Let's try this again...
As promised, a second attempt at my posting re: the Teenage Fanclub show at the 9:30 Club last night.
This wasn't supposed to be a review of the show; and it's not. But I will take a moment to say that the band sounded great and it was a real joy to go to a straight-up no bullshit pop show. Big guitars, lots of major chords, vocal harmonies, and catchy-as-hell hooks...call me simple (call me morbid, call me pale) but that's what pop music is all about.
But I digress. The real point of the post is what happened to me, or rather what I experienced, just before the Fanclub hit the stage. And what I experienced was a Major Existential Crisis. I didn't mean for it to happen but then again aren't all crises beyond the recipient's control? I don't know but here's what went down:
I was walking around the club just people-watching and killing time before the band came out. Now at the past several shows I have been to at the 9:30 there has been an inordinate amount of hot ladies (who seemingly get younger with each passing show) in attendance. Maybe I'm just hard up and am more aware of female presence these days or maybe some of the bands I've seen of late have been doing a fantastic job of bringing the hotties into the indie rock scene; either way I was expecting more of the same as I rolled up (alone, shocker) to the show last night. Not the case. I mean, there were a few lookers there but by and large it was mostly dudes. To be specific, dudes like me. You might be asking yourself, "what does he mean when he says 'dudes like me'?" I mean just that. They were all old (and old means late twenties when you're working with the Rawk Paradigm), obviously single, posessed an unhealthy obsession with the Holy Trinity of Media (movies, music, and televesion), and were overly-enthused to see a band that many had given up on a long time ago. These were my people and I fit right in and that scared the shit out of me.
It was so frightening because ultimately this was a group meeting for The Old Guys At The Show. TOGATS is typically a singular identity seen somewhere towards the back of the crowd at whatever hipster event happens to be taking place that week. He's the guy that the really in-the-know high school kids (the ones who are lucky enough to have parents that will let them trek into DC for a concert) talk about on the ride home; "Did you see that guy in the faded Wrens t-shirt standing in the back? He's always there! I wonder if he's homeless." Because the core element of being TOGATS is to be single and alone, you usually only see one or two (but never together) per show. Well, apparently the Teenage Fanclub show was slated to be the reunion/support group for all of the DC-area TOGATS because they were all there and after a quick scan of the room, I relaized I was one of them. It scared the shit out of me. I mean, there's still time left but I am marching down a dangerous path. Do I really want to be that guy, the one who uses weeknight concerts in dingey clubs as some sort of placeholder for intimacy and companionship? Hell no!
Again, this all took place in a matter of minutes before the show started and once the band started I was all smiles and toe-tapping. The good news is that I realized I still take enjoyment from all of the shows I see. For the time being it's still about the band, the music, and the crowd. So maybe I'm not TOGATS yet but it is getting goddamn close.
I don't ever want to stop going to shows or lose the feeling I get when the band comes out but it would be nice to have something better to do every now and then. Gotta work on that.