Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dance Like You Mean It

There's this thing called the Seattle Head Nod. Or so I've heard it called. Go to a live rock show, and people don't dance. They nod. Heads bobbing in time to the music. Heck, that means you're into it. Everyone else is standing stock still, beer in hand, or hanging out in the back, catching up with friends.

Because, you know, you don't want to get too carried away. Except That Guy in front, dancing like a maniac, a lone hip shaker in a crowd that barely sways to the beat. But who wants to be That Guy?

Secretly: everyone wants to be That Guy. Well, maybe not everyone, but come on, he's having fun. And last night, at the Sunset Tavern, there were a lot of folks who decided to let their hair down and just have fun.

It was the album release party for the Tripwires, and no doubt the fact that these guys have been around for, oh, a couple decades, playing in bands ranging from the Screaming Trees to the Model Rockets, played a part in the festive atmosphere. The small crowd seemed filled with many who knew the band, and connections were tight between the Tripwires and their opening acts, Small Change and Llama. During the first two sets, Liz and I were happily head bobbing to the music, but when the Tripwires came on stage, everyone let loose.

People shimmied and swayed, twisted and turned. Up on stage, the band members sweated it out in sports coats, jumping and grinning and playing to the crowd. As people squeezed by to get to the restroom, I more than once felt someone's hands lightly at my waist - not in an obtrusive way, mind you. These were just people passing through, and rather than elbow their way by or try to skirt around us with as little contact as possible, they weren't afraid of a little touching out of consideration. It was, well, friendly. And like little kids dancing out of sheer youthful joy, we just felt happy to be there.

After all, there's no shame in being that lone dancer when you have a whole crowd backing you up. And dancing to the Tripwires beats doing the Seattle Head Nod any day of the week.

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