We Are All Devo

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I realized last week that I’m a nerd.

I’m ok with it. I always thought I was ok with it. But last week it really clicked. 

I went to see Devo by myself. 

Alan Myers? Dead. Bob 2? Dead. I still had to go. 

The crowd seemed nice. Mostly middle-aged white guys. Some brought their wife and kids. 

Regardless of who was or wasn’t with them though, they were pumped. Devo hats, old tour shirts, work attire…whatever, they were chanting (the “Bob 2” chant was very touching), yelling, recounting stories of seeing them here or there. 

It made me realize that these weren’t just music fans. They may not have even been music fans. They were DEVO fans.

They knew every word to every song, they probably cried when they heard about Alan or Bob 2. They might have “Honk if you’re Devo” bumper stickers or Devo tattoos. 

I felt similar when I was surrounded by Eels fans a few weeks prior, but this was a different thing. 

It made me think about music, art, whatever. 

When I was 8 and I heard the Dead Milkmen it triggered something. The humor, the tempo, the hyper self-awareness parading as nihilism…I got it. 

For the 2 hours that Devo played last week, everyone in the room was united. Nobody felt weird or alone, awkward or self-conscious, ugly or depressed. They were all Devo. Devo triggered that thing in them, so they were united. 

The band felt it. The crowd felt it. I felt it. And then it was over and everyone went home. 

I wish every show made me feel that way. 

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Apollo Theater drama

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I’ve never been to the Apollo theater before.

I love Eels, they announced a show there, so I bought a ticket.

When I went on ticketmaster, there was a front row seat available. At least, that’s what it looked like.

Not the case. I got there and was ushered up to one of the smaller balconies on the sides of the stage.

Initially, I was excited. I’ve never been to the Apollo, and now I’m sitting in one of those special boxes on the side of the stage where (presumably) only special people sit? Cool!

Inside the box were 5 chairs and 4 people pushing 60. Their ages didn’t matter. What did matter was that they were already fighting about the seating situation.

All of our tickets said “Row 1″…but when you have 5 seats in a 5 square foot area, the lines get a bit blurry.

One of the women found this completely unacceptable. At first, she refused to sit until the couple, who were there first, left their seats. Once she sat down, she continued yelling about a refund. The band were slated to start any minute.

Finally, she calmed down a bit, but continued to mutter under her breath the entire time. Her husband never said a word.

Once the band started, she intentionally moved her chair directly in front of the other couple in order to block their view. When the woman behind her politely asked if she could move a bit to the left, she threw up her hands and said, “What?! I’m just trying to relax and have a good time!”

With this, I left the balcony, found an empty seat elsewhere and enjoyed the show.

As the show ended, I got on the A train and sat down. I looked up and caught eyes with the person next to me. Sitting there was the woman and her husband.

Her husband read the newspaper and the woman sat quietly. Neither spoke.

I wonder if they had a good time.

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Apollo Selfie