I went out with Dyl and Sav to a concert last night. It was a band that Dyl really likes, so he paid for our tickets to go with him.
They’re actually a fairly popular indie band and the show was sponsored by the indie radio station in town, which explained why it was a sold-out show.
The venue required proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test to get in, so we didn’t have to wear masks. It felt so much like the “old times,” before Covid turned our lives upside down. Honestly, it was such a return to normalcy that I really needed.
We were hungry when we got to downtown Dallas and we didn’t know that the venue had a very limited menu of food they were selling. A friend told me about a restaurant next to the venue that she liked, so we thought we would check it out.
But they had a long wait and we also found out that it’s the kind of place where the waitstaff roasts you on purpose. Sav is way too shy for that and honestly it didn’t sound like fun to me either. So we wound up at Hooters, which we were very uncomfortable with, but we made the best of it and tipped more than 50 percent (then Dyl threw in an extra five dollars.)
I don’t shame anyone for working there and I’m told that the waitresses there make good money. They deserve it. We were all just kind of uncomfortable with waitresses who had on push-up bras showing lots of cleavage and thong bodysuits. It’s not that we’re prudish; it just seems so unnecessary and exploitative.
So anyway, after that surreal experience, we went to the show. I was easily the oldest person there by 20 years but I didn’t care much. I knew the music better than some of the younger people there anyway.
The opening act was one that J would have really, really loved. They described themselves as something like “aggressive retro electronic soul” and they fully embraced the fact that they looked like nerdy Asian grad students. They had an anime playing on a screen behind them, one that I know J really liked. I bought a tote bag and a cassette from them. I wanted to get the manga that their singer drew too but it sold out.
Then the main act came on and they opened with their song “2 Young 2 Die.” I’ve heard that song lots of times before but the lyrics are normally more muffled. I could clearly hear them last night, including the chorus which was “everyone thinks they’re too young to die.”
It hit me like a punch in the gut. There I was, already feeling uncomfortable being at my first concert since J’s death. Concerts were always one of my favorite things to do with him. And that opening song just brought that home even more, that he wasn’t with me. And that just made me feel so profoundly sad.
It ended up being a really great show overall. The band had a lot of energy on stage, honestly more than I expected.
And I’m so happy and grateful that Dyl still wants me to go with him. I’ll do that as long as he wants me to, especially since our music taste is even more similar than mine was with J.
But the fact remains that I still feel like I’m moving forward without J and that’s a deeply complicated feeling.