I scratched my itch to travel south last night by driving to see Macklemore and Ryan Lewis play a free show at Oregon State University in Corvallis. What I didn’t bank on – or think about, at all – was just how old and out of place I would feel once I arrived.
It dawned on me about 60 seconds after assimilating into the crowd, and after at least four or five frat boys had bumped into me, the immense difference between 21 and 27, and (gasp!) 18 and 27.
I was surrounded by kids smelling of booze, as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis pumped them up in the distance. But the Seattle MC and his DJ who I have lauded in the past failed to inspire me to jump, scream, or sweat. I was too lost in the realization that I was old – too old, at least, for this crowd.
It’s interesting how quick the frivolity of youth is forgotten and the real world takes hold. I don’t recall my university ever booking an act like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to play on campus. I do recall many frivolous, booze-fueled times.
My college memories seemed a million years ago as I watched Macklemore act as master of ceremonies for a whiffle ball home run challenge. The girl on-stage hit the whiffle ball past a light saber in the audience, thus becoming the first person to win the whiffle ball home run challenge on her first swing, Macklemore informed the crowd.
The whiffle ball stunt served as a segue for the goose bump-inducing “My Oh My”, a track recalling the joy associated with seeing a hometown club win (i.e., Seattle Mariners in 1995). The crowd, many of whom appeared familiar with the duo’s music, responded accordingly, as they had on previous songs like “Otherside” and “Life is Cinema”.
Still, it all felt underwhelming. Maybe it was my old age, the so-so acoustics of the outdoor stage, or my unreal expectations fostered by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ revelatory Roseland Ballroom performance last year, but this particular show failed to do anything for me.
I left early, staring at the luminescent moon as I walked to my car. I passed students kicking a soccer ball in the dark on a giant all-purpose sports field. A few blocks ahead, I encountered the school’s football stadium, bathed in darkness.
The night was young, and so (still) was I, so I hopped in my car and drove north.