When Did We Get So Fucking Old?

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When Did We Get So Fucking Old?
Care Less. Participate More. Enjoy.

Hello you. I come before you to seek redemption. To find solace.

I am so very worried, for you and for I.

Last week I saw four kids at the front of a concert in handmade t-shirts. I, along with the rest of the crowd, gave them a look. The sort of look you’d give someone handing a friend, a Christmas present wrapped in nothing more than a carrier bag. From Sainsbury’s. All garish, orange, lacking class. You know the look. You probably use it everyday. You fall victim to it at a similar rate.

The other night a young lad was enthusiastically jumping around to the support band, only stopping to look around and loudly question why no one else was moving. The confused tone of disappointment rang empty. Everyone looked at him, like he was the freak.

Homemade T-shirt gang finished the evening getting armfuls of merch signed by the band. Pogo boy crowdsurfed around the room. All involved entered a state of enviable bliss. Those who kept up the steely disposition throughout went home feeling empty. A few defected to share some of the joy. Their outcome lay somewhere in the middle. My question is this. Why do we do it to ourselves? Music is not a spectator sport. It never has been. It never will. Why do we insist on standing at the sidelines? I know that as we get older, we become more self-aware. I saw the looks. I was behind them. We become desperate to remain non-descript to strangers.

Countless times of late, I’ve fallen in love with bands, with music, all over again.  A few years ago I would wait in the blistering cold for four hours, just to tell the artists in question that I like their music. That I thought their set was brilliant. Maybe have a quick conversation about their future. Their music connected with me, I was just trying to return the favour. Now, if I happen to pass them at the venue, at the merch stand, I simply nod my head. Like an arrogant roman emperor, begrudgingly giving approval with the minimum effort. Fanboy is a dirty word. In a bid to distant myself from it, I’ve become a ghost. I stand, I watch, I leave. Unaffecting and sad.

Maybe I’ll send a tweet. “ Excuse me, @bloodredshoes. That was incredible. Well done you.” On one hand, six hundred people will know that I enjoyed the show. But really, how insincere. How faceless. It’s desperate, without the danger. No thanks.

Maybe this is growing up. Maybe I want off.

Apologies to Blood Red Shoes, to Slaves, to DZ Deathrays.  I’m sorry Johnny Foreigner, Midfield Workhorse, Uncle Luc. I really enjoyed all of your sets and I think you’re all brilliant. Next time I see you, I’ll tell you to your face.

Here’s the thing. If we all stop caring, just a little bit, we can be excited again. Move to the music. Clap, cheer, shout. Don’t shy away from answering “How you doing out there?” It’s not a trap. Being a fan of music has never been cool. I’m ok with that. But when did we get so precious about ourselves. I’m never shying away from a pit. I’m not going to stop banging my head. Being passive is not an option. Music should cause a reaction. React already.

This is my vow. To carry on caring.

If you make the same vow, we can rediscover why we first fell in love with music. We can be part of something bigger than us. It might only be for a moment, but that’s enough for me. That’s my conscience clear. Now then, what about you?

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~ by justdip on 24/04/2014.

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