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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    You can dance if you want to

    There’s a guy I know downtown who goes to a show every night, stands in the front and dances like a leprechaun on steroids. He’s not hard to miss because he’s about five inches shorter than most humans and has red hair like a half-shredded radish on his head.

    When he dances you can see the hipsters squirming, pointing or consciously ignoring, not sure what to make of him. He glorifies and trivializes their evening, like a senile old woman really enjoying a basketball game, and forces people to reconsider their taste and what it means to them.

    I mention this guy not just because I immensely respect him, but because, in a stubborn way, he embodies my concert experience. To be honest, I’m not really sure why, I couldn’t imagine going to a show without this man or the idea of him poisoning the area like toxic levels of laughing gas.

    And there he was Tuesday night when I stepped into Plush for the Chow Nasty show, standing at the bar, water in hand, attempting to walk like an Egyptian. I hadn’t been to a show in at least a few months, (aside from the Jonas Brothers debauchery) so I wasn’t sure what was in store.

    The second band, The Lemon Drop Gang, hadn’t started yet, and there was a woman onstage in a tattered red cotton jersey stalking around and pulling it up to show off what appeared to be a bare ass. That combined with the bizarre new mural featuring two lesbian demons shooting fire and ice balls at each other through guitars helped me relax and feel at home.

    The Lemon Drop Gang started playing, and I noticed right away that this woman lead singer was extremely and unabashedly intoxicated. She was mumbling incoherent nothings in between songs, and repeatedly pulling up her three layers of stockings in front of everyone. (This helped me to realize that what I thought was her bare ass was really just a pair of peach colored bike shorts on top of black tights.) The band was loud, and all the songs they played sounded like ’50s Motown tunes mixed with indie girl rock reminiscent of Celebration or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

    She kept shouting the same line, “”Here comes the fly, scuzzing other people’s meat,”” and in between beats, the guitarist offered a free drink coupon to whoever did a cartwheel.

    I briefly considered it, scanning the crowd to see who was there, but decided I was too embarrassed. Apparently, a girl did one in the back of the room and came up a minute later to claim her coupon, right in the middle of a song. The drunk lead singer, with glazed eyes staring into nowhere, exclaimed, “”She did it!”” instead of the lyric she was supposed to sing and then finished up her set, immediately grabbing her purse and a beer and walking off the stage at the last beat of the song.

    Chow Nasty, the band that I came to see, is a trio from San Francisco that focuses more on the goofy, carefree side of electronic dance rock. Never seeing its picture, I half expected three middle-aged guys with cargo shorts to walk on (because doesn’t that always happen), but that wasn’t the case. This man, this Adonis, appeared onstage wearing the single sexiest outfit a straight indie rocker can pull off: a dress shirt underneath a tight sweater and black skinny jeans. The singer had a five- o-clock shadow, thick brown hair, a cunning smile and a compulsive energy which manifested itself into vivacious stage techniques.

    While the rest of the band was waving pool noodles in the air and making funny noises, he was screaming, shaking, sweating, kneeling on the ground and slamming his guitar into the air like a pitchfork, running into the audience and taking his clothes off one by one. All the while, he was overshadowed only by one: a small red-haired man at the front twisting his arms up and down like a genie.

    In our one moment of connection, the Adonis threw a golden circus toy with a dozen ribbons popping out at me. Soon enough, the entire audience had little toys, and my little man was banging a miniature tambourine with the band’s name on it.

    The comparisons were startling: this attractive man jumping on top of the bar, screaming “”boom cha cha”” into the microphone; this little man doing scissor kicks and screaming along. I’d never seen anything like it – it was like looking at both sides of a coin at once or eating a donut and crÇùme brǯlée in the same sitting.

    And then I realized it: This was the kind of show where my concert specter fit in. Everything was crazy and carefree, not just him. People were doing cartwheels, running around, spinning in circles; nobody seemed to care who was looking or what they thought about it. Even more than the man onstage, he owned that concert. It was his. And for once I had to ask myself, standing in the center of the room holding a miniature golden scepter, did I belong?

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