Reading through Pete's article on DFW's suburban mall punk, I find myself preparing for a major generation gap at Sunday's Warped Tour date. Seeing myself, a thirty-year-old with an old soul but reluctance to adhere to certain adult responsibilities, being around a bunch of teenagers and college students eating up all sorts of music, multimedia, and extreme sports, will definitely be something I don't see everyday. And that's OK by me.
I remember seeing a major generation gap when my band opened for Tilly and the Wall a few years ago. None of us had heard of the band, but there was a line almost wrapped around the venue before the doors opened. We played to our biggest crowd, and many of them were teenagers or UNT students who had never heard of us before. After the show, our lead guitarist came up to me recalling times when he wondered why old guys were at punk shows. Now he was the old guy, and just didn't get what these young folks were about. Personally, I didn't understand why all these folks in thrift store clothing were doing choreographed dance moves to modern hip-hop playing on the PA speakers.
Accepting the fact that people older than me gave me room to like what I liked when I was a teenager, I choose to not dump all over teenager's tastes in modern music. Make no mistake, I'd rather jam out to Hot Water Music's No Division than Paramore's Riot!, but that's what I do on my own time. That's what I value about listening to music by myself. My tastes aren't threatened by mall punk, yet things can feel incredibly alienating when people seem all excited about the kind of clothes the members of Forever the Sickest Kids wear or how many records Hawthorne Heights sold in one week.
I know there are times when I can be the bitter old man, yet when I see somebody that's my age or older be even more bitter, it's amazing how I can wise up. I don't see a sense in tragedy that At the Drive-In turned out the way they did or how the Get Up Kids ended up second on a four-band bill with Dashboard Confessional headlining. That's just the way things happened, and no amount of lifetime bitterness can really change that. So I just accept the fact that teenagers will like what they like and instead of sneezing at it, try to get a sense why they like it.