Never have I nor do I now consider myself part of the “music scene.”
I never really listened to music until I was in 7th grade. (Classical does not fall under music listening. It’s falls under the nerdy, loser, hey-feel-free-to-beat-me-up kid.) When I did listen to music, it was based on what my sister liked. Why? Because I was the nerdy, loser kid had no clue of what was considered good music. This carried all the way through high school; I resorted to my sister’s music taste of rap to r&b to alternative rock.
When college came around, I began to expand my horizon and listen to new bands. Trust me, not all of them were good, but not all of them were bad. Then again, my standards were non-existent at that point, so anything sounded good to me. As for today, I would consider myself having decent music taste. I do have to credit my housemate Wayne, last seen wearing a hobo beard 2 years ago, who opened my eyes to the indie music scene. But don’t hold me to it.
There was one thing that always got me though when it comes to being part of the “music scene.” I always wondered and partially despised hipsters and anyone else was “in the scene” who said, “Oh, I’ve been listening them for years when they first started.” And they would go on and on about how the band was so much better then. Or better yet, they knew all the lyrics of the band’s first album and the new followers are like “What new song is that?” I never understood it. That is until last night, I became one of them.
Last night, I had the privilege to see OK Go in concert at the Metro. See, I’ve been listening to them since their first single, “Get Over It,” was released back in the spring of 2002. I remember when I first heard it too. I was taking the 147 bus home from school and I was on Lake Shore Drive when the song came on the radio, Q101. I was hooked. So last night when I saw them in concert, I thought to myself, “Yeah, I was listening to them way before any of you folks here tonight.”
Yeah, I became that person. I can’t deny it. Call me a hypocrite or a snob, but I couldn’t help myself. I’ve supported them since they began. I bought all their albums, promoted their videos and went to their shows when I could or knew about it. Don’t hate me. Please, I promise I won’t do this again. Maybe. Hopefully.
The first show that I went to, and could actually attend, was 3 years ago at the Logan Square Auditorium. The French Kicks opened for them in this tiny venue that was more like the upstairs reception hall. I randomly ran into my good friend and former housemate Mozzie there. OK Go basically played everything from both albums, while stopping midway for an 4 song acoustic set in the middle of the crowd. Then the encore, they did their backyard “A Million Ways” dance routine.
The next show was last spring at the Double Door in Wicker Park. I went alone but I didn’t regret it. Besides playing the favorites of the first two albums, they played about 4 songs from their 3rd album, which was still 9 months away from being released. That night, they also played “What to do” with hand bells for the second time ever. It was such a treat! Though nothing beats me snagging an OK Go tambourine as they were tossing it out to the crowd (photo evidence). As much as I enjoyed the show as I was being completely covered in confetti, that night I noticed new and bandwagon followers.
Then last night, when I arrived at the sold out show, I had to squeeze myself into the balcony to see. Though it was not the first time OK Go played at the Metro, it was the first time they ever headlined a show at this awesome venue. Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely happy for their success. But last night, a part of me was like “I was here first. I was present since the beginning.” And it was very evident when OK Go played songs from their first album and only 5% of the crowd knew what the song and lyrics were. Most people thought it was on their newest album. I sighed at these noobs as I dutifully sang along and danced. I was that guy.
Now I’ll admit that I have not memorized all the lyrics on the 3rd album yet, but I’m not embarrassed. I was there from the beginning. I’m present today. Get over it.