Andrew Bird-Majestic Theater
I'd like to take this time and this space to write about a new phenomenon I've recently noticed at shows of interesting, sophisticated artists such as Andrew Bird. The phenomenon can be described thusly:
At the very beginning of the set and throughout, young, often short, hip-looking girls, usually in a group of three or four, begin dancing (some might call it "grinding") to the music, no matter how slow, morose, mundane, or waltzy. Often with one hand raised to the air (the other holding a water or coke bottle, some with a beer since they scored a full-proof fake ID), shaking their heads to the beat, no matter how slow, morose, mundane, or waltzy, Cheshire cat smiles, butts wiggling, they prance through and around the crowd, until they find a spot in the middle front so that they can further rub behinds, twirl, and sing along.
Of course they sing along: they know all of the words. They often know the artists' entire catalogs. They're fans. But they dance, carefree, joyous, while the older crowd, who have studied the artists' work with equal rigor but with a different kind of vigor, squirm and shrug and make sidelong glances at their fellows as if to say "What the fuck?" Sometimes they even say "What the fuck?"
I declare here and now that I shant be a "What the f...?"er anymore. Why? Post-Rockism, that's why.
It's good that lots of different people of lots of different ages attend these shows to support our favorite artists. Yes, the artists puts forth a certain kind of aura during a show that makes such behavior a bit unseemly, but the concert is for the fans and, as I stated early, these kids are fans. They knew just as many lyrics as I, only they sang them Kelly Clarkston-style instead of mouthing them like the rest of us standstillers or silentswayers.
Yes, they "grinded" to "The Naming of Things." Yes, they kept moving around and bumping into people. We should all wish we could act that way without a few drinks in us. But they were fans. They enjoyed the show. They paid their allowance money to support Andrew Bird. Sure, they may have let out a couple of yelps during silences meant by the artist to be silent or even reflective, but they milked everything out of the show that their dear, young hearts could. They are too young to know how to act cool. Theirs was a pure enjoyment, although some of the finer points of the show may have been lost on them.
So I say, bless you, my young ones. Sadly, you'll learn soon enough how to stand in one place and be cool. Until then, grind like coffee grounds.