There is nothing better than seeing your favorite band live. Hearing a song live, especially one you've been obsessively listening to, changes the it. I've always felt it becomes more real and it's a cool feeling to hear hundreds or thousands of your new best friends sing it with you. You're with other people who get it and your music love. Every time I leave a concert, I feel like the universe makes sense. And I dream of being in a rock band.
Of course, I'm also an old lady concert goer. Sometimes I just want to punch my fellow concert goers in the face (and you know I'm not the violent type) because they're acting like morons. Just because we both really like this band doesn't mean I'm cool with you spilling your drink on me or yelling out "Freebird" during a song break. But just like I'm able to leave my Type A planner behind while I'm in Paris, I can keep the old lady hidden too.
I love the band Best Coast (favorite songs: "Boyfriend" and "Up All Night"). Best Coast sounds
like southern California – hazy (it could be the smog), lo-fi, dreamy, sunny, and a little sad all at
the same time. The guitars make me think of Beach Boys classics like “Surfer
Girl” and “In My Room” both of which I love dearly. There's also an early
Doors vibe going on (think "Love Street" or "Hello, I Love
You" era Doors). It’s like surfer music for people who don’t surf and may
not even like the beach. Their first album came out around the time I moved to California and I stalked the song "Boyfriend" on the radio (that's what I do when I love a song - I listen to it 500 times a day). The lyrics are killer. Try listening to a song and not identify with something Bethany is singing about.
Anyway, Best Coast played at the 9:30 Club last week and it was awesome. I wasn't going to go originally but my friend, Upendra, convinced me that I couldn't possibly miss seeing one of my favorite bands. Being the good friend that he is, he even bought me a ticket for my birthday. His girlfriend, Melanie, came too. They were part of my Record Store Day group this year. Melanie and I both purchased the David Bowie release Drive-In Saturday Night - Bowie has a way of bringing us all together. And Melanie loves Jack White (possibly more than I do).
If you've never been to the 9:30 Club, go. I'll go with you if you'd like (I need a concert friend for Loretta Lynn in July if anyone is interested). It was just named Best Big Room in America by Rolling Stone. It's one of my favorite concert venues in DC and you can get a free cupcake on your birthday (if you're part of their rewards program Friends with Benefits as both Melanie and I are). The cupcake is a homemade version of a Hostess cupcake and was good. It would have been better if it hadn't been cold.
Back to Best Coast: Bethany Cosentino has a pretty specific style and there were a lot of Bethany look alikes or at least DC girls trying to look like they're from SoCal and in a rock band. We were not the oldest people there (although that was a possibly when we first arrived) but I'm assuming those were parents waiting for their kids. I was also surprised at the number of guys with their girlfriends who also seemed to honestly like the music. Best Coast must be a band that couples can love together. Odd considering that many of their songs are about getting your heart stomped on. We made friends with the couple in front of us through a mutual love of Wayne's World and Melanie and I discovered that we are complimentary concert woo-ers (you know when you cheer for a band at the end of a song). This may or may not have gotten us a few looks but whatever - people need to understand the power of a good "wooooooo" at the end of a song. They closed the encore with "Boyfriend" - great end to a great concert.
I've been to a lot of concerts this year but this is the first one where I truly enjoyed the entire experience. No old lady concert moments (Upendra had a backpack with him and I said nothing), singing along, discussing how people danced in the 80s (with visuals), and hanging out with friends. It was a great way to start my birthday celebrations off and felt like the start of summer.
This weekend: A Tale of Two Concerts, Part 2: All rock songs are love songs (or something like that)