Friday, December 17, 2010

The End of the First Half of the First Quarter

Well we’re here. The end of our first first semester. Well, mine at least. I don’t know your life and I’m not much for judging. Anyhoo college is 1/8 over for me, and I have to say I’m very impressed with the institution. Whether it’s my situation, my personality, or just my dashing looks, college is just what I needed. Meeting new people and going through new situations (some good, some bad, all embarrassing) is exactly what I was built for as a person. So how do we cap off an entirely interesting four months like this? Answer- with a multitude of tests. It’s not exactly the best solution. But after the tests comes my favorite part- the Blend concert.

            Now, I try to avoid being a hipster at any cost, but I know it’ll look that way pretty soon. Just to skip the awkward name calling, I’ll start rating myself on level of hipster-ness in accordance with my statements.


Level 1. Vampire Weekend listener- I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of the Blend. They’re pretty obscure. You can hear them here.

Level 2. Canvas messenger bag- They’re a small band based out of Minneapolis. Hear them right here.

I hate this stereotype cause I would so wear that shirt.

Level 3. Ironic thrift store T-Shirt- Their style is kind of hard to describe, you might not “get it”. You can hear them here.

He pitched on acid before it was cool

Level 4. Ironic Mustache – I’ve been a big fan ever since their EP, which might be on display here.

Level 5. Fixie Bike- They’re not really “radio friendly” and most people can’t get down with that, but you can test it for yourself if you listen in here.

For trailer parks and trust funds alike

Level 6. PBR- I’m torn because I want everyone to know how awesome they are but I don’t want them to get actually popular because then I’ll considered them sold out.

         Ugh, my fingers feel dirty from just writing that. But unfortunately, that’s how I feel. As you saw, this week I went to a concert of theirs. Now, I’ve been a fan since around my freshman year. I’ve been taunted by shows at local bars being only 18+ while I remained a measly minor in the eyes of the law. But on my 18th birthday I woke up and said “Man. I’m really more ready to hear swear words in a public setting than I was previously. The government DOES know what it’s talking about. Huh.” But alas, I could not find a show near me to attend. Then, suddenly, a gift was bestown upon me. “When are you coming back to Cedar Falls?” read the band's Facebook page. “December 15th,” was the reply. I immediately called my homeboy, and plans were made.

         As the date approached, I started doing my homework. The bar the show would be at was offering “free beer night” to its patrons the 15th. I don’t know about you, but “free beer” in a college town means large crowds. So for the show advertised at 9, I decided 7 45 would be a good time to appear to make sure we got good spots to view from.  Then, just as soon as finals were over, the night was upon us. The best way to tell this story, I think, is to give you a small time line.

8:00 am- My last final begins. Soundscapes, the silliest final I’m destined to have.

8:25 am- I finish my test, and leave, done with the semester. I choose not to pack or do any sort of constructive activities, instead begin mentally preparing myself for this show.

6 pm- I mention we should go out to eat to commemorate the occasion. My homeboy declines, instead insists on eating at the dining center. I begin getting hyper. Four people previously committed to attending the show with us suddenly decline, mostly for alcohol reasons.

7:15- Looking at the clock often, I begin getting inexplicably nervous. This is my first concert of any kind outside of symphonies and high school band. I mention that the game of NCAA football is lame and we should start getting ready to go.

7:30- The game ends, and we prepare to leave. I’m angry at my homeboy Pat, as he is making us late by refusing to end Alabama vs. Boise State early. He won. By quite a bit.

7:45- We get to my car in the C lot.

7: 53- I finish cleaning my car off while Pat sits inside.

8- We arrive at the Hub and pay our $8. Several seconds later, we notice the bar is totally empty. There is one man at the bar, and one behind. The one at the bar looks at us, and then goes back to doing his job. We are the only customers.  Thankfully, the Knicks game is on, a game which Pat forgot to watch.

8:10- The band that we’ve come to see arrives. The lead singer/rapper Toussaint Morrison passes by us. I get excited that I made eye contact before realizing what I look like. I’m one of two customers at a bar on free beer night, and we’re too young to drink. I apologize to Pat.


8: 17- I promise Pat during soundchecks that if people don’t start showing up by 8 30 I’ll break the table we’re at with my face.

8: 30- It doesn’t break.

8: 35- Toussaint (that’s Mr. Morrison to you folks) passes us by, and grabs a grocery bag full of CDs out of his car and gives them to the doormen taking cover charges. And when I say grocery bag, I’m not kidding. This cat took a bag he got from Target, and put some burned mixtapes in there. That’s why I love this band. To Pat- “How long before he walks away can I go buy a CD without looking absolutely ridiculous?”

8:40- People begin showing up finally. But by people I mean about eight. It is slightly less awkward, as we at least have other people than the bartender and band to look at. Pat is enraged that the Heat score will not run past during the Knicks game. My brother refuses to text the lead singer, whom he knows somehow, to give me a shoutout during the show. Screw off, Matt.

9:00- The lead singer comes and sits at the bar to watch the game with us. Now I’m sitting about 20 feet away from my favorite rapper since freshman year with his first mixtape (that ended up being free). I highly regret not bringing my sharpie like I originally planned. I pass up the chance to engage him in conversation, although he laughs at a joke of mine, which pleases me much more than it should. The Celtics beat the Knicks by a hair. The whole bar celebrates and then mourns as Amare Stoudemire’s game winning shot is reviewed and declared after the buzzer. I consider Toussaint my best friend now for sharing this moment. Pat and I retire to the actual stage portion of the bar since the game is done. We expect the concert to begin at any moment.

9:30- I apologize to Pat for bringing him to this so early.

10:00- Toussaint takes the stage in front of about 50 people to mild applause. I hate Cedar Falls for not capitalizing on Free Beer Night and for not coming out to such a good band.

10:01- Pat turns to me. I can see the amazement in his eyes.

            HE KILLED IT. Holy crap. This cat did a solo set from the mixtape. As they were songs I hadn’t heard despite being a big fan, I was stunned. Then, the actual band came on stage. THEY KILLED IT. A freestyle preformed halfway through the set blew my mind. It had a chorus, for goodness sakes. I can’t even write a halfway coherent rap verse, and this man can perform a song with a chorus off the top of his head. I’ve been listening to this band for four years and I’d never heard the songs so awesome. The first set ended around 11 and a second was promised at midnight. Unfortunately, I had to take Pat home and double unfortunately, I’m too poor to afford paying another $8 to see the second set. But on the band’s departure, I manage to get a bro hug from Toussaint. I say “Dude. So sick.” And he replied “Yeah man you too,” so I’m guessing he didn’t actually hear me. Whatever. Once again I regret not bringing a pen, but nothing can shatter my buzz. Half an hour later, I actually got my car cleaned off while Pat again sat inside, and we drove back to the dorms, Pat astonished and me reacting to my expectations being lowered and then exceeded so fast I’m surprised they didn’t get pulled over for speeding.

         All in all, the night solidified the message college has been sending me the whole semester- If it seems sketchy, stick with it. It'll turn out awesome.

He's not a comic book but he's got a few issues,
Mick Dickinson

1 comment:

  1. I might not have his number to text him, but I linked him to this page. He'll probably hate it and forbid you from any future shows, honestly.