trash management.  Hundreds of beer cups and cans later, Ana and I ran into each other at the top of the amphitheater.  I had been walking more or less since about 6:30 pm and I was exhausted.

"Do you need to sit down?" Ana asked.  Nice of her to ask.

"My son's in Washington DC," she mentioned in between one of 311's songs.

"Really, what's he doing there?" I inquired.

"He's visiting Obama," she beamed proudly.  Apparently her son's scout troop was selected out of a nation of troops to visit the President.  No doubt this meeting was a highlight on their tour of the east coast which included Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington DC.

"My son's in Geneva, Switzerland, working as an intern at the International Labour Organization," I noted.  "He spends his weekends touring the Alps or in France."  He's also going to Portugal, Marakkech, and Istanbul on random upcoming weekends.

"Our sons are doing all these amazing things and here we are wallowing in trash!" she laughed.  Sigh.

It's not like we don't both have respectable day jobs, too -- she's an artist and I'm a banker -- but, when you volunteer on the Green Team, your assignment definitely involves trash, both recyclable and otherwise.  We sat for a minute and listened for 311's big hit "Amber," then headed back through the crowds. Such a pretty song with a metaphysical message.

Whoa, amber is the color of your energy
Whoa, shades of gold displayed naturally

You ought to know what brings me here

You glide through my head blind to fear
And I know why

During the second encore, I was walking through the aisle putting plastic cups in the recycle bins, I made yet another new friend.  A young man, perhaps about 23 years old, tapped me on the shoulder.

"Jump with me," he said in a friendly voice as he jumped excitedly to the music.

So I stopped recycling -- dropped my bag and grabbers -- just for a moment to jump with him.  He was cute and having so much fun, I couldn't resist.  So here I was, jumping up and down to the music with this kid who was young enough to be my kids' younger sibling.

"Are you having fun?" he asked.

Yes, it was fun.  I didn't get his name, and he didn't ask for my phone number.  I'm not a cougar but it's always fun to play with youngsters.

After the concert, I filled two huge bags with plastic cups, cleaned the grabbers, packed away the green vest, said farewell to my Green Team colleagues, and headed home in the night.  Music and making new friends isn't a bad way to spend an evening, even if some random stranger threw beer on my leg.  No, I didn't lick it off when I got home. {tired smile}

Disclosure: I was a volunteer at this concert. I received NO compensation for this review.


  1. How fun for you!! New friend good music and young boys. I might have licked the beer off my leg, or invited the young man to.. Love ya

  2. Yes it was fun and the events of the evening caught me quite by surprise, but I am always open to adventure, to a point. ;Q