So I am up to #67 in the archive of Stuff White People Like
. And I hate to be a pain in the butt, but I too am white, and though I have also observed that white people are less than prone to dancing at concerts, this is really only the case at many of the indie shows that white people are prone to attending. A list, to follow.
1 - Being "Unique"
I have been to many concerts of many different kinds of music. And many of them have been attended by predominantly white people. However, there is a strange strain of hipster that is so obsessed with going against the grain that for them, dancing at a concert is a must, just so they can claim to break the stereotypes associated with their whiteness and love of indie music. For example, on July 4th of 2006, I attended a free Belle and Sebastian concert in Battery Park before watching the Macy's fireworks from the FDR drive. At said concert, there were more white people dancing than at the prom I had just attended in June, on the prom I would attend the following June, or at any of the 3 proms and 2 semi-formals that I have attended in my life combined. Now, granted they were not dancing well, nor did they seem to realize that their claim to hipster individuality was going on all around them, therefore nullifying their efforts. Maybe they were just legitimately dancing. Maybe it had something to do with post #33
on marijuana. Maybe it was the fault of this album, the least depressing B&S produced grouping of songs to date.
Or maybe they simply enjoy dancing. Gasp!
2 - Being "Old" (or Just Lame Sauce)
This September I was called home from college to attend a Genesis reunion concert with my entire nuclear family. My parents were very excited about this. I was excited too, but I was less excited than I would've been had Peter Gabriel been on the tour. I mean, I love Phil Collins as much as any white person could, but Peter Gabriel is just so strange and wonderful. Anyway, at this concert, there were many people in their 40s and beyond, the original fans of Genesis, who knew all the words. They, just like my parents, were dancing like fools in ways I thought I would never witness, as I wasn't born for most of the embarrassment of the 80s. Maybe it was because they were old and are not well-versed in the current accepted norms of white people. I think that is a combination of that, and the fact that once you reach a certain age you are lame sauce no matter what. That being said, Genesis can turn it on again anytime they want, and I will keep hoping for Peter Gabriel to join them.
3 - Being Part of a Suburban White Sub-Culture
I grew up in Bergen County New Jersey, which, if you ask anyone from my hometown is really just "basically part of Manhattan". Many of the people I was friends with listened to hardcore music or ska, or they were members of such a band. The very elite of this group listened to a band called World Inferno Friendship Society.
Now, hardcore and ska shows require their special band of dancing. But World Inferno is a different experience entirely. My friend Matt has always said that the most accurate way of classifying them, as they are unclassifiable, is as a "skorchestra", which is a word he made up. It has something to do with having elements of ska, but being closer to something like a small orchestra like band that likes cabaret and has punk ideals blah blah blah. They have a song called "Heartattack '64" that appears in several different forms throughout their discography that incites a dance known as the "Heartattack Waltz" whenever it is played live. This waltz is something like a cross between the traditional ballroom type thing we all know of, and a mosh pit. Not the safest or most comfortable dance in the world, but it is appropriate when you have just drunk two forties out of paper bags while waiting in line outside the Bowery Ballroom. This is teenage life in Northern New Jersey. We dance at concerts.
4 - Being at an 80s Night
As has been mentioned on Stuff White People Like, we white people sure do love a good dose of nostalgia, AKA an 80s night (see post #29
). However, hat they fail to cite, is that, if you are lucky enough to have an 80s cover band in your area, you get to rock out like the Brat Pack to authentic 80s tunes being played live. Obviously, this is not preferable to the originals being played on vinyl. But it has been known to happen. So ha!
5 - Being on Hallucinogens
Umphrey's McGee. Moe. Jam bands. I worked in a coffee shop for a good portion of my high school years, and there were many regulars who were obsessed with jam bands. In a bad, bad way. Maybe it was their high school, I mean I wouldn't really know, because it was my rival school, and therefore all I know is that while our mascot was the Knight, theirs was the Norseman. But they seemed to have a sizable group of kids who enjoyed shrooming or dropping acid and attending jam band concerts. There were many stories of dancing. From what they could remember anyway. I am happy I was never invited to such an event. I never wanted to see these people dance. The ones I knew best were the whitest of the white.
And that rounds out the top five reasons white people would go against their better judgement and dance at a concert. Or you could just be like me and love to dance. All my hipster friends frown on it. It's becoming a problem. I'm beginning to question my ethnicity.