On Monday Aim invited me to join her at a Radiohead concert. The concept of it nearly rolled my eyes back into my head; an arena of young urban hipsters as or more obsessed with their band as I am with Tori Amos, all with overt political or stylistic agendas, all of whom would undoubtably frown at me for having bought the new Michelle Branch album.
It sounded like a challenge, not to mention a good time.
Poured into my tightest blue jeans and snuggest brown t-shirt, as we walked to our seats i scanned the crowd of trendy young men and realized that i have resorted to co-opting a slightly queer style of dress and carriage because it just works for me … i am small-framed and relatively slim and no longer trying desperately to attract strange women wherever i go. If pressed i could not explain it; it’s just my need to feel wanted, i suppose. I’m not sure what stops me from showing up in cargo pants and a stained flannel shirt. Maybe it’s that i spent the 90’s wearing that, or maybe it’s that i like to approximate an accurate interior self-image so that i feel as though i actually stand out in a crowd as me.
Ultimately, all eyes were on the stage and none on my inanely logoed tee or my inordinately tight ass-hugging pants. I have rarely seen such a polite audience held in rapt attention at such a huge rock show. I am not good with Radiohead’s titles – ever since hearing Kid A their albums pass by me like symphonies – but some songs still stuck out just by virtue of how they were achieved. A hypnotic electronic piano version of “Like Spinning Plates,” a spastic and brittle “Idioteque,” chiming xylophone and the faint singing of the lawn section on “No Surprises,” and “Everything In It’s Right Place” prefaced as “this is a song about the good old days.”
As it echoed back at me from Thom, and then the effects pedals on the stage, i just thought … Yes.