Last weekend, I went to my first-ever hardcore show. I was a serious geekazoid as a teenager, so I was too busy trying to get the high score on the next AP Bio test to buy black socks, become straightedge, and be in the throes of a steamy hardcore love affair like my much cooler peers. As a result, I know absolutely zero about hardcore music. And, quite honestly, as someone who only rocks as hard as Elton John will let her, and owns elastic waist/neon/tribal print pants, I’m guessing that I’m a smidgen too flamboyant to fit into a scene with such an abundance of tattoos and headbanging anyway. My hardcore virginity recently became threatened when a babe who works at a Mexican place that my friend and I frequent invited us to his band’s badass performance in Brooklyn. My friend wanted to relive her high school years as a groupie, and I– while utterly terrified by the idea of going deaf or being squashed in a mosh pit– was hoping for free burritos and a blossoming friendship with the Hardcore Food Service Worker. So, I agreed to go for a greater cause, and, like a loss of any virginity, some awkward and messy moments occurred. Here’s what I learned from my first hardcore experience:
1) I really am too flamboyant for hardcore: I wasn’t sure what to wear to the hardcore show, but I thought that black– like the depths of my soul– would be a safe bet (of course, I jest– my soul is clearly made of rainbow confetti, and dogs in human clothing). I’m having a real “crochet moment” right now, so I threw on an “edgy” black crocheted top with fringe hanging off the bottom, and “big butt” jeans perfect for shaking it on the dance floor (spoiler alert: turns out they don’t really “shake it” at these soirees, but rather bop around like maniacal kangaroos). I accessorized with humongous, glitter-encrusted, yellow-and-orange dangly earrings, blew an air kiss to my poster of The Rocket Man, and gingerly skipped off to the dungeons to Get Dark. Once at the show, one of the fine, young gents in attendance asked if he could keep my friend’s and my hands warm (uhhh… yeah, we declined). He then asked us what kind of music we like, and when I responded, “Disco,” he didn’t seem interested in maintaining our palm temperatures any longer.
2) Hardcore shows are great places to pick up a man-friend: Upon arriving at the hardcore show, the first thing I noticed was the diversity of the audience. In this group alone, I saw: white guys with beards, white guys with tattoos, white guys with long hair, white guys with tattoos and long hair, and just a few ladies (with tattoos and long hair, naturally). Hardcore shows seem to be a real melting pot, bringing together all sectors of the community (read: Williamsburg) with the common goal of flailing around to the tune of a grown man screaming like an infant. But mostly, hardcore shows seem like an ideal place to go if you’re a single lady looking for a man to smooch on (as long as you like inked up hirsute dudes– and really, who doesn’t?).
3) No need to get an expensive gym membership when you can burn calories at a hardcore show: We listened to the first band, a squad of– you guessed it– long-haired, tattooed guys, and I nearly got knocked over by all of the jumping around everyone was doing. Hardcore shows clearly aren’t for cat lady-souled goody two-shoes like me, who prefer artfully swaying back-and-forth to the music that they listen to, or sometimes dancing like Davy Jones (RIP) in the “Daydream Believer” video. After the first band, Hardcore Food Service’s group took to the stage, and I was completely mesmerized by the amounts of rolling around, sweaty lunging, and forward thrusting taking place up there. This was a much better workout than Zumba! Who needs the gym, when you can burn so many calories in a mosh pit? Just be careful– poor Hardcore Food Service Worker threw out his back doing all of that thrusting, and had to hobble home early instead of joining us for the after party. Stretch before you thrust, people!
In short, hardcore shows can be really intimidating for an over-the-top nerd like me, but they actually prove to be tremendous values in the areas of dating and fitness. If you’re single lady looking for a guy with a great head of hair and excellent stamina for aerobic exercise, well, you’ll probably find him at a hardcore show. So why waste all that time and money on awkward dinner dates with fools found on OKCupid? Just get yourself to the nearest hardcore show, and get a 2-for-1 workout and a boyfriend at the same time. Just one bit of advice, though– keep your love of disco on the DL, these guys don’t wanna get hit with flyaway glitter while they’re moshing.
Photo credit: Spinner