Friday, July 9, 2010

All the young dudes.

Last night I went to the opening show of my city's free summer concert series: pretty great show every Thursday night. The series started about twenty years ago, with about 500 folks on blankets with picnics in a lovely little downtown amphitheater. It was sponsored in part by the radio station where I worked at the time, and a large contingent of concert-goers were radio folks. And by the end of the summer, you knew all the other folks too. We all felt superiorly cool, and in on it, sitting there in the evening with our vegetarian sandwiches and fresh fruit and listening to Nanci Griffith.

They've moved venues, twice, to accommodate the increasing crowd. And last night I and 30000 of my closest friends crammed into a park to watch a band that, 20 years ago, would have drawn a much more, shall we say, modest crowd.* As I looked around in compressed wonder, I reflected that I don't mind at all the crush of people, nor the contact high, nor the communal sweat. And I downright enjoy living in a city that makes such an event happen every week all summer long--and I was especially charmed to see our mayor unlock and mount his bike after the concert to cycle home. But I do wonder how it is that EVERYONE UNDER THIRTY IN THIS CITY now seems to be cool? Do they circulate memos on Facebook? Because, you know, it deflates the value of cool. (She says petulantly.) And makes me feel completely culturally obsolete, a hanger-on, a has-been.** (She says more honestly.)


* I like this band, actually--they are not afraid of hitting the bass drum hard and often, and balance it with bright guitar shards. But I confess I went to see whether a certain guitarist might be onstage with these guys, having recorded an album with them a couple of years back. This sterling guitarist, from a seminal genius band dissolved now for over two decades, is a hero of mine, but he was not, alas, to be seen.

** To clarify: obsolete because I am so clearly no longer a part of the world that they inhabit, the kids, with their clove cigarettes and macrame shirts.

1 comment:

dkm said...

What a clever one you are, pun and all :) I'm glad you're enjoying the summer break.