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Gonzo Report: Coping with Citizen at Observatory North Park

“I got doxed by a famous multi-million follower Instagrammer”

How to cope after missing Citizen Cope.
How to cope after missing Citizen Cope.

I thought I bought tickets to see Citizen Cope. Instead, my scattered head bought tickets to see a band called Citizen. A blunder of this magnitude told me I needed to meditate and turn away from the suck of my phone for a dopamine detox. I coped with my folly by going to the show anyway. I hadn’t been to the North Park Observatory since Henry Rollins passed through on his spoken word tour last October, so I figured it was time to step back into the venue.

Place

Observatory North Park

2891 University Avenue, San Diego

A few hours before showtime, I was still grinding at the day job. My boss told me there was probably going to be overtime that night. “I’m working undertime tonight, actually,” I said. “A halfy.” She snickered at the word “halfy” and walked away, accepting that I would be leaving work early instead of late. When seven o’clock rolled around, I punched the clock, already clad in my concert gear — simple gray denim pants, basic black T-shirt, and a pair of old black Chucks. This is my everyday uniform. It’s a universal look that will gain you access to most any casual-to-moderate soiree.

I missed out on the overtime potluck at work, and arrived at the Observatory with a hankering for Mexican food. Lucha Libre was winking at me from across the street on University Avenue, but I was already a little tardy for the show. The venue’s restaurant/bar would have to do. I made the deal with the bearded barkeep for a 16-ounce honey blonde ale and plate of chicken nachos for thirty-five bones, after tip. A couple of fellows around my age posted up next to me at the bar, providing some company on a night I had decided to stay stag. They called themselves Bobby and James from Vista. They had made the trip down to see some middle-of-the-week live music because, as Bobby quipped, “Why the fuck not?”

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Happy birthday, James from Vista!

“I think we’re the oldest people in here,” James said to the bartender. It was an all-ages show, but he was right. When I took a look around, I saw galaxies of pimples and nervous-but-excited young faces. “The bar is usually empty on these kinds of nights,” said the bartender. This fact boded well for the Vista guys and me., drinkwise at least. We kept our spines curved on stools and our mugs wet until Citizen took to the stage. (We couldn’t see the opening acts, but we could hear them just fine.)

Before going out to join the rest of the crowd, I exchanged Instagram info with Bobby and James. “I have to give you my new account name,” James told me. “I got doxed by a famous multi-million-follower Instagrammer.” According to James, the famous Instagrammer who tried to dox him disagreed with a comment he made online in regards to the Covid vaccine. “So he tried to cancel culture you?” I asked. “Yeah, he found out where I work, got my boss’s email address, and tried to get me fired. Fuckin’ douchebag.” The conversation then turned to an upcoming sumo wrestling tournament and James’ one-eyed cat. Finally, we left the bar to watch the actual show.

I’d heard of the band Citizen from my brother-in-law; he had told me it was a shoegaze act that “isn’t bad.” Bobby, James, and I made our way near the upper-front-stage-right, getting swallowed up in a sea of emo as we did so. James and I stood back with beers gripped in our mitts. But Bobby, who was standing in front of us, started cutting loose like a July lawnmower. I didn’t know music like this could evoke such dancing, but hell yeah, get it Bobby. The man must have been caged up for months to unleash that kind of pert movement. I was surprised nobody notified the authorities. Bobby was on fire, and could be stopped only by the water spraying from the bottle Citizen singer Mat Kerekes sent spiraling into the crowd.

After a short, crowd-requested encore, James said he wanted to try to meet the band. “I could tell those security guards I’m doing an accidental story on the show, and try to finagle something,” I said. But when we walked to the back of the building, Citizen singer Kerekes was already out taking pictures with fans. There was no real need for me to try to pull the press card at this point. James and Bobby stood beside Kerekes and posed for a post-concert picture. Then I heard James tell Bobby it was one of the better birthdays he’s had in recent years. What? This was a birthday celebration too? They should have told me. I might have danced.

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How to cope after missing Citizen Cope.
How to cope after missing Citizen Cope.

I thought I bought tickets to see Citizen Cope. Instead, my scattered head bought tickets to see a band called Citizen. A blunder of this magnitude told me I needed to meditate and turn away from the suck of my phone for a dopamine detox. I coped with my folly by going to the show anyway. I hadn’t been to the North Park Observatory since Henry Rollins passed through on his spoken word tour last October, so I figured it was time to step back into the venue.

Place

Observatory North Park

2891 University Avenue, San Diego

A few hours before showtime, I was still grinding at the day job. My boss told me there was probably going to be overtime that night. “I’m working undertime tonight, actually,” I said. “A halfy.” She snickered at the word “halfy” and walked away, accepting that I would be leaving work early instead of late. When seven o’clock rolled around, I punched the clock, already clad in my concert gear — simple gray denim pants, basic black T-shirt, and a pair of old black Chucks. This is my everyday uniform. It’s a universal look that will gain you access to most any casual-to-moderate soiree.

I missed out on the overtime potluck at work, and arrived at the Observatory with a hankering for Mexican food. Lucha Libre was winking at me from across the street on University Avenue, but I was already a little tardy for the show. The venue’s restaurant/bar would have to do. I made the deal with the bearded barkeep for a 16-ounce honey blonde ale and plate of chicken nachos for thirty-five bones, after tip. A couple of fellows around my age posted up next to me at the bar, providing some company on a night I had decided to stay stag. They called themselves Bobby and James from Vista. They had made the trip down to see some middle-of-the-week live music because, as Bobby quipped, “Why the fuck not?”

Sponsored
Sponsored
Happy birthday, James from Vista!

“I think we’re the oldest people in here,” James said to the bartender. It was an all-ages show, but he was right. When I took a look around, I saw galaxies of pimples and nervous-but-excited young faces. “The bar is usually empty on these kinds of nights,” said the bartender. This fact boded well for the Vista guys and me., drinkwise at least. We kept our spines curved on stools and our mugs wet until Citizen took to the stage. (We couldn’t see the opening acts, but we could hear them just fine.)

Before going out to join the rest of the crowd, I exchanged Instagram info with Bobby and James. “I have to give you my new account name,” James told me. “I got doxed by a famous multi-million-follower Instagrammer.” According to James, the famous Instagrammer who tried to dox him disagreed with a comment he made online in regards to the Covid vaccine. “So he tried to cancel culture you?” I asked. “Yeah, he found out where I work, got my boss’s email address, and tried to get me fired. Fuckin’ douchebag.” The conversation then turned to an upcoming sumo wrestling tournament and James’ one-eyed cat. Finally, we left the bar to watch the actual show.

I’d heard of the band Citizen from my brother-in-law; he had told me it was a shoegaze act that “isn’t bad.” Bobby, James, and I made our way near the upper-front-stage-right, getting swallowed up in a sea of emo as we did so. James and I stood back with beers gripped in our mitts. But Bobby, who was standing in front of us, started cutting loose like a July lawnmower. I didn’t know music like this could evoke such dancing, but hell yeah, get it Bobby. The man must have been caged up for months to unleash that kind of pert movement. I was surprised nobody notified the authorities. Bobby was on fire, and could be stopped only by the water spraying from the bottle Citizen singer Mat Kerekes sent spiraling into the crowd.

After a short, crowd-requested encore, James said he wanted to try to meet the band. “I could tell those security guards I’m doing an accidental story on the show, and try to finagle something,” I said. But when we walked to the back of the building, Citizen singer Kerekes was already out taking pictures with fans. There was no real need for me to try to pull the press card at this point. James and Bobby stood beside Kerekes and posed for a post-concert picture. Then I heard James tell Bobby it was one of the better birthdays he’s had in recent years. What? This was a birthday celebration too? They should have told me. I might have danced.

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