Sunday, April 25, 2010

best. live performance. ever.

I just got back from a show starring the Indigo Girls, with a special appearance by a band I'd never heard of. The group is called Girlyman, and they are drop-dead fantastic. They knocked us all absolutely dead, and it was obvious that the Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, had a great deal of respect for these guys.

Here's a vid of one of their recent songs, "Young James Dean." In the live performance, they also had a drummer, JJ Jones, who added a nice kick to their sound. You might want to consider checking them out if they come to a town near you.

The Indigo Girls have a strong following in the gay community, and it was interesting to sit for all those hours inside of a room loaded with people who not only accept difference but embrace it, people around whom you know you're safe, you know you're valued, you know you're part of a group whose interests align with yours. Well, okay, that wasn't really the interesting part. The interesting part was what happened after the performance, when the Indigo Girls' fans spilled out into downtown Bloomington. My friends and I hung around, hoping to catch sight of the band when they left, and as the rest of the audience dispersed they were replaced with drunk or drinking Little500 celebrants passing by the Buskirk-Chumley Theater on their way to one bar or another. Drunk, obnoxious, loud.

If you're someone like my friends and me, you retreat a step when the scene changes like this. You tense up a little bit and start looking around at your surroundings a little more. You get in your car and lock the doors. You remember that things that lots of people take for granted--personal safety and respect for boundaries--are not givens, and that even expecting to be treated with basic human respect can be a risk that's not worth taking.

It takes the surprising experience of suddenly feeling safe to realize how rare those moments of safety and security are for people who live outside the mainstream. This fact is well worth our sadness, our outrage, and our disgust.

1 comment:

Gagan said...

you say: " expecting to be treated with basic human respect can be a risk that's not worth taking. "

I say: " Without taking that risk, nothing will ever change. Sticking out like a sore thumb is ok :)- believe me I am talking from experience.
Having a selective memory really helps though."


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