Brooklyns at the Pepsi Center
According to the Guy Code, it is not socially acceptable for two guys to split a burger or any other food item when out in a group. This rule is well defined; the only people allowed to share are girls, couples and men who are inclined to split a "salad." And it's really only okay for couples to share when the guy half orders something he really wants, knowing that through a combination of speedy gluttony and keeping his elbows up, he'll manage to eat over 75 percent of it. Unfortunately, after several million beers, this very important principle was ignored by the new Swiss and Polish representatives to the Institute of Drinking Studies.
Although we'd already overstuffed ourselves on wings and artichoke dip at Brooklyn's at the Pepsi Center (901 Auraria Parkway), we decided to continue with the Roman bacchanalia theme and order entrees. That's when we heard the Pole ask the Swiss, "Do we want cheese on our burger?" The Institute consensus was that this kind of behavior was way too "progressive" -- but we also agreed that it kind of fit the profile of two guys who had seen Neil Diamond and Queen in concert. Defusing the situation through humor, the Pole told us that to make things really progressive, he'd sing "Song Sung Blue" to the Swiss as they shared the burger. At that, the rest of us moved on; we weren't there to discuss prison life.
We were there to prepare for the event of the year: the Who. And Brooklyn's had quickly shown it was the right place for this activity, setting the mood by playing a continuous loop of Who classics. I was less impressed by the fact that we were socked away in a corner with no real room to expand beyond the three early arrivals to our anticipated ten members -- but when we suggested that we pull over an adjacent table, our highly snotty hostess informed us that it belonged to another waitperson. We didn't want to move locations, though, because our personal waitperson was superb. If my Guinness was at the halfway mark, he asked if I wanted another; if it was below that, he just brought another. So when the rest of our party finally showed, we took matters into our own hands and simply usurped the nearby table, letting our waiter work it out with his colleague, who was already buried with a larger group. The snotty hostess was not at all pleased, and insinuated that I should leave running the restaurant to her. To which I responded that Brooklyn's should hire a hostess old enough to legally drink, someone who understands the social implications of concert preparation.
Because beyond the show itself, concerts are all about being social. From the time you get your tickets, there's a buildup to the main event. You have to plan where to start the night, who's going to remember the tickets, who's going to smuggle the camera into the concert hall, who's going to carry the overpriced souvenirs you buy, and who's going to drive home. Reliving past concerts, especially your first and best, is a required activity, as is making new connections. As you sweat it out on the floor, singing at the top of your lungs, playing your favorite air instrument and sharing assorted intoxicants, you invariably bond with your neighbors. Back at Brooklyn's after the show, the Scotsman was so effective in his quest for cigarettes that he not only got his "fags," but also a place for us to stay should we ever be in the Springs. And still later, the affable Steve opened his home to us, where we shared smokes, shots and a detailed rehashing of the Who's phenomenal performance.
Brooklyn's proved the perfect beginning and almost-end to one of the best concerts ever, and you should be sorry if you missed it. (Fortunately, a DVD and CD of the show are available at www.themusic.com, with all proceeds going to charity.) The staff -- aside from the hostess -- was great, and if you absolutely must share, the portions are just big enough for you to split a burger with your closest concert companion.
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