I am not part of any breed of concertgoers; however, it was nice to explore their habitat at the U-Fest Outdoor Concert, if only for a short duration. I felt like a younger Christopher Columbus.
Approaching the Blind Duck, I had already constructed an image in my mind: zealots shouting piously to their god, a horrific man—Marilyn Manson without his stage makeup, perhaps—and their god, in turn, shouting back, His oratory spells forcing His voice over the acolytes lest it drown beneath their cacophony. The fluctuating din coming from the pub only foreshadowed the paganism to come.
The reality was at odds with my mental construction.
Instead of a makeup-less Marilyn Manson and his followers, those who peopled the crowd were a quiet, studious folk who listened attentively to the sequence of slant rhymes and the “dropping of the bass”. They cheered when they were expected to and gave off several “whooooooos” when someone was “sick” in the usage of the word that does not refer to one’s health or mental state.
I found myself sitting on the knoll of a hill, bobbing my head where I imagined the beat to be—I could only guess for the more dynamic songs—and lying upon my XXL Fahrenheit jacket when the songs made me introspective. By the fifth act, whatever semblance I had of Christopher Columbus was gone and I had now become assimilated into their way of life, if only temporarily.
Near the beginning of the festivities, Arlind Kadiri grabbed the mic not unlike the way Donald Trump probably grabs money. At the end of his performance I at once felt like a teenage girl who had just watched Twilight: I thought to myself, “Wow! I just can’t—wow!”
There were also several rappers—one of whom I believe must have been a descendant of 2Pac—and even the U of T Dance Club, whose act, though short, was good enough for me to consider joining them.
Whether I will become the stereotypical concert fanatic, not change at all, or apply Zeno’s views on the illusion of distance to human change itself, I am not sure. What is certain, however, is my sudden fondness for melody.
The author David Shields once wrote that literature is a metaphor for human existence. Music, I now understand, operates in a similar manner.