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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Seeking good times…

Published: November 4, 2005
Section: Arts, Etc.

Its about that time of year again. No, not the time when all TV shows start running those annoying reruns (although thats true). This is the time for all of the complaints about Brandeiss social life to come out of the woodwork. Everyone has a new theory on what the alleged problem is. The weather, the attitudes, too many nerds, whatever. Regardless of what your opinion of the social life here is, theres always a simple solution: Make your own adventures. Were fortunate enough to have one of our nations foremost cities only about a half hours bus ride away.

This past Tuesday night I embarked upon what I thought would be a seamless and satisfying evening, going to see The Go! Team at the Paradise with a couple of my fine Brandeisian cohorts. Im always up for a night of live music followed by a day spent yearning for that lost sleep.

The trip to the show went as smoothly as planned. The show itself was nothing short of awesome. The opening band, The Grates, played a selection of fast-paced, spunky songs with that currently desirable indie vibe. The Australian trio was led by the enthusiastic vocals and improv dancing of their vivacious lead singer, who never left the audience feeling bored or disengaged. In fact, the music could have been terrible, and I still would have been entertained by the sheer energy of this girl and the ever-smiling drummer.

The main act was equally compelling. I went to this show not knowing much about this band or their music. Even now, I couldnt find a category to fit them. They played music that fused elements of punk, funk, hip-hop, alternative, and even a little bit of cheerleading came in. Trust me, it wasnt as tacky as it sounds. The variety of instruments matched their eclectic sound;

there were the usual guitars, drums, and keyboard, but there were also bells, harmonica, banjo, a recorder (how many bands could make a recorder look cool?), and my favorite, some sort of foot long keyboard played by being blown into. Ive never seen this crazy instrument before, but on a happier note, look out, keytars, youve been replaced!

But what is a concert without a crazy, spastic audience? Theres always at least one notable weirdo. And of course he was standing, or rather, barely standing, right behind me. Throughout the night, he passed me bottle after empty bottle to place on that precarious spot at the edge of the stage. As a reward for my contribution to humanity, I got one of those drunken high fives that lasts too long and the other person kind of grabs your hand and pulls it into some lovely awkward position. I gave the guy a creeped-out sidelong glance as my friends did the point and laugh with their eyes. Clearly one of my shining moments.

In that post-concert bliss, my friends and I werent exactly in the best state for thinking. We hopped on the Green Line at the closest stop, headed towards Government Center. For some reason, my partners in crime were convinced that we were headed the wrong way. As I was in no mental condition to argue, I followed them off the train. Bad move. It was the right train. We wasted another $1.25 on the next train.

Many years later, we arrived at North Station with 20 minutes to spare before the last commuter rail back to Brandeis. 12:10 came and went, but still no train. Not only that, there were no MBTA employees or anything around to ask what the deal was with the MIA train. We came across two other students in the same confused position. We decided that this train was never going to come, and we had to haul some ass if we wanted to get on the T before that stopped too.

We were in luck;

we got a free Green Line ride due to the lateness. Mere seconds later, the last train picked us up, but we could only go as far as Park Street. There we anxiously awaited the last D Train that would take us to Riverside, where we could catch a cab back to campus. Ten minutes went by. Only a C Train. Another ten minutes, another C Train. Things were not looking good. Cell phones were pulled out, and calls were made to every person we knew with a car. No one answered. I was starting to pace.

After another ten minutes, our glorious chariot arrived. Relieved, we climbed on and sat down, hoping to catch up on the sleep wed be missing later. Shockingly enough, its impossible to sleep on the not-so-subway, especially after such a frantic night. Metal headrest-type things do not make good pillows.

The rest of the evening was delightfully uneventful. But despite all of the ridiculousness of the night, it was in no way a waste of time. The concert itself was amazing and, more importantly, I had a fun story to tell later. Thats what its all about, really. Having a good story. You dont need to seek out activities that are popular, or where alcohol is involved, you just need to do something thats worth talking about later. Be crazy, even if only your roommate or two friends see it.