Through Rose-Tinted Glasses: Tales of the Opening Act

When finals are in one week, go to a concert.

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*all photos were taken by me and are my edits*


Listen & Read:

Mothxr – Fight the Feeling

Polica – Lime Habit

Mothxr – She Can’t Tell


On Friday I went to go see Mothxr, the opening act to the headliner, Polica, and I’m glad I went. I would like to believe that everything happens for a reason, and that night proved it in little ways. Here is the full story from my first concert of my college existence. full = long so… brace yourselves. If you want to fast forward to when I actually met them, find where ‘X’ marks the spot.

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So around 12:30 a.m., the morning of, my friend that was supposed to go with me said she couldn’t go. My shoulders sank. I immediately went through my text messages to see who I could ask at short notice. Two of my friends had work, one I forgot she had already told me no months ago, but Corinne! Corinne said sure! I was back in business. After a German test, a nap, and an egg roll, I threw on a cropped Adidas shirt, army green high waist shorts, and my handy dandy white high top converse. I quickly combed mascara through my lashes and whisked on some brow gel and I was out the door again. We hopped in an Uber and gossiped about high school days until we arrived.

Did we arrive? Are you sure? No one was out there. Oh wait, I found two, looking just as confused as us while they sat on the stairs facing the entrance. We asked the person at the box office to make sure everyone wasn’t already inside taking good spots up front, but no, the doors didn’t open until 8 p.m. It was a solid 6:50 p.m. I guess it’s the teenage fangirl era I was brought up in to arrive early. More people started coming in about fifteen minutes before 8 p.m. But still, it was like twenty-five people tops. Do the cool people really treat concerts like parties? I should take notes.

So we are just standing around, and then Mothxr just like stroll out the side door. Like normal people just coming out and walking around. I guess I should go ahead and add that I’ve only been to One Direction concerts (kind of ashamed about that now because of how incredibly problematic they have become) and one Olly Murs concert (he’s a really good entertainer, actually). If you have ever been to either of their concerts or even know remotely of them, you will know that casually coming out to just walk past us and across the street for food is not a normal thing that happens. My back was facing them, and Corinne was like “Oh, I see Penn”. Like what? It did not compute in my brain. I turn around and there they are. I whipped back around and made Corinne continue to talk to me, I don’t know why, I guess I didn’t want my heart rate to go up or something. No one pulled out their phones, everyone just kind of stared… it was literally so abnormal.

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So we get inside, I bend the corner and the stage is right there. The place is empty and blowing with air conditioning. I couldn’t believe it:

  1. I got front row to a concert
  2. There is actually air conditioning

It felt longer waiting inside for the show to start than it did with just Corinne and I and two other people sitting on a statue as we waited outside. Corinne and I confessed to each other that we were actually kind of nervous to be this close to performers. I feel like we dissociate ourselves so much from celebrities and artists, as if they aren’t even real. I remember at my first ever concert, One Direction, I was so in shock. It was a hot day in 2013, One Direction was basically brand new and when they came out I literally made myself believe that they weren’t real. Like for some reason, that calmed me down and made me feel less overwhelmed. That’s so weird that 14 year old me would have had to do that because five people were in my presence. I don’t know.

So then, Mothxr just strolled out, again. Their presence is so casual, like the only way I can describe them walking into, or out of, a room is just so chill. It’s just so weird to me, I’m sure you can clearly tell it’s weird to me by reading this, juxtaposing this band with a group like One Direction. Low key, how dare I compare them, but writing this I keep imagining One Direction literally running on stage, throwing water on people, and being five feet away from  fans in the front row. Meanwhile, Mothxr just kind of arriving, floating on stage while your head is turned, as I clasp my camera in my hands with my knuckles scraping the stage. It’s crazy the difference, but it’s crazier that I had fun both times. But anyways, back to the story.

So it was like they weren’t here and then they were, coming on stage one by one so chill like they just watched good movies on Netflix all day. They were all so quiet. Did we clap? I’m pretty sure we clapped. They started with “Stranger”, a song I haven’t heard since last year, so I just made sure to bob around so it didn’t look like I was disinterested. I really liked what the guy all the way to the left, behind Simon, was wearing, 50s style is still in, very Arctic Monkeys. Watching Simon playing the guitar reminded me of the days I tried to teach myself how to play guitar in elementary, and I always get jealous when I see people play guitar. The drummer was always laughing! What was he thinking about? Was he seeing something in the crowd? I am always the one to laugh when people laugh even if I don’t know what they were laughing at. Darren’s hair! Literally in his face every time I looked over at him. Penn changed shirts since the last time I saw him, a navy shirt buttoned all the way up. He looked down a lot when he sung, he moved his hips and reached his hand out to an invisible something hovering over the crowd’s heads.

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Can lights have an affect on how you feel songs emotionally? Maybe because it was live too, but the songs we so good. The lights were mainly red, blue, and yellow, and maybe it’s some type of art history primary color situation, but at the start of “She Can’t Tell”, when Penn said, “I woke up in a strange place…” that was like… that ‘woah’ feeling you get, you know? With the blue lights maybe? When “Underground” started playing and you got kind of that hopeful feeling, and then when “Victim” came and everything was red and the mood got dark. I think “Stranger” was my favorite song of the night. That song live is like a whole new thing. When Penn would hit high notes and close his eyes with a darker shade of highlighter yellow looming over him. I mean that was everything. I grabbed Corinne at every instance when he closed his eyes and pulled the microphone away from him, because you knew what was about to happen. She was shocked he had a good voice.

Then, “Easy” came on. I believe it was the first song I ever heard from them. Back when they only had like four songs on Spotify that was the one song that I had on repeat. So, you guessed it, I knew every word. And get this, I could actually hear my own voice! This is just all around a crazy concert experience because it’s literally the opposite of every performance I have ever been to. I never feel like I live in the moment, but for the last few seconds of their performance, I forced myself to be there, watching Simon and Penn side by side playing the guitar, embracing the fact that I literally cannot see when the red light scans over the audience. And as quickly as they came on, they were off. A few members of the crowd shouted encore, which I totally would have been into because they didn’t play my favorite song, “Impossible”. They came back on, speed walking and unplugging as they dissembled stuff, and it was like I was back when we were in line outside and they came out, they were normal people again, interacting near us but not really with us as they put their equipment away.

Corinne and I, mainly me, had a hard decision to make. The young girls our age next to me said they wanted to see if they could meet the band after the performance and asked if I was going too. I said, I never thought of doing so, but yes of course I’ll come. But as Corinne and I weighed the pros and cons of leaving, we suddenly got super hot. We looked around us, and the crowd got denser, with a lot of mid thirty year olds. Literally no one that was previously around us was there anymore. The age group shifted so swiftly. Oh you mean you’re going to see if you can meet them now? I was so indecisive, not wanting to miss seeing a band that could possibly become my favorite. I mean who knows I only have heard one song of theirs. But then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone with their bookbag pushing open the door to the backstage, and I looked at Corinne and said “Should we go?” and she just nodded. All of a sudden, in my head, they were leaving right this second, and I didn’t want to miss them.

x

Luckily I didn’t. Leaving the inside of the venue, their the girls were, the ones that disappeared during intermission, standing around in the parking lot. It had become clear to me that they probably weren’t coming out until the end of the show. The images of the two outlets inside the venue appeared in my head, as Corinne told me she was on 9%, and I was on a more solid 28%. There was no reentry. Welp… Corinne went to find a place to sit. After a few minutes almost everyone found a spot on the curb. The drummer came out, eventually, and got in the van. He sat in the passenger’s seat, but left the door open, so all of us were questioning what was personal space. Like if he’s in the car is it too intrusive? But the door is open so is that some sort of unconscious invitation like I’m sure he saw us all literally staring at him. Basically, we chose the option of don’t get closer. It’s just too weird, and we are all too shy anyways. Soon enough, he closes the door, and we are back to square one, cozying up on the concrete.

Then, like a gleam of hope, Simon appears through the side door. It looks like he is about to go in the van as well, but then he drops behind this big electrical box. What just happened? It was kind of like when you’re watching a race and then the horse you were rooting for, the one almost at the finish line, kind of starts flying or something. It’s not something you would expect. We looked at each other like… Some of us thought he was using the bathroom. Some of us thought he was trying to fix some type of electrical malfunction. After he was behind there for like ten minutes, I asked Corinne, “What if he collapsed behind there?” then we laughed really hard, but I was like woah wait what if. So he gets up and goes back inside, but he quickly comes back out and drops again.

Turns out there was a bench before there, so he was alive and well, just chilling. One of the girls decided to get up and cut this waiting crap. From my POV, it looked like she was just talking to the box, smiling and nodding to a metal container. Turns out he’s so nice! So kind and so willing to take pictures. He held conversation (which I am so jealous of because I wish I could do that), and said my hair was amazing so compliments are always a plus in my book. Soon Darren came out, who didn’t speak much, and then a big posse came out, with that guy from A Cinderella Story. That was a surprise. Then Penn shimmied out through the side door, talking to all of us like we were normal (why do I find this so crazy?) and taking pictures with each of us (there were six of us). Organically we kind of went into our respective groups: the “fans” talking in one group, and the posse talking three feet away. Suddenly, one person opened that damn side door, and they as whisked inside.

Had we stayed inside for some type of miracle, I don’t know what would have happened. Not this, most likely. I can’t believe everything about that day kind of fit together like puzzle pieces; I just might have had to turn the pieces around a few times to find the perfect spot (e.g. me trying to find someone to drag along). But it was all around a good night. 5/5 for the performance, 1/5 for the black bean burger I had at Taco Mac after we left. I got back home at around 1 a.m., but I didn’t go to bed until 4 a.m. I just listened to Mothxr and texted so many friends this same very long story.


I hope you enjoyed reading this! I’ll see you next time.

Good luck on finals,

Ken

P.S. I took a few pictures on my disposable so look out for those in a little- I was too afraid to put the flash on that close up on them so let’s hope they don’t come out pitch black…

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Through Rose-Tinted Glasses: Tales of the Opening Act

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