I do it. You do it. Everyone you know does it … except that one weird guy. In fact, it’s pretty much a favorite college pastime. I’m talking, of course, about concert-going. (You thought I was trying to infringe on the sex column’s space again this week, didn’t you?)
Every time the school holds a big event, there’s a concert — Homecoming, Admitted Students Day, um … spring (not technically it’s own one-day event, but still kind of a big deal).
p. Sometimes I enjoy these little hoe-downs, but truthfully, live music performances, in and of themselves, don’t really do it for me. Somehow the “fun and enjoyment” portion of my brain can’t quite make the connection between a visual experience and a musical one. Call me a sense purist, but I tend to like listening to music and reserving use of my visual faculties for, you know, cage fights. Mardi Gras and laser light shows also tend to catch my visual attention — more so, at least, than a skinny, floppy-haired dude picking at a guitar.
p. Maybe it’s my fault. My music tastes tend to run towards anemic, bearded, girl-jeans-wearing dudes who hail from Canada or at least Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Maybe if I listened to more Prince, I would have a more fantastic full-sensory concert experience. Anyone who refers to himself by a self-bestowed regal title must put on quite the live show. As anyone who watched the Superbowl (i.e. anyone who’s a true American) knows, Prince’s shadow puppetry is impeccable. In my book, quasi-erotic (hey, it’s Prince) shadow puppetry ranks just below cage fights when it comes to visual stimulation.
p. There is, however, one aspect in which not even the majesty of Prince can compare to the shows put on by your favorite slouchy, wimpy, possibly-Canadian indie band. That thing, my friends, is the golden opportunity to do some serious hipster watching. Sure, the sorts of people who attend massive glam rock, hair band, death metal or anything not utterly mainstream concerts are worth watching, but to me, there’s something about a sea of skinny jeans and ironically ironic T-shirts all turned in the general direction of the glockenspiel player that makes hipster-filled concerts an utterly enjoyable experience.
p. Now, before I end up the victim of a mysterious (but probably also ironic) bicycle, messenger bag or postmodern lit-crit-induced “accident,” I want to clarify: I like hipsters. I think they might even actually be “hip.” I also truly envy their ability to believe that leggings are exact same thing as actual trousers. Seriously. They’re certainly much cooler than I am.
p. All that being said, they’re still really fun to watch. And silently judging them has rescued many a concert experience for me. When you’re me, you’re five feet tall. When you’re five feet tall, the people who are actually on stage at a concert are kind of difficult to see. So, I depend on the hipster crowds to provide the evening’s visual entertainment, and they rarely disappoint. The hipster “look” alone is enough to keep me engaged for at least the opening band — particularly when said look is being sported by 30-somethings and their toddlers (though I don’t recommend skinny jeans over diapers — it makes for an unflattering, “bulgy” look).
p. Hipster dancing, though, brings the concert experience to a whole new level. There are some people who think hipsters don’t dance, or that they only do it begrudgingly and with little actual movement. This misconception stems from the fact that these people have never actually been to a hipster concert. The hip require their own music to feel comfortable dancing, and since most of this music is so hip it hasn’t actually been invented yet, few people get to witness full-on hipster dancing. It can be a little overwhelming, but don’t let the hipsters intimidate you. You could totally beat them in a cage fight, and I would happily watch.
p. __Lauren Bell is a Confusion Corner columnist for The Flat Hat. She wishes she were known for her quasi-erotic shadow puppetry.__