On proper concert attire (or: How to be Cool*)
I explained the Unspoken Rules of Concert Attire to my sister the other day, in anticipation of the Feist concert we will be going to tonight.
Do you also want to maximize your indie cred at the next concert you go to? Here's what you do.
The first rule is to wear a band t-shirt. This boosts your indie cred automatically, because it showcases that:
1) You like music.
2) You like good music (note: the more obscure the band, the better, as demonstrated by the Theory of Hipster Relativity).
3) You like good music enough to support it by buying merchandise--thus providing the artist with revenue, rather than paying off evil music corporations.
However, one thing that you do want to avoid is wearing the artist's t-shirt at their own concert. This is a faux-pas (caveat: if you're wearing a t-shirt which has since been discontinued, you're OK).
If you really want to hit the indie-cool nirvana however, you're going to have to put in a little bit more effort.
The trick is to wear a t-shirt which, to the unknowing observing, appears totally unrelated to the artist in question, but to the knowledgeable indie rock fan, is clearly related.
A good example would be to, say, wear an Alexisonfire t-shirt at a City and Colour concert. There's the link? The front man for City and Colour is also a band member of Alexisonfire.
An even better example would be to wear an Arcade Fire t-shirt to a Final Fantasy concert. Owen Pallet (who is, essentially, Final Fantasy) co-wrote some of the songs on the Arcade Fire album Funeral, and toured with them for a while. By wearing the t-shirt, you're showcasing the fact that you are nerdy enough about your musical tastes to research them: you know who wrote them, who played the songs, who produced them, who toured with whom, and when. Congratulations: you are an indie rock god.
As for me? I will be wearing my Broken Social Scene t-shirt tonight, because Feist contributed to their second album, You Forgot it in People (actually, I'm wearing it because I like it).
*Note: by "How to be Cool", I mean how to be cool in the eyes of a very limited subset of the population. I am by no means suggesting you try these rules in everyday situations. But if you do and they work, please let me know!