2006-04-23

X-X-X!

For once, I promise a post that has nothing to do with pornography.

Last night, the thirty-third (or as our Jamaican MC, Junior Francis, says "turdy-turd") annual Kohoutek music festival concluded with the 70's glam rock alien-themed band Zolar X. The band mates are now in their 50s, but still don white space wigs, pointy ears, and glittery boots, all while speaking in their own self-created language.

The performance was the ultimate case study in mob mentality. Except for Alex, the individual responsible for bringing the band here, I doubt that anyone had heard of Zolar X prior to their arrival (from the planet Plutonian, no less), but Alex insisted that we get excited for the act. Before the band even begins, my group of friends lines up in front of the stage, crossing our arms to form an "X" while loudly chanting the letter in anticipation. Seeing the commotion, others gathered around, because who wants to be left out of something so exciting? We clearly loved them, so everyone else thought they should, too.

When the set started, it seemed like most of the audience was confused. This is the headliner? These old people speaking gibberish are all the rage? Our section of intense fandom persisted, though, and soon the crowd was joining in on the moshing, squealing, and X-arm movements, because, well, sometimes it's just fun to go crazy for something this bizarre. Throughout the entire set, whenever I became conscious of what was transpiring, I burst out into uncontrollable laughter. This music is nothing I would typically listen to, yet I couldn't possibly be happier in that moment. Everyone was responding in a similar fashion, so these aging rockers must have felt like total gods in that moment. I can pretty much guarantee that there is not another campus in the country that would behave that way for a 70's glam band, and that is why Pitzer is truly amazing. Also I crowd surfed and no one dropped me. Pitzer is also amazing for that reason, too.

After the show, Zolar X invited a handful of students to help them eat the large buffet that had been provided for them. I jumped at the opportunity, because how often do you get to hang out in an intimate setting with a 70s glam rock band? I had thought the performance was surreal, but the experience of conversing with these guys was one of the most surreal moments of my life. Like our own private Behind the Music special, they dished about their background, which includes a lot of sex, addiction, and even incarceration. Later, the lead singer even previewed some new songs for us acoustically, which was weird. The entire time I kept thinking, "I am being treated to a private concert by greatness - well, not greatness, but a 70s glam rock band, which is hilarious, and thus, greatness." Then he dedicated a song, "Cosmic Ballerina," to Lacey. Oh, Lacey. She gets all of the older gentlemen with codpieces.

At the end of the night, the lead singer told us that after his experience with us, he had made up a new word for his language which meant "friend." Everyone awwed and group hugged, which Alex later pointed out, was the ending you'd expect from some sitcom finale. I was left out of all of this, however, because I thought he said he made up a word for "fence," which is not nearly as endearing. Obnoxiously, I said, "Fence? Why fence?" thus embarrassing myself for the first time in front of Zolar X. The second occasion on which I embarrassed myself for the band is when the lead singer handed a flyer to Lacey and then disappeared. Well, it's not like he actually disappeared, but somehow I lost sight of him even though he was in plain sight just a few feet away from me, and I loudly asked, "Did he just disappear?" Until that moment, I didn't realize just how drunk I was, or how much I had started to believe in his alien stories and magical powers. Some people laughed, others smacked their heads, but the lead singer just gave me a look that indicated it was probably time that I quit drinking. Before I knew it, the band disappeared, for real this time.

I will greatly miss Zolar X, wherever they are in the universe.

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