Last night I ditched my husband and kids to catch a couple indie bands at Metro in Chicago. Music is one of the things that’s getting more fun with age and my friend Lisa is always on the lookout for new acts playing at small venues. She’d discovered a band called Cloud Cult (right) that was playing with Ice Palace and Margo & the Nuclear So and Sos. Cheap tickets were available and so were we. We stepped out of our suburban weeknight box and headed into the city.
I usually only go to concerts to see bands I know well. Last night the bands were all new to me, and the crowd at the Metro was a bit different too. I thought the music was great - click on the links above to hear for yourself. But I’m not out to review the bands, I just want to share some of my random observations from this freakin’ entertaining concert.
1. I felt older but not out of place.
I think it’s fun to get carded, but it was a little embarrassing to have the triple nose-pierced doorman say, “Have a good night Miz. Killeen” after squinting at my license. Dude! I’m at a cutting edge rock concert. At least have the decency to call me “babe” or something. Though Lisa and I were on the older side, I still felt like I belonged. The crowd was a casual, laid-back group and an accepting vibe prevailed– not a lot of posing going on.
2. Indie fans don’t dress up or party.
The fans’ laid-back attitude carried over to their attire. T-shirts, hoodies, jeans and tennis shoes were the uniform for both men and women. (I’d made the right choice with my $3 Taret t-shirt but Lisa felt a bit overdressed in her cropped jacket.) Like the musicians, the fans didn’t pay any attention to their hair. The main style seemed to be total neglect. I’ve never seen so many bushy beards, ratty ponytails or wayward tufts. And barely anyone drank. Back in the day, a concert was an opportunity to get lit. Last night everyone stood, cokes and water bottles in hand, earnestly paying attention to the music. Wild.
3. The bands all had chicks.
I loved the fact that each of the bands had one or two full-fledged female members. In addition to singing wicked harmonies, the women rocked out on all kinds of instruments including violin and cello. Amy Hager from Ice Palace played keys, bass guitar and trumpet! How cool is that?
4. I can only stand so much.
The Metro is a great venue for getting up close to the stage, but there’s one catch – no seats. Even though the music was outstanding, after two hours my feet could stand no more. I dragged a reluctant Lisa out onto the street while the So and Sos were only mid-way through their set.
Even though I’m yawning today, I’m definitely up for future forays into Chicago’s indie/alt music scene. But next time, I’m wearing my Pumas.