July 18, 2012

Confessions, pt. 2

At the risk of sounding like Usher, this is part 2 of my confession post. Click here if you missed part 1.

Now that that's out of the way, I can tell you that I went to see One Direction in concert last month. I actually got in my car and drove 3 hours to see a band that was not Hanson and stood in a line where I didn't recognize a single face. It was weird.

The weirdest part of all was the feeling that I was looking at some kind of warped version of what 1997 must have been like for Hanson and their fans. There were home-made shirts and posters everywhere. SUVs and soccer mom vans had "One Direction" and a variety of inside jokes scribbled all over the windows in girly scripts (the "Puff Broccoli," "red jelly beans," and "MOE" of 2012). I walked around the block to find the main entrance, found a group of several hundred "Directioners" in puffy paint shirts, and I waited. Three minutes, I waited, until I realized the building looked a bit different than the part I saw when I parked and something felt off. I got up and went to investigate the front of the mob and was horrified at what I found. The sign on the side of the building said "Aloft."

I hadn't found the end of the line; I was at the band's hotel. I had to laugh at myself before high-tailing it back to the venue. I spend five years trying not to be that creeper Hanson fan that invades the band's privacy, and it takes one show to accidentally wind up at One Direction's hotel.

Better yet, the mother next to me at the show bragged about how she snuck her 11-year-old daughter right onto the boys' hotel floor before finally being told off by security for being a terrible mother by teaching her daughter that it was okay to invade someone's privacy. "I should have told him, those boys signed up for that lifestyle when they chose to become famous. I'm not teaching my daughter to invade their privacy--I'm teaching her to follow her dreams!" I smiled and nodded, because sometimes you just have to.

I watched 20,000 girls scream and throw stuff on stage and sing at the top of their lungs, and it was weird and foreign and not, all at the same time. All this and I haven't said a single word about One Direction and their music or their performance, and I have to wonder why I really went and what my true fascination is with this band. Great vocals? Catchy pop songs? Add that to the list of things I can't answer. Do I really have to, though, as long as I enjoy it?

And on the subject of things I can't explain, I leave you with this:

Confessions, pt. 1

I have a confession to make: I like One Direction.

Maybe that sounds silly coming from the girl that shamelessly follows Hanson around, but the key word here is shamelessly. Hanson has never been a guilty pleasure for me at all. I’m quite proud of their music, and telling people I’m a Hanson fan has always felt more like a privilege than a confession. I think that’s why I’m fighting myself so hard on liking One Direction. They embody every stereotype that people like to cast onto Hanson—a teenage boy band that doesn’t write their own music or play instruments. I’ve spent so long explaining that those things are NOT Hanson that it just feels wrong to like a band that actually fits that description. There are enough people in the world that don’t take me seriously because my favorite band is Hanson. Add another band with another stigma to the mix and it’s like verifying what people already think:

Holly has crappy taste in music.

And then my inner English teacher looks at the word “taste” and thinks about its synonyms, like “preference,” “favor,” “choice,” etc. What they all have in common is that by definition, they’re completely subjective, entirely up to the user. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that jazz. Basically, it’s my “taste” and darn it, nobody else is going to tell me what to feed it.

Click here for part 2, in which I go to a 1D show alone.