words of privilege.

At A Concert

Released: August 11, 2021
By: el Prof

Hell(a) Yeah… last night I checked an item off my bucket list, seeing Green Day perform, and got bonus points for seeing Weezer and Fall Out Boy, as well as my trip to Detroit’s controversial, but delicious and reasonable Green Dot Stables on the southwest side of Corktown.

Walking in the crowding streets on the way from the Z Lot to Comerica Park, I saw a mixture of generations clad in the black rags of punk rock, excitingly making their way to one of the 4 entrance gates. A group of guys, maybe 2 or 3 years my junior (23-ish), were mobbing deep to the show, and gave my stark and contrastingly white, 90’s Piston’s pony jersey featuring Grant Hill, with matching teal shorts, a friendly nod of approval for “choosing an actually dope jersey.” It was a scorching 88 degrees, humidity with no breeze, downtown and I made my apparel choice out of pure practicality; I’m sure most people assumed I didn’t know I was going to a Green Day concert.

My fiancé and I had a few drinks at the slider bar before arriving at the venue (stadium pricing is a ripp), so naturally the first move on the other side of the gates was to hit the head. She was some how waiting for me to finish up as Weezer’s Buddy Holly blared in the background. I had come out the entrance further away from her, so she couldn’t see me approach; taking advantage of the opportunity I gave placed my hands of her shoulders to spin her around. Unamused, she led us over to the concession stand to get a beer and some waters before we made our way to our seats.

I am very insecure about my ability to dance, but Maddie always finds a way to make me comfortable and not care, even in public. Most of the night was spent dancing sideways with her in front of our seats, while pretending I wasn’t simultaneously grinding on the older GenX man on a date beside me; we touched elbows during every intermission.

During the first intermission, after Weezer’s strong, but empty performance, Maddie had posted a selfie of us on instagram with a poll on whether or not I was dressed fine or a preppy little bitch. I laughed it off, because hilarious and true, but it really struck me at that moment how much of an outlier I was among the crowd. Michigan is hardly a severe climate, but that afternoon was near the hottest of the summer and still fans wore layers and layers of heavy dark clothing. Is privilege choosing to be comfortable over group identity?

We had purchased the tickets to the show on a whim, deciding that we should be reasonable, not excessive when selecting the tickets, passing up being on the floor by the stage for a solid infield row with a good line of site to center stage. While I do not regret the decision, it should be noted that Comerica Park is not the ideal concert venue. Sound reverberated through the steel structure and distorted the music at times; they audio engineers seemed to be moving the sound quality between different sections of the stadium to equalize quality of experience over the length of the concert. It is for this reason alone, that I also wish I had been an entitledlitlebitch and gotten floor seating.

Fall Out Boy was next in the line up, they were sidelined the night before in DC with a COVID scare, but the rumors were true and band opened up strong. Pete Wentz rocked a personalized Tigers jersey, that was fitting for the stadium, as he and the band strummed out hit after hit in a pool of sweat. I never cared for Fall Out Boy much before the show, though they are a favorite of Maddie’s, but she was right, they are performers that give there all in a show and they are fantastic lyricists. The band was a strong lead in for Green Day and certainly hyped the energy of the crowd, though many confused Millennial and GenXers weren’t completely sold.

Finally as the sun had finished setting over the park and the local athletic club lit up the skyline, Green Day emerged on stage to the fury of American Idiot. I spent the remainder of the show banging my head along, yelling out verse after verse of their lyrics, and dripping in sweat from the rocking I considered a dance move. After about the fifth song and like the third time I had told Maddie that this one was actually my favorite, she just rolled her eyes and laughed, I think it was St. Jimmy. When Basket Case came on, she sung the lyrics of the chorus emphatically to me. Near the end of the show, Billie Joe welcomed a fan on stage, as per tradition, to play guitar in front of a packed stadium; this guy did not disappoint. He ended his solo song with a stage dive into the crowd.

Attending concerts wasn’t a big thing for my family and I growing up, my first show was age 16, and for Mac Miller at The Fillmore (Across the street from Comerica Park) for his Blue Slide Park Tour. I think I have maybe been to a total of 15 shows in my life, but this show was the most enjoyable. This bucket list item was totally worth it. Green Day and Billie Joe Armstrong are amazing performers and put on a highly memorable and engaging gig. The music sounds as good live, if not better; in spite of the venue’s flaws.

el Prof

el Prof

hey, i'm el prof, but most people call me connor. thanks for reading.

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