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Mini-Eminems and the P.O.S. concert review that never was

Last Friday night I learned that *gasp* I'm old. Speaking as someone unafraid to admit ownership of Huey Lewis and Neil Diamond records, I was already fully aware that I was completely square ... but old? That was a new one, even for me. Pizza Lu...

Last Friday night I learned that *gasp* I'm old.

Speaking as someone unafraid to admit ownership of Huey Lewis and Neil Diamond records, I was already fully aware that I was completely square ... but old?

That was a new one, even for me.

Pizza Luce was the location. I was there to catch P.O.S.'s show, as I've been a fan of Stef Alexander (let's face it, rap "handles" are so passé) since Building Better Bombs, his hardcore punk outfit, used to play quasi-dives like St. Cloud's Java Joint.

Then came his P.O.S. records.

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Often featuring the production prowess of Emily Bloodmobile and Lazerbeak, fellow members of Minneapolis' Doomtree collective, they remain largely unrivaled in the national hip-hop scene.

No joke. Songs like "Yeah Right (Science Science)," "Stand Up (Let's Get Murdered)" and "P.O.S. is Ruining My Life" are blistering and innovative, giving hope to the stale hip-hop scene of late.

Anyway, back to Friday night: P.O.S.'s MySpace page said the show was at 7 p.m., so, being the responsible journalist that I am, I arrived about 20 minutes early. To my dismay, I found the "concert floor" completely full of people -- who didn't appear to be P.O.S. fans by any means -- shoveling assorted pizza products into their mouths.

Perhaps Stef and Turbo Nemesis, his DJ, were running late? (There is a White Castle on the way up here, after all....)

So I asked for a table. They said roughly 45 minutes.

I can handle this, I thought, it will give me time to explore the eatery's alternative literature selection and wait for my date, the aptly titled "wifey."

I was happy to finally get my hands on a copy of High Plains Drifter, but something I read really grinded my gears. Almost as if it were taunting me, a Pizza Luce calendar expressly stated that the P.O.S. show wasn't starting until 11.

Knowing full well that Mac Lethal was opening up the show, my bemusing smirk creaked, sputtered and reared an ugly frown as I realized Stef probably wouldn't take the stage until after midnight.

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Late showtimes aren't usually problems for Fridays (I said I was old, not dead), but it was going to make our planned domestic duties for the next morning even less desirable.

Ever the optimist, though, I quickly thought of a little game to brighten the mood: I would somehow try stretching my dinner and drinks with the "permadate" to the time of the show.

My grand plan started to fizzle, however, when we finally got a table -- closer to the 8 o'clock hour than the 45-minute mark -- and it was right next to the door.

January winds in Duluth? Cold. Friday nights at Luce? Busy. (That blasted door opened every 15 seconds.)

But the cold breeze in our laps wasn't even the worst part.

That would go to every snivelling, yappy customer -- waiting their hour -- scrunched into the crowded entrance, practically leaning on our appetizers.

So what was already shaping up to be a miserable night somehow managed to get a whole lot worse when P.O.S.'s teen-aged fans started showing up. By the time we actually got our pizza (my game plan included requiring our server to bring us appetizers before we would even consider ordering our main dishes), a small army of these dopes had amassed.

There's no easy way to put this, but the appearance of this wigger parade -- cocked hats, flat bills, jeans hanging down to their knees -- had me giggling in my potato pizza.

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After the laughing fit subsided, however, I leaned over and mouthed to my wife, "We have to leave."

It's not as if I felt threatened by this little Caucasian gang -- as I'm sure most of them weren't even old enough to drive -- but the combination of a much later showtime, early morning commitments and the thought of trying to appreciate a show with tomorrow's juvenile delinquents acting like fools overwhelmed me.

The whole experience was just too much.

I'm too old to spend my precious time on Earth getting my overpriced beer spilled on me by punks who won't be able to drink legally until I'm in my 30s.

I'm sure I sound like a tired old right-winger spewing self-righteous venom on kids just looking for a good time, but I can't shake the feeling that some of them might get into trouble if they keep copping these gangster "'tudes."

Honestly, how could these wannabes possibly take themselves seriously?

There is some violent imagery in the world of P.O.S., sure, but it's all an act.

Stef's no gangster, and I sure as hell hope Duluth's impressionable youth don't think, even for one second, that he is.

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I also hope that it's all just a phase for the group of kids I saw at Pizza Luce, I really do, but I'd sleep a whole lot better at night knowing their parents hugged them daily.

Maybe, too, they could tell them they love them, but they are dressing and acting like idiots? Too much to ask?

Matthew R. Perrine is a reporter for the Budgeteer. He can be reached at 723-1207, mperrine@duluthbudgeteer.com or www.flyhighduluth.com -- ahh, yes, good times.

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