Let Me Make You Happier

Live concerts are the best thing. THE best thing. I went to (or rather, participated in) a concert at the 9:30 Club this weekend. It is the best venue around–so clean, so open, so many places in which to stand with arms loosely crossed and nod slightly in time to the music.

Delta Spirit blew my mind. Aside from the music, which you will just have to hear for yourself, the lead singer made a valid point right before the last song of the set. “Go to rock concerts! Don’t pay $14 to go to the movies. Go to concerts!” Then after the ovation, the band played Shout and confetti came down from the ceiling.

Anyway! Let’s examine Matt’s idea: movies vs. rock concerts–how to best spend $14-20.

Movies. They take years and millions of dollars to produce. They are performed by overpaid “professionals” we all semi-despise and envy. Although movies can be super-fun, usually I am thinking about something else by the time I get outside. Of course, there are exceptions. Art movies at E Street Cinema or the AFI usually leave me with lots of food for thought. But on the whole, movies are something we spend money on so that we can tell others that we’ve seen whatever just came out, thereby passing whatever “up to date” culture test seems appropriate at the time.

Now…concerts! Concerts are the product of these musicians’ entire lives! They are pouring their creative juices into these songs. Bands travel all over the country in buses and vans to get to us. The connection between performer and audience is really there, not just being projected on a screen. Standing in front of the stage is so much more personal and meaningful than sitting in a theater listening to other people’s cell phones interrupt a movie. Also, less people will be able to see the “same thing.” Bands are usually in town only for the night, tickets sell out, and voila! You are cooler than people who just went to see Shrek Forever After because “the group was going.” You even have the opportunity to laugh smugly to yourself like I did when, in response to my effusive description of a recent concert, my friend asked me, “What’s a Neko Case?”

In conclusion, go to concerts. And if you can’t kick the habit, just switch over to art house movies. Your richer and more cultured future self will thank you.

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