As we approached Detroit, the billboards were becoming more frequent, more and more buildings appeared along the road, big warehouses and shopping centers, typical of the outskirts of major cities, while the light slowly faded from the sky above.
It began to snow.
Suddenly, a chasm opened to our left. An enormous industrial site lay beneath huge, black clouds of smoke, our whole field of vision was filled with steel pipes, metal walls, tanks and towers, and it seemed to be on fire, there were flames leaping up in several places, patches of glowing and flickering orange beneath the darkening sky, against the backdrop of bulging, black clouds.
“Look at that!” I said.
“Oh, yeah,” he said. “Man is an awful and disgusting species.”
“But it’s so beautiful!”
When the first band came on stage, I realized that it wasn’t going to happen. They played some kind of blues rock, with reference to the sound of early 1970s, Grateful Dead-ish, but in a high-school-graduation-party kind of way. The band knew how to play, but they knew how to play the way 14- and 15-year-olds know how to play.
Was this for real?
Weren’t we in Detroit?