Eat on the beat

Snacking out during festival season

SONIC REDUCER Once upon a strange, overly prepared, possibly paranoid post-9/11-related time not so long ago, I'd bring my lunch to shows at Shoreline Amphitheatre, then–Concord Pavilion, and all those other mammoth Sleep Train–sponsored yet intrinsically antisnooze behemoths. I'd pack a heaving Dagwood of cold cuts and assorted cheeses and energy bars into a backpack for random spates of balls-out rockin' in burbs and office parks. What was I thinking? Guess I felt goofy partaking in those pricey, once-no-frills concession stands o' paltry choices. Will it be a $7 Bud or $12 Corona, milady?

My only point in this pointless universe of sunburn, service fees, and loud, loud music is that it looks incredibly silly to come too correctly sometimes, especially when one takes in all-day musical twofers like the Harmony Festival and BFD in one fell weekend, hoping to study the cultural disconnect.

Still, the disjunction started way earlier, while at Harmony, cruising the many-splendored superwheatgrass concoctions, nut ices, and organic brown-rice-and-veggie-bowl stands (here somewhat more affordable than making a meal at a movie theater) and sticking out like a black-garbed Trenchcoat Mafiosa amid the dreadlocked sk8ter bois and Marin wealth gypsies with perfectly crimped hair. So too at BFD, playing arcade basketball backstage, studying Interpol and the Faint as they attempted to summon dark magic in broad daylight, and feeling peckish and jaded for noting the all-male standard-issue modern-rock lineups dominating the main stage.

I just didn't go far enough in packing num-nums for all-day summer music lovin' — after all, when in Rome and paying Rome's hefty ticket prices, why not dress, smell, and quaff like those kooky Romans do? (And why not get a brain transplant while you're at it?) As author Kara Zuaro might say, "I like food, food tastes good," but I also like saving nonexistent moolah and embedding myself seamlessly clad in average fan camouflage.

Hence a modest proposal for blending in at and sneaking grub into this summer's shed performances:

THE SHOW: The Police, the Fratellis, and Fiction Plane. Wed/13, 6:30 p.m., $50–$225. McAfee Coliseum, Oakl.

THE LOOK: Blond wig, placenta facial, an afternoon in the spray-tanning salon, tantric sex charm bracelet.

THE FLASK: Guinness-laced nut milk shake to please the food police.

THE SHOW: Gwen Stefani, Akon, and Lady Sovereign. Tues/19, 7:30 p.m., $25–$79.50. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. (650) 967-3000.

THE LOOK: Blond wig, stunna shades, ab-baring lederhosen, and a pout.

THE LUNCH BOX: A single Ricola in sympathy with Stefani, who claims to have been dieting since she was 10.

THE SHOW: Vans Warped Tour, including Bad Religion, the Matches, Flogging Molly, Pennywise, and Tiger Army. July 1, noon, $29.99. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. (650) 967-3000.

THE LOOK: Black T-shirt, faux-hawk, and black low-top Converse or checkerboard Vans — why not one on each foot?


THE SHOW: Ozzfest, including Ozzy Osbourne, Lamb of God, Static X, Lordi, Hatebreed, Behemoth, and Nick Oliveri and the Mondo Generator. July 19, noon, free. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View.

THE LOOK: Black T-shirt, stunna shades, floppy shorts.

THE FANNYPACK: Seitan, cheddar cheese Combos, a quart of Gorilla Fart No. 666.

THE SHOW: Bone Bash VIII, with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Pat Traves, and Laidlaw. July 20, 5:45 p.m., $10.77–$59.50. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View.

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