JESS: I got tickets to the Distillers … For tonight. I would’ve been here sooner, but I had to wait in line. So we should probably get going. I mean, we don’t wanna miss anything, right?
The Distillers, punk rock band, formed in Los Angeles in 1998 by Australian-born vocalist and guitarist Brody Dalle. Their self-titled debut album came out in 2000, and their most recent album was 2002’s Sing Sing Death House, which reached #29 on the US indie charts. Its single “City of Angels” went to #13 on the UK rock charts.
In real life, the Distillers did not perform at a concert in Connecticut in February/March of 2003. They played The Big Day Out at the Green in Glasgow, Scotland on March 24 2003, which seems to be their first gig for that year. However, on February 14 2002, the Distillers played at Toad’s Place, a nightclub in New Haven, Connecticut, which may be part of the inspiration for this scene.
The timeline for this seems questionable. Jess went to Rory’s place at 7.30 pm, where Lorelai gave him a talking to. He then apparently drove to Hartford or New Haven, in order to line up and buy concert tickets. He somehow has time to then drive back to Stars Hollow, and catch Rory just as she is leaving the hockey game, which would have finished no later than 9 pm.
Now he and Rory are going to drive to Hartford or New Haven again, getting there around 10 pm to watch the concert. This doesn’t seem to be possible, especially as Rory is shown getting home when Lorelai is still up and having a late night meal in the kitchen.
I suppose if the Distillers were the last act on the bill, and played a very short set of 30-40 minutes or so, then perhaps Jess and Rory could have got out around midnight and made it back to Stars Hollow by 1 am, and Lorelai could still be awake and having a midnight snack then. It seems like a lot of driving around and a lot of money spent for such a short time, though.
The alternative explanation is that Jess had in fact already bought the tickets and arrived at Rory’s house ready to surprise her when Lorelai jumped down his throat. In that case, his story about waiting in line is just that – a story. However, that doesn’t explain where he went afterwards, unless he just sat in the car park and waited for Rory to come out. I find this whole plotline pretty confusing.
When Rory comes home from the concert, she doesn’t tell Lorelai where she has been, or anything much about her night. Can Lorelai not smell smoke on her, or notice any other sign that she has been at a concert? (Cigarette bans in clubs and places of entertainment would not be passed in Connecticut until May 2003).
There is no sign that Rory enjoyed her night out with Jess. When we see her alone in her room, she lies on her bed with a pensive and enigmatic look on her face which gradually becomes sadder and sadder. Her expression doesn’t say “I’ve had a great night out at a cool concert with my boyfriend”, it says, “My ex-boyfriend has found someone new and my boyfriend isn’t living up to my expectations”.
In fact, all the signs point to Rory not being over her break up with Dean, and not being exactly happy with Jess.