Opinion — I love local music, even when it hurts me

    THE BEGINNING — The Crib, where I went to that God Eaters show four years ago. Since then, Ive gone to a few more shows at The Crib, and had their coffee even more.
    THE BEGINNING — The Crib, where I went to that God Eaters show four years ago. Since then, I’ve gone to a few more shows at The Crib, and had their coffee even more.
    Harry Stine/NW

    My freshman year, I went to The Crib by myself to see some bands. One was a visiting sludge metal band called Petrillo, and the other was the now broken up God Eaters. I had three cold brews, I moshed with grinning music nerds, and I banged my head until my neck was sore. When the last band played, I truly did not want to leave. Despite all the other shows I’ve been to, including Limp Bizkit, Japanese Breakfast, and Yung Gravy, that was still the best concert I’ve ever been to. 

    Fast forward four years. I am now 22, I still wear the God Eaters shirt I purchased all those years ago, and I go to local shows when I can. I still love local music. Last April I went to the NoMad show featuring Addicus, Destroy Boys, Cherry Glazerr and Sorry Mom. Afterwards, I walked home thinking about how fun the night was.

    But things have definitely changed. I made it through the NoMad show with earplugs, as well as my friends sneaking me into the side of the stage past the barriers. I tried to mosh during Destroy Boys, but I realized I don’t enjoy getting covered in stranger’s sweat anymore. Even during the last band of the night, I found myself checking my phone and wondering if I remembered to feed my cat. 

    The sad truth is that I am not 18 anymore, and while I still may not be very old, I’ve already begun to act like I’m deep into my 60s. Just the other week my girlfriend laughed at the fact that I used to go to high school with a thermos of coffee and a newspaper. Even my closest friends refuse to watch Curb Your Enthusiasm with me because it reminds them too much of how I act.

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    The problem is, I am way too conscious of my personal space and sensory overload to be able to get through an entire show now. I have social anxiety, and while I like to think I manage it well, being in a massive crowd while the music reaches ear-splitting decibel levels certainly isn’t as fun as it used to be. When I saw Car Seat Headrest a year and a half ago, I wound up having to wait in the lobby for friends because the lights and sounds were too overwhelming.

    Besides, now that I’ve done the whole “meeting people” part of college, all I do at shows is scan to see who I know, and who I want to avoid, while I’m there. I’ve even left some shows because I’ve felt uncomfortable about who’s in attendance.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I really do still love local music. I think it’s really cool seeing all the ways it’s changed over the years. Sure, I miss bands like The God Eaters and Shipwreck Kelly. But indie pop like Addicus or The Casper Fight Scene, in-your-face hardcore like Caving Grounds and Terrorist Cellphones, I love that stuff.

    Long story short, I love music and people scare me. I can’t do house shows anymore, large concerts stress me out, and I can last maybe two bands at a bar. I believe this is just a taste of what getting older is going to feel like, enjoying things but accepting that sometimes they can be a little much, or that I’m not going to be able to be comfortable like I used to be.

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