With temperatures topping the 100 degree mark in the last few weeks, I think about something I saw two years ago while I stood in line at a show in Houston. As I waited for the doors to open to see Braid for the second time on their reunion tour, something very odd caught my eye.
As a resident of Houston for twelve years, I know how intense the heat and humidity can be. However, something I'm still in the dark about is why anyone would ever wear wool slacks and a thick sweater-vest in this weather. Well, I saw a pudgy guy in this get-up as I stood in line. I was sweating profusely despite being in a T-shirt and shorts, but not as much as this guy was. I understand someone bringing a jacket or a sweater to where he or she works because of the indoor temperature, but not to a show in the summer.
A few years ago, Goose, Nick and I talked about an imaginary emo band called the Crying Sweaters. They never actually practiced or played any shows; they were just a figment of our imagination with all sorts of goofy emo cliches at the forefront. Why the name? Because we took notice of a few people wearing warm clothing in warm temperatures at shows and in videos. So when the Promise Ring released "Stop Playing Guitar" with that lyric, "It's a hundred degrees/and you've got a sweater on," we had a good chuckle. Sure, this was funny in our imagination, but this wasn't in real life.
I know there's a tendency to dress up a little when you play a show or attend a show, but there's a line between sane and insane too. At our last show, we played with a band whose bass player was decked out head to toe in a vintage suit (ala, Panic! At the Disco). Despite two large fans going at full speed in the venue, we were all sweating like crazy. I wonder how much weight this guy lost that night.
I'm not telling anyone what to wear here, but I ask: what's the deal with the over-dressing at shows? What kind of statement are you making when you're sweating like a pig? I dress for the occasion and environment neither under-dressed or over-dressed. That's just me.