I caught Washed Out live this past weekend, at Paradise Rock Club in Boston! Incredible that he’s still putting out music—this was the tour for 2020’s Purple Noon—when chillwave has been considered dead for years. I thought it’d be all synths but dude came on with a drummer, a guitarist, and even got on guitar himself.
I don’t get out much these days. So it was nice to be “social” for a change even though I went alone and was low-key freaking out at how many people I was suddenly crammed into a dark room with.
Being here—both participating in a concert and hearing an artist I first got into 8 year ago—made me yearn for a pre-COVID “simpler time”. Which is ironic, because the genre has been described as yearning for a pre–financial crisis “simpler time”. I’m nostalgic for nostalgia music.
Sipping on a PBR swaying to a microgenre act in a small venue made me feel like I was back in the hipster runoff days that put this guy on the map. For a brief moment it was 2009 or 2011 again. Gen Zers who feel they missed the boat on the Millennial zeitgeist would eat this up.
Outside after somehow spending $135 on merch, a woman complimented me on my Hello Kitty purse. I said thank you and joined her circle to chat. The guy opposite her had a signed copy of the vinyl I just got.
Me: “Whoa, how’d you get it signed?”
“Oh, I think the security guard signed it.”
Me: “Wait what?”
“Oh, she just batted her eyelashes at the security guard, he went backstage and came out with this. So for all we know he signed it. But I think it is actually the guy, we just looked him up on Wikipedia to see if the name matches.”
Me: “Oh wow, that’s awesome.”
“Well look, since we both have the same one, and you seem like you really like this band, how about we do this?” He swapped my unsigned copy for his signed copy.
Me: “Are you sure? Don’t you want this?”
“I do, but you seem like you’d appreciate it more.”
I thanked him a bunch, and not wanting the night to end, hopped in an Uber to a wine bar for a nightcap.
Hugh Guiney is a designer-developer with a passion for creating thoughtful digital products. He has consulted with everything from startups to household names to help realize their visions. Off-the-clock he directs indie movies, plays fighting games, and vlogs on YouTube.
Live Music Again
There's NOTHING like live music. As we resume this shared experience, our team reflects on the newly precious joy of hearing musicians we love irl.