It was a weird place.
I was in a pizza parlor. I was headed to see my first indie show, but my crew got sidetracked – we needed pizza.
N- and J- walked through the door of this upper-class pizza place first. They deflected the stares off of me as the Main Liners inside looked on.
We ate the pizza – mine had ravioli on it – carefully as to not arouse suspicion that we were in fact going to an indie rock show. These people, with their khakis and the same two shirts, did not appear to be indie rock fans.
I left first to go get my car which usually only drives to “jam band” concerts. Normally, I pile into a parking lot with a group of Deadheads, smoke some weed and listen to some music. But this night was different. This was Lancaster Avenue. This was Bryn Mawr College. We were to see my favorite indie band, Barcelona.
J- and N- piled in the car and we were off, quickly escaping from the Main Liners. We drove a couple miles and arrived at the college. Was this college indie? It didn’t look like it, with its colonial stone buildings and plush green landscape. I had envisioned more of a warehouse to see my first indie show.
We went into the student center and walked up a staircase to an upstairs living room/green room. The bands were all there (Clock Strikes Thirteen, The Ladybug Transistor and Barcelona) eating Chinese food and drinking beer from oversized paper cups.
N- mingled while J- and I sat on a step trying not to look out of place. J- couldn’t stop mumbling that he was uncomfortable.
But comfort only mattered for the next 45 minutes as the bands did their pre-indie show ritual that I had yet to discover.
Clock Strikes Thirteen played first. Their songs were airy indie pop with somewhat repetitive rhythms. At first I was happy to be listening to them but by the end of their set I was tired of this music. All I wanted was Barcelona.
After a short break, the D.C. quartet woke me up from my slumber. Barcelona is a retro ’80s band that bring back the only real good ’80s music: synth pop.
Jason Korzen’s guitar gives the retro-synth an edge all its own and makes Barcelona a must see. Unfortunately, the band doesn’t tour that much.
Barcelona even inspired a Temple News column. Last semester XTNX9900 had an advice column called “Robot Trouble,” inspired by the band’s song of the same name.
When they played “Robot Trouble,” one of the catchiest songs ever made, they dedicated it to N-. The song made me the happiest first-time indie rocker ever.
The band wrapped up its set and I went outside to talk with the band. As I talked to Korzen, I couldn’t stop humming “Robot Trouble.” Like I said, it’s one of the catchiest songs ever made, just like the band.
It was a good place.
As we three, scruffy indie rock fans ate gourmet pizza.