Saturday, August 8, 2015

They've gone from 'Kids' to 'Juno' and I'm Greenberg. The 'Gang of Youths' Sydney show.

The 'Gang of Youths' Sydney show.

As we approached the man who was about to slap us with green wristbands, security muttered something to him. "What did he say?" my friend asked. We both thought it might have been "border". Maybe it was "water" I wondered, our other friend did get asked to confiscate her bottle. We carried on into the gig as the second support played their last few songs.

We sensed the wristbands meant the show was All-ages. As the room filled there was a dawning realisation the crowd were overwhelmingly kids. The band we came to see were 'Gang of Youths' so we were genuinely pleased by the poetry of being encircled by just that. I spotted a teenager next to me wearing a 'Freaks and Geeks shirt and smirked at how sophisticated her taste was. I drafted my optimal dating profile: I taped every episode of 'Freaks and Geeks'**.
It proudly tipped my age and cool, being borderline smug about it. I asked her where she got it from, I figured it'd be homemade. She got it at a Comic convention.

A short curly-haired girl with a 3-panel cap walked by, I thought to myself "these kids are reeeeeally cool". But I meant it in a patronising, threatened way. A few beats after passing us, my friend whipped towards me and we locked eyes. "Wait! Did you just give me that look cuz that girl was strikingly cool?". She nodded.

I started thinking about my age. I imagined that this would be a terrible place to be high, I'd be paranoid I was swarmed by adolescents with judging eyes. I relayed these concerns, my friend remarked "It's already happening".
That morning I had listened to a podcast where Director Harmony Korine talked about his feelings towards his landmark movie 'Kids' (1995) 20 years on. It was basically checking in on a punk teen once you aged them with life.

VIDEO: 'Greenberg' (2010) party scene

The kids are all right but those around me didn't seem to have the reckless innocence of that classic coming-of-age movie. Kids be 'Juno' (2007) now. They knew too much or at least more than me at that age.
That's what I felt at that moment, like Greenberg at the party. When Ben Stiller's 40 year old character admonished the kids - "You're so sincere and interested in things. There's a confidence in you guys that's horrifying". This was tonight's theme.

VIDEO: 'Greenberg' Official Trailer

I came to the show because my good friend insisted but I didn't really know the band. I
knew a few songs from the radio, I didn't expect to get hit by this sudden identity crisis but it was cool nonetheless. I spent the first half of the gig drafting everything you're reading now in my head.

Then they played this song and I lost my shit.

VIDEO: Gang of Youths cover LCD Soundsystem 
'All My Friends' for Like A Version

Gang of Youths did a Like a Version for LCD Soundsystem's 'All my friends'. I knew it only as the song that scored the trailer for 'Greenberg', one of my favorite movies. Now it underscored everything.

A few songs before I had realised what might have been said as we came into the venue. The bouncer had just carded us and he was giving the OK to his colleague giving out wristbands for the Bar - "Older" he was saying assuringly.

** Channel 9 aired 'Freaks and Geeks' in 1999. I saw Samm Levine on the Martin Short show and was charmed by him, he plays Neal on 'Freaks and Geeks'. From that daytime appearance I decided to tape the Pilot airing soon after.