GET TO THE GIG: COVID Edition (Part 2)

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WRITTEN BY: Melissa Resurreccion

Plastic cups of overpriced beer thrown around, bodies colliding, being shoved into the shirt in front of you drenched in sweat, and the dramatic shift from the humid and stuffy venue to the brisk air that meets you the second you walk through the doors – to be in an environment like that is figuratively almost to die for right now, but with the rise in COVID-19 cases in America, that could be taken quite literally. Here is a compilation of live performances that is the next best thing to provide that feeling of absolute euphoria and happiness during a time that can feel monotonous. You can find Part 1 written by Samantha Sullivan here.

“CHEAP REGRETS” – THE DISTRICTS (@ PASTE STUDIO, 2020)

Fresh off of The Districts’ 2020 album You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere which was also coincidentally released within the same week quarantine started, “Cheap Regrets” provides a sense of budding chaos and pure adrenaline. With a simple bass riff and consistent steady beat consistent throughout the song, The Districts’ multi-layered sound just keeps you moving. Through nihilistic strings of lyrics depicting a life of wealth through materialistic things (“Jacuzzis, an uzi, and a Land Rover ride / That’s what the money’s for / Bikinis, bellinis, and paté”), but a life of recklessness where money can grant quite expensive thrills. 

“LET IT HAPPEN” – TAME IMPALA (@ THE FORUM, 2020)

Just a few days shy of the world practically shutting down, Tame Impala were headlining two nights at LA’s iconic venue, The Forum. Filling the amphitheatre to a brim, they brought an intense light show as a visual aid to their bass-heavy psychedelic rock.

At 5:26, Kevin Parker says to the crowd “are you ready for this?” prompting every indie head’s favorite bassdrop, followed by the crowd cheering and screaming along to the melody despite the lack of lyrics. Confetti flying in every direction and seeing everyone jump to the offbeat of the bass… Goosebumps.

“BODYS” – CAR SEAT HEADREST (@ RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE, 2019)

In the normal Car Seat Headrest fashion, lead singer Will Toledo’s inner monologue bleeds through to the surface depicting social anxiety, yearning, a need for reassurance, and finally being able to completely let loose. To contrast Toledo’s shaky and overly self conscious lyrics, the band plays an overly optimistic dance track in spite of this. From the anxiety of wanting to ask someone to dance at a party to the realization that nothing really matters, the build up of emotions evident through the song’s progression secedes the feelings of indecision.

“BUTTERCUP” – HIPPO CAMPUS (@ PARADISE ROCK CLUB, 2017)

Hailing from the band’s first album and most commonly played as one of their encore songs for a set, Hippo Campus provides a beautifully acceptable and perfect reason to scream lyrics at an indie rock show. With the words “she’ll be fine on her own” repeated like a broken record, the band seamlessly delivers yet another track to keep you dancing. Standing in a compact and sweaty pit surrounded by the friends that now feel like family, screaming “I’ll be fine, I’m alright, it’s my body / Gotta stick to my guns like you taught me” into each other’s faces, there is a strong sense of solidarity and empowerment that courses through the venue that leaves you wanting more. In repetition of the lyrics paired with a strong breakdown, any sense of care left in your body is stripped away, and every single body around you is suddenly bouncing off the walls, screaming their hearts out.

“I BET YOU LOOK GOOD ON THE DANCEFLOOR” – ARCTIC MONKEYS (@ GLASTONBURY MUSIC FESTIVAL, 2013)

Concerts and festivals in Europe have always been vessels of high energy and quality entertainment, and there is every reason to believe Arctic Monkeys’ set at Glastonbury in 2013 supports that claim. You can almost feel the pure bliss radiating off your screen, starting with lead singer Alex Turner making snide remarks to unenthused boyfriends, the incredible flashing lights, and getting chills hearing the crowd scream the chorus at 2:36, followed by the shot of fans aggressively fistbumping. With the song just above three minutes and most of it consisting of the same lyrics repeated, every single second of this performance exudes everything needed for a perfect (high budget) live show.


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