the ramblings of a music journalist and nearly-published author.

Guilty pleasures and suicide pacts.

with 3 comments

My roommate (and the best gay boyfriend a girl could ever have) works at a concert venue here in Milwaukee. Since we started living together, we’ve instituted a game of sorts, where in some cases we go to shows we like, and in most cases we subject ourselves to shows we would never pay a dime to see. This is purely for our own entertainment, mostly because these are the brunt of the “guilty pleasures” of our respective iPods.

metrostationA few months ago, it was Metro Station. Fronted by Mason Musso and Trace Cyrus, the big brothers of Hannah Montana stars Mitchel Musso and Miley Cyrus. This band should be the biggest joke in modern music, but aren’t. Instead, they are revered as the ‘next big thing’ by tweens everywhere, and their poppy self-titled album with songs such as “Shake It” and “Control” has been the soundtrack of summers for two years running. The other two band members are rarely talked about and even more rarely seen, and the same is true of their live show. Amidst the screams of pre-pubescent girls acting as if they were at a New Kids On the Block concert in the 90’s are Musso and Cyrus, prancing around with blow-up sex dolls and disco balls decorating the stage. The screaming alone left a need for earplugs, and the music coming from the stage made me all the more thankful I had them. I hated myself for being there, but I hated myself even more when Trace Cyrus came out for the band’s encore sans shirt. His rail-thin figure was all tattoos and an outline of each and every rib, and the girls in the crowd ate that shit up like they were at George Webb’s attempting to battle an impending hangover. Before going to the show, my roommate and I made an unfulfilled suicide pact, and for good reason. It was like a night in teenage hell.

We had a dry spell.

The next show we attended half-seriously was 3OH!3 and Family Force 5. Both bands are ridiculous in their own rights, Family Force 5 Picturebut having them on the same bill was too bad to pass up. Family Force 5 are a group of 5 dudes from Atlanta (or the “drrty South” as they say in their song “Kountry Gentleman”) who play a rock-n-roll influenced style of hip-hop that would leave even those suffering from ADD hungry for more. And what’s more? They’re technically a Christian band! Their live show has far too much going on to keep everything straight, however. All five band members wore tight white jeans, blood red dress shirts, and silver sequined bowties. Lead singer ‘Soul Glow Activatur”s pants wereย  alittle TOO revealing, and he came out wearing a painted set of plastic Hulk hands for approximately half the band’s set. While watching the band run around like they were loaded with Energizer batteries and Red Bull was fun, their antics got old after about twenty minutes. After 3OH!3 came onstage, the screaming and dancing began, and most of the set was spent wondering if the floor would be able to handle the impact of a couple thousand people jumping on it at a time. The band’s two “singers” both looked like they needed a shower and some deodorant, but who between their samples were actually somewhat entertaining. One thing that we noticed about this show, however, was the fact that 3/4 of those attending were under the age of 18, and most of the venue was full of people who were unaware of the existence of Degree and Tic-Tacs…judging by the body odor and bad breath of those in attendance.

These are just two examples of the bullshit we put each other through for a good laugh. This will not be the end, but is the beginning of a long life of teenager-induced headaches and unfulfilled suicide pacts.

This post was originally written via Sidekick in April, 2009.


Written by Liz Van Pay

August 26, 2009 at 11:40 pm

3 Responses

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  1. this post was too funny. Funny because I’m a mom of one of those teens who attend these ridiculous shows. I’ve only heard of those bands via my son and I know he can’t stand the maroon 5 one. The 3OH!3 I’ve heard the name but haven’t listened to them.

    With me being over 30 — it’s kinda migraine inducing to listen to all that screaming — plus, it all sounds alike to me.

    You did an excellent job of describing what these ‘concerts’ are like. ๐Ÿ™‚


    November 18, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    • I try to be entertaining in my descriptions! I definitely know what you mean – even at 24, some of those shows are too much for even me.

      Liz Van Pay

      December 30, 2009 at 12:41 am

  2. I’m 20 and I think Family Force 5 is awesome!!!! They know how to have fun. Everyone else is so serious with their music these days! It’s good to have a band that keeps the party going, positively and without the vulgar.

    P.S. I’m from the dirtiest of the Dirty South (ATL, GA) just like FF5. ๐Ÿ™‚


    July 5, 2010 at 2:39 am

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