Wednesday, aka ‘hump day’: so close to the weekend that you can almost taste it, but far enough away that you still have to find something to help you jump over the hurdle. This week, that special something was a Calvin Harris gig at HMV Forum.
Luis and I fought the throngs of commuters heading home after a long day of working in the city, making it to the venue just in time to find out that the show was sold out. Damn. Luckily, there were super scalpers (the most honorable members of society, dontchaknow) to the rescue!
First scalper: 35 pounds a pop (you can do better). And giving up was not an option for us–let us trudge forward, my comrade! Together we will achieve greatness! Victory will be ours!
After a nourishing pre-gig meal of kebab and chips, we approached a second scalper and haggled the price down to 25. Still steep, but it was either that or go home. Funnily enough, the reason the show was sold out in the first place was probably, in part, because of scalpers. Scumbags. Nevertheless, we were ready to enjoy the gig.
Pulsating lights, spanning across the color spectrum–beams of acrid greens, vibrant fuchsias, brilliant whites, twinkling like the aftermath of a star explosion–like a form of extraterrestrial communication with the electronic-twinged music. Center-stage: an enormous backdrop of our fearless leader’s head, as if he was the totalitarian leader, and we were his dutiful citizens.
Clap your hands? Each person clapped more vigorously than the next. Jump? We were spring-loaded, punching our fists in the air. Dance? We shimmied to the groove, unrestricted, insecurities magically disappearing: dancing for a common cause.
At once, feeling completely in your own world, but also making up a small portion of a sweaty, pulsating mass cross-section of society. Teenagers testing their rebellious sides, by sneaking sips of cider. Cougars, dressed in clothing that would have been more acceptable in the 80s, clutching at straws to hold onto their youth, hoping the lighting was favorable enough to catch the eye of a guy 20 years younger. Drunken guys, slurring along to the song they heard on a Coke advert (“Wicked choon, innit?!”). Flimsy plastic cups of beer sacrificing their lives for the cause, splattering tragically on cheap, generic shoes (thank God they only cost 1.50).
Then, the pivotal moment: the first few familiar, synthesized notes of my favorite song by Calvin Harris, ‘The Girls.’ “I like those mixed race girls” (hey, that’s me!) Pure, shallow fun, with no room for pretension. Anyone not dancing and singing along would have to fight off a neon-clad mob of his most dutiful citizens.
When it’s all over, we beg for more. A few teasing minutes of nothingness, and then our vigilance is rewarded with two more songs. In the end, we emerge from the battlefield sweaty, fatigued, and slightly deaf, but still buzzing from the adrenaline rush (or did they put something in the kebabs?).
Time to catch the tube home, ears ringing, legs more tired than after an intense Batuka session, but with a surge of endorphins flowing through my body.
Rather smugly, I smiled to myself for having just experienced the most glorious, natural high that is uniquely intrinsic with going to a gig–a feeling that no amount of pill-popping or powder-snorting fools could ever hope to mimic.Ready For The Weekend? Yes!