The Moment I Realized I Might Be Too Old for This Shit or, My Night at a DJ Snake Concert

DJ Snake at Echostage in Washington, DC. August, 2015.

There have been few moments in my life where I’ve been made to feel old… and it’s because, well, I’m not. At 25, the world is still my oyster. Though it may not be as indulgent as during those precious college years, I can still live impulsively and free of major responsibilities like a mortgage, kids, and a hubby at home. But the progression of my evening at Echostage last Saturday night lead me to conclude that I’m inching further away from that carefree lifestyle…voluntarily.

DJ Snake was supposed to be another epic night at Echostage, but it turned out to be an eye-opening experience into the subtle ways your tastes change  as you grow into adulthood.

I present to you the timeline of my epiphany:

9:30 p.m.

Anita and I have just left our place, we’re ready to take on the night. Sneakers on our feet, pep in our step. We continuously gush about how much fun we’re going to have tonight. “OMG WHEN ‘LEAN ON’ COMES ON.”

9:45 p.m.

While walking down 14th street, I pause in front of a small corner store and turn to Anita, “should we get some turn up juice?” It’s mutually agreed that yes, we must acquire turn up juice.

9:50 p.m.

Chugging Red Bulls as we walk down the street. Feeling invincible.

10:30 p.m.

After spending 20 minutes on our feet at a pregame, we need to find somewhere to sit.

10:40 p.m.

“Oh man, this couch is comfortable!”

11:00 p.m.

We’re in an Uber XL heading to Echostage. The one person with us who has never been before is baffled by how long we’ve been in the car.

11:05 p.m.

My crew discovers that DJ Snake isn’t taking the stage until 1 a.m. A hot flash of panic hits my body.

11:20 p.m.

Echostage is the most packed I’ve ever seen it in the three years it’s been open. There is nowhere to place yourself where you can avoid people that are a) still in their teens b) ambassadors for ratchet or c) worst case scenario, both.

11:45 p.m.

Anita and I go outside for air. As we look around, we notice that we’re truly in terrible company. We’re approached by a boy wearing a terrifying pig mask who tells us he’s part of ISIS. His horrified friend rushes over, trying to drag him away, apologizing for this fool’s absurdities.

12:00 a.m.


12:15 a.m.

Anita and I relocate to the back of the venue, as it’s the only spot where we can breathe and dance freely. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try to get into it, the opener (some guy named Wuki) is absolute shit.

12:25 a.m.

The topic of leaving Echostage is surfaced. Maybe we should go to a neighborhood bar on U street instead? My thought is interrupted by a shirtless man squeezing past me to get to the bar — however, he leaves his sweat behind…on my face.

12:35 a.m.

A guy who’s half my height and probably half my age asks me if I “want to chill.” Does that line work on anyone? Even teens deserve better than that.

12:45 a.m.

“We only need to last 15 more minutes let’s wait until he comes out.”

1:00 a.m.

Fireball shots.

1:05 a.m.

Sweet baby Jesus. We never thought we’d make it but we did. DJ Snake has taken the stage and it is ABSOLUTELY FIRE.

DJ Snake at Echostage in Washington, DC. August, 2015.

1:30 a.m.


2:10 a.m.

Everything. Just say yes to turning down.

2:15 a.m.

I turn to Anita and say the magic words “I’m ready if you are…” She grabs my arm in sweet relief and the two of us summon an Uber to liberate us from the sweaty prison we should have known better than to walk into.

2:30 a.m.

Sitting in the back of our Uber, slowly making our way toward the coziness of home, I turn to Anita. “We’re too old for that shit.”

The time we spent dancing to DJ Snake was a blast and he was just as incredible as I remembered him being at Ultra 2014. Unlike the opener, DJ Snake didn’t just follow a pattern of predictable drop followed by boring drop followed by predictable drop. He seamlessly blended his hit tracks with older, hugely-popular songs and he even brought out Swizz Beatz! But it was the first time I felt so annoyed by circumstances outside of my control at a rave that it affected my ability to have a good time.

And that, friends, is how you know you might be getting too old for that shit.


The Beginner’s Guide to Surviving a Show Alone

Photo by Margaret Murphy

Photo by Margaret Murphy

You’re favorite artist is finally, finally coming to town. You buy your ticket, body pounding with excitement, and suddenly your heart sinks when you realize the show is on a Tuesday night; and absolutely none of your friends will want to go with you.

If you’re a huge live music fan, you’ve inevitably been faced with this situation. Your friends will offer a bevy of excuses for why they can’t go to the show with you: I have a HUGE meeting the next morning, I don’t like them enough to be tired at work the next day, I have a birthday party that night, I have to feed my neighbor’s cat, I hate your face and I just don’t want to go. All perfectly valid excuses.

So, what do you do? Going to a show alone must be so awkward, right?

Well, I’ve conducted that social experiment for you, and the answer is no, no it’s not awkward — actually, it’s quite enjoyable. I had always avoided going to shows by myself for fear of being preyed upon by boys in their mid- to late-twenties still acting like douchey frat stars who potentially have Rohypnol in their pocket. But I really wanted to see Milky Chance at the 9:30 Club on Wednesday night, so I decided to fly solo.

I learned many things during my two-hour date with myself, but most importantly, I figured out exactly how to go to a show alone and still have an awesome time:

1) Go get yourself a drink

Please note, ‘a drink’. As in, get yourself ONE drink. As you walk into the venue you’ll likely feel a little awkward and insecure. After all, you aren’t rolling up with a squad that affirms how awesome you are. So, proceed to the bar and get yourself a bevy. Having something in your hand will make you feel less fidgety and having booze in your system will make you feel more at ease with your solo situation. Treat yo-self.

2) Do not keep buying yourself drinks

This is very important. Don’t be that guy/girl in the back drunk all by yourself. You may think you’re just “doing you,” but you’re wrong.  It’s never a good look. Ever.

3) Put your phone away

I know, I know. Your phone is your security blanket. When it’s in your hand you feel warm and complete. Put it away. Bury it deep in your purse or pocket and don’t take it out again unless you want to take a sweet photo of the show. You may think that being on your phone constantly makes you look less awkward, but actually the opposite is true. If you’re at an amazing show and you’re just on your phone the entire time, you look like the lame person who came to a show and isn’t in the moment, which draws very negative attention to yourself.

4) Be friendly and social

This is one of those moments where basic lessons you learned in Kindergarten, like be nice and don’t judge people, are probably most applicable. If someone is kind enough to chat with you, don’t be dismissive or treat he/she like a creeper. You’re the one at a show by yourself. That being said, if as you speak to said person you realize that he/she may be a serial stalker, feel free to excuse yourself to “use the bathroom.”

5) Move around

One of the best parts about going to a show by yourself is that you have the ability to freely move about the venue without worrying about anybody else’s whereabouts. Everyone has that annoying friend who wants to be as close to the stage as possible or has to pee every 20 minutes (guilty), but when you’re on your own you can pretty much migrate as frequently, or infrequently, as you want. I watched Milky Chance from probably ten different vantage points in the 9:30 Club and it was AWESOME. Plus, the more you move, the more people you’ll interact with. Making it easier to make new friends.

6) Make concert buddies

That is, if you want to. If you’d rather hang out and enjoy the show all on your own, do you. I like making concert friends, even if the friendship only lasts an hour. Most people attending shows are very social and chatty. Remember, these are people who voluntarily paid to be inside a crowded room with other people’s sweat likely pressed up against their bodies — they are not recluses.

7) Remember that nobody cares

This is the single most important thing to keep in mind. I know this concept is difficult to absorb because in our own minds we are the center around which the universe revolves. But seriously, truly, really, nobody gives a shit about the fact that you’re at a show alone — because absolutely nobody is paying attention to you. So relax and dance as if nobody’s watching (because they aren’t).

If you aren’t familiar with Milky Chance, you should be! They’re an awesome German band comprised of Clemens Rehbein and Philipp Dausch, two friends who met in high school and have been making dope music together ever since. Their debut album “Sadnecessary” was released in October 2013 in Germany and one year later in the U.S. Their music fuses the singer-songwriter spirit with upbeat electronic sound — the result is deeply sentimental music that you can seriously groove to.

At one point in time during their show on Wednesday night, just before they played “Loveland,” Clemens and Philipp joyfully asked the crowd, “Is anyone in here tonight in love?” which incited an enthusiastic response from the crowd. Though I couldn’t myself scream and cheer in response, I loved that the band was so in touch with the subject they sing about with such emotion and conviction. That’s what makes them so special. The sincerity of sentiment wrapped in an upbeat package that makes you feel like you can dance through your troubles, until you finally find yourself dancing with the person you love.