Concert #15: Man Man, Streetlight Manifesto, Passion Pit @ Brandeis University

Sunday May 2 was Springfest on Brandeis University’s main green.  The day’s festivities began at noon and the FREE music started soon after.

The main reason I made the hour-long trip up to Waltham, MA, was to cheer my friend on as she dressed up in a monster costume and danced around onstage to Man Man with a group known as Big Nazo! Oh yeah, and it was FREE.

(Big Nazo monster gives three hippies serious flashbacks)

Unfortunately, due to idiotic scheduling, I missed Man Man.

(SEROUSLY BRANDEIS??!?! MAN MAN OPENING FOR CHITTY BANG!?!?! WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA AND WHO THE FUCK IS CHITTY BANG??!?!?  MAN MAN SHOULD’VE HEADLINED!)

Man Man got on stage around 1 or 130, I didn’t show up until 230, and, yeah, Chitty Bang was onstage.  Missed the whole set.

Chitty Bang was a rapper.  I wrote rhymes in my head during Chitty Bang because he sucked.  My rhymes were better than his.  Then I stood dumbstruck on Brandeis’ main green for a few minutes and I could feel the sun burning my skin and giving me cancer.

I was fucking pissed, OK?

Later, I found out my friend and her monster crew had also missed the absurdly early Man Man set and she’d be appearing later on with Passion Pit.

I conceded that I would have to make the best of the day, noshed down some free kosher burgers, and hit the mosh pit for Streetlight Manifesto.

I had never ever listened to the popular ska pop punk bros and, frankly, I was bracing myself for extreme mediocrity.  I was pleasantly surprised: the dudes brought some heat.  They had a strong fastball and not much else, but hey, they could throw a few good innings, ya dig?  They’d be a decent fourth or fifth starter, maybe a long reliever outta the bullpen.

I couldn’t help but think that I was watching Blink 182 with a brass section.  Let me be clear: I mean that as a compliment.  (Fuck all tha haters.  Blink 182 rules).  Streetlight put on a fun show and I was strangely happy and sweaty.  I participated in the pushing and shoving section of the crowd.  At one point we ran around in a circle like a choo-choo train.  Bros didn’t wear shirts and pressed their sweaty bodies together and didn’t think that was a problem.  They did that stupid ska jig.  I didn’t hate them as much as I should have.

Then Passion Pit came on.  Again, never listened to a single second of music from these dudes prior to Sunday’s gig.  And their lead singer sings like a wuss and looks like the idiot singer from Hot Hot Heat.  Otherwise, they DO have catchy tunes that made me shake my butt AND I liked them.  Dammit, they were harmless fun, and probably better than MGMT.

Passion Pit

Versus

Hot Hot Heat

Plus, the monsters finally came out to party and I saw my friend dressed up as a grotesque monster; I participated in a ballin’ conga line through the crowd with the monsters; and I laughed harder than I had all weekend at all the queer looks people gave me.

Overall, one of the weirdest concert-going experiences I’ve had in a while.  A far cry from my usual little insulated underground punk rock bubble.  Impossible to predict or plan out these sort of shows.  Great job, Brandeis.  If Man Man had gone on after Chitty Bang, and I had seen them perform even half their set, Sunday would’ve been up there for concert of the year honors.

In the end, I had loads of silly, genuinely fun moments and will probably never listen to Streetlight Manifesto or Passion Pit again.  Ha!

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