April 20, 2005

Out of Concert Commission

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I went to a concert this past Sunday. (You know the one that I mean, Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday and the Format.) Now don’t get me wrong, my lackluster opener is not necessarily indicative of my general sentiments towards the whole experience. I actively attempted to evade sweat-laden, clothed bodies, shouted out “Lucky Denver Mint” lyrics at Jim Adkins’ face (as if he was in any position to see or hear me) and suffered frequent instances of hair-in-mouth courtesy of the pulsating crowd around me.

Yeah it was great.

I came out of Barton with what initially seemed to be the last drum beats still ringing in my ears but what later turned out to be just an uncomfortable consequence of standing next to massive speakers. Wow, I was really out of touch.

Ehhhh. Somehow, it wasn’t the same as what I remember concert-going to be. Sure there was the crowd surfing by people-I’d-never-want-to-touch-in-real-life and somewhat violent motions that vaguely resembled moshing, but despite all that, people just didn’t seem too … into it. They were only too happy to stand around and watch, serve me plates full of “excuse me” and “I’m so sorry!” when unpredicted movement occurred and remain enclosed in their own group of friends.

Where was the blatant reversal of authority? The flagrant abuse of loud music for the sake of emotional freedom? I’d have thought the stress machine known as Cornell of all places would provide the perfect environment for such sound-related debauchery.

But no. I never thought I’d miss battling for my life in the cramped lobby of the Warfield among hoards of music fans that all dressed the part and operated with the same substance-induced glaze in their eyes. Nor did I think I would miss the police sirens, questionable smoky clouds and equally questionable smells of Caesar Chavez Park. The alternative, however, proves to be just … more boring.

The number of people I shoved amounted to zero, and the instances of not-so-nice verbal exchanges actually totaled to a negative number (as in people kept on apologizing for things outside their control). Not that I have any unresolved anger issues or anything.

Okay but wait a minute. Was I for serious? Did I actually miss that biatch-y tall chick that always stood in front of me and then gave me the evil eye when I reacted with an expression of annoyance? Even worse, had I actually become her? Well definitely not on that second point because I am, in fact, not that tall. I realize that Jimmy Eat World doesn’t exactly produce the type music that facilitates the literal translation of “the crowd goes wild” (in terms of actual craziness rather than enthusiasm) into reality. But what was up with those cuddling couples in the midst of songs like “Pain?” I think I might have actually laughed out loud.

Maybe it was just coincidence. Maybe the sullen Sunday atmosphere had dulled the spirits of all those kids who had to actively change their weekly routine and execute conscious decisions to not automatically veer towards the Olin-Uris unit. Maybe the fact that we were all still physically located within the campus of an institution for higher learning induced an implicit understanding of propriety. Maybe I’m just difficult to please, but more likely, maybe it was because there was no alcohol.

Archived article by Tracy Zhang