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MAY 1, 2007 10:56 PM

As a favor to a friend, I agreed to chaperon a few teenagers at a concert.
The 9:30 club is one of D.C.’s best concert venues. This month they’ve got Peter Bjorn and John, Air, Ben Gibbard, LCD Soundsystem, Andrew Bird and a bunch of other great bands.

Last Saturday, they had four bands I’d never head of, a ton of kids with X’s on their hands and more bored looking adults than I’ve seen since my graduation ceremony last year. Love Parade, The Almost, This Providence and Paramore, in case you were wondering.

Given that I love awkward moments, I was shocked at how uneasy I felt standing in front of the concert venue, the lone adult in a sea of Hot Topic’s most valued customers. The music didn’t appeal to me and that is all I’ll say about the music. It just wasn’t my taste, so I’m not really a fit judge. What got my attention, however, was the fact that the second band stopped their set before their last song to proclaim that they were “…all Christians in this band, but not the fake kind of Christians with nothing but judgment in their hearts” and then continued to sing a song about their enlightened path to god amidst all those lousy fake-Christians. I see where they were trying to go, but again, it sort of made me look up from the tattered copy of the newspaper I’d found.

The next band did a rock cover of Amazing Grace and then sang a song called Hallelujah, but it wasn’t the one I was familiar with.

I wandered around the venue and bought some earplugs (which might become a regular thing for me), so I don’t really know much about the third band.

The fourth band was the one that everyone came to see and it seemed like I had been joined by more over-21 year-olds, judging from the increase in people drinking beer by the end of the show.

After four hours, the show finally ended and I reunited with my group. They wanted to buy t-shirts and to tell the truth, so did I. One of the T-shirts was printed with a repeating “Riot” in a red black green and yellow color pattern. Not sure wich band it was for, but it was a pretty cool looking shirt.

While I was waiting for pictures to be taken, I noticed one of the band members from the first band was standing next to me. Since I’d heard them say they were from Detroit (this completely non-musical fact earned them the spot as my number one when I was later asked which band was my favorite) I decided to ask them where they were really from. Clinton Township (or was it Chelsea) and Grosse Point.

The whole experience wasn’t that bad. I was really happy that I could help out a friend. In hindsight, I have to laugh at the situation a bit though. I have always been pretty much oblivious to the Christian rock that seems so common in Grand Rapids, but within months of moving to a city so liberal that Republicans refuse to allow them a vote in Congress, I found myself at this particular concert. When I told the guy from Michgan that I was from Grand Rapids, he responded with; “That’s the second biggest city in Michigan now. Dick Devos is from there.”


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