Weeknight shows have special place in my heart, more so than Friday-Sunday music festivals, booze cruise ship rides, and free Sunday shows in the park. Weeknights, as goes conventional wisdom, are less desirable than weekends for shows, since most of us are more likely to want to come out on the latter. But this rational assumes the worst in people; mainly, that we aren’t responsible enough to moderate ourselves in lieu of work and jobs, that we must get 8 hours of sleep or die, and even worse, that we’ve grown so old that Monday through Thursday is all work, and no play.
Weekend shows usually involve excessive partying, late nights out, heavy hangovers, and the need to hydrate before going to bed. Weekday shows, on the other hand, are tempered by the fact that as adults, we have responsibilities to our jobs, our families, and to ourselves to keep it sensible. Between work, paying bills, feeding our pets, and generally being grown ass adults, there is constant pressure for us to moderate the weeknight – to get home at a reasonable time, to catch the subway before midnight, to wake up at 8:00 to hit the gym. The further we move away from our college days, the more this pressure accumulates in our brains in toxic concentrations, and at some point, we inevitably cease to have fun on weeknights, becoming lame dads or moms, sipping wine at dinner, saying “remember the days when we were young?”
Looked at in another way, perhaps all this pressure on our lives has just really fucked up our perspectives on life. Perhaps our ambitions and dreams have made us lose track of what brought us the greatest happiness in our younger days. Maybe, as human beings, we weren’t destined to sit in front of a computer all day, only to go home and sit in front of a television for rest of the night. Does the 8:00 dinner reservation at that new, expensive restaurant really bring us more happiness than seeing live music at a fraction of the price? Is a home cooked meal that took us 2 hours to prepare truly more enjoyable than a falafel, beer, and live art? Why have certain things – dinner dates with your partner, that yoga class you go to 3 days a week, the presentation you have for work at 10 AM the next morning – become incompatible with your weeknight lifestyle the older you get? Why must these activities be mutually exclusive of each other, why must we stress about “going out” Monday through Thursday, even if we go to bed at the same time? Does getting older necessarily mean we must get lamer?
I think about these things because like many of you, I feel the same pressure to excel at my job, to stay in when appropriate, to not show up to work with bloodshot eyes and the fresh smell of alcohol. But it is because of these things that I force myself to maintain a proper perspective on things, and to always seek the right balance in life. Because if we become slaves to our adult lives – that slowly degenerative malady that saddens us with nostalgia – what do we become, other than responsible adults that never veer from the predetermined path?
When we think back on our younger days and the reckless times we've had, we often do so with a kind of reverence towards times we will never have again. But we do have a choice moving forward, and it is a simple one: either resign ourselves to the sober path that society has chosen for us, or redouble our efforts to avoid the prescribed course. After all, as fans of independent music, we look at popular culture with a critical and suspicious eye. We are different, and we define ourselves by who we are and refuse to let society pin us down. Our adult lives embody so many things that have no specific deadline – cleaning our apartments, applying for jobs, catching a movie – but live music is both immediate and fleeting. So the next time we are given the choice between updating our resume and seeing our favorite band play at _____, think about the experiences we sacrifice to do the former, and memories we might have lost skipping the latter.
Always be mindful of our responsibilities that cannot escape us, but never let them destroy us. Long live the weeknight out.