George DeSota/London Features
Dalton Ross
July 11, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Dalton vs. the Monsters of Rock

I went to a summer music festival once. The year was 1988. Although I wasn’t much of a metalhead, I had heard of this band Metallica that allegedly possessed the ability to inspire thousands of people to rise in unison and pump their fists in the air while yelling ”Die! Die! Die!” I had to check that out. To see them meant I needed to purchase a ticket to something called Monsters of Rock. (The event logo featured a Godzilla-like creature bashing a stadium with a guitar. Subtle.) So purchase I did, and Metallica did not disappoint. They were fast. They were evil. They were awesome. But there were four other reasons why I should not have attended that concert: Kingdom Come (imagine a really sucky Led Zeppelin cover band), Dokken (what, no umlaut?), the Scorpions (who, contrary to what they would have you believe, did not rock me like a hurricane), and Van Hagar (a.k.a. Van Halen without their original singer). True, I got to see a metal militia wish instantaneous death upon one another, but ultimately, it was a waste of both time and money. And, in retrospect, dignity.

Since then, I have avoided music festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo (which I can barely spell or pronounce correctly), as well as all the packaged summer shows like Lollapalooza and the Vans Warped Tour. It’s not just about exorbitant ticket prices. Heck, Ozzfest is literally giving all its tickets away for free this time around. There are just too many reasons not to go to a music festival. I present for your perusal a few at the top of my list.

POOR KILLER-TO-FILLER RATIO. For every band you want to see play live at a festival, there are usually two to three that you don’t. I’d love to see Iggy and the Stooges at Lollapalooza, but most of the other acts at the three-day event (like moe. and Satellite Party) I could take or leave, especially if I’m going to shell out $195. I’m also kind of curious to check out Lordi at Ozzfest this summer (if for no other reason than they called one of their albums The Arockalypse), but that doesn’t mean I’m down for sitting through a whole day’s worth of death metal from bands I have either never heard of or never want to hear again, especially in 100-degree heat. Which brings us to…

EXPENSIVE WATER. To survive any outdoor festival, you need to stay hydrated. Thankfully, the big concerts have gotten less egregious in their pricing of H2O, but even at, say, $3 a bottle, and a bottle an hour, that’s going to add up to around $30 per day. Look, if I’m going to shell out 30 bucks for water, it had better come with a snorkel, slip ‘n’ slide, and the entire Swedish Bikini Team from those early-’90s Old Milwaukee ads.

NASTY PORTA POTTIES. What happens after you drink all that water? Let me tell you something — I’ve seen some pretty gnarly things in my life: dismembered roadkill, maggots, unclothed grandparents. But none of them can compare to Porta Potties at a rock festival. Going in one of these things is like some sort of horrible Jackass stunt come to life. And that’s assuming you even make it inside of one instead of peeing your pants while waiting in line for half an hour.

RIOTS. One minute you’re plugging your ears, wishing Limp Bizkit would get off the stage, the next, your fellow concertgoers are looting, setting fires, and sexually assaulting women. Hopefully, the stupidity of Woodstock ’99 will never happen again, but if it does, why run the risk of being captured alongside all the other idiots on YouTube for all eternity?

AND, FINALLY…ACID. I don’t take it. Maybe that’s the whole problem right there.


The Five Most Stellar Celebrity Mustaches of the Past 30 Years

1. Tom Selleck
Just think: If he could have gotten out of his Magnum, P.I. contract and done Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy would have been ‘stachetastic!

2. Billy Dee Williams
Thought it was the Colt 45 that nabbed Billy Dee all the ladies? Wrong! It’s the ‘stache, man! Smooth, sexy, and it works every time.

3. John Oates
The mustache was as big as he was small. Sadly, in a miscalculated makeover attempt, Oates lost both the ‘stache and the to-die-for ‘fro.

4. Glenn Hughes
No macho, macho man in the ’70s was complete without the handlebar mustache sported by the Village People’s resident biker.

5. Geraldo Rivera
He may not have found any loot ”’stached” away in Al Capone’s secret vault, but the real treasure lies just north of his upper lip.

Dalton’s off this week, taking his online-exclusive Obsession of the Week and answers to Reader Mail with him — all will be back next week. Greet his return by sending your feelings about summer music festivals, celebrity mustache musings, questions, comments, and quibbles to or just fill out the handy-dandy form below.

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