Featured Story: Election

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Of Stars and Leaders

Bon Iver concert at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, From Spring / Summer

I wonder at what point Obama realised he had become a pop culture icon. The fact that many young people treat him like a rock star is old news by now, of course, but to see it in action is still startling.

I went to see The Decemberists the night after the presidential election.1 In another life, Colin Meloy, the lead singer, would be a school teacher. I could see it in the way he led the entire packed venue to slowly crouch down, then stand up, over and over, faster and faster, until the entire audience was jumping up and down and the band kicked off a boisterous song. And in his spontaneous interactions with the audience, whether it was playing a guitar solo with a peacock feather a fan was waving around, or borrowing a cell phone from someone in the audience, calling a number in the phone book, and singing an entire song into the phone.

But the most amusing part was seeing everyone go nuts when the band brought a cardboard cutout of Obama on stage. At one point they tossed it into the audience and the cardboard Obama crowdsurfed around. People were as excited as if it were a 1997 Radiohead concert and Thom Yorke had jumped into the crowd.

Image courtesy of Faith-Ann Young

  1. The picture at the top of this post is from a separate concert by Bon Iver, possibly the best show I've been to in New York. Now that it's winter time it seems appropriate to showcase one of his tracks.


Lilia said...

that sounds like an amazing concert!

KT said...

Glad to see you're finally posting again! BTW, I'm going to do SantaCon this year. Are you?

Nigel said...

Oh yes. Plans are afoot :)