If it isn’t on your Instagram story, were you even actually there?
Together PANGEA, Tall Juan and Daddy Issues swung by Brooklyn to play Music Hall of Williamsburg. I was delighted to see old friends and hear good music, but tragedy struck me earlier that week: my iPhone broke.
Without a phone, there was no texting or Instagramming; I couldn’t even Google the answers to random questions that popped into my head. Like, where did the word “tampon” come from? That was an actual thought I had that I couldn’t ask Google. (My friend told me it comes from a Medieval French word.)
I was pretty much non-existent in the eyes of my fellow millennials—but I still went to the show.
Without Google maps to rely on, I depended solely on muscle memory to get to the venue. I arrived with only a slight idea of what time it was. I looked at people in the crowd instead of avoiding eye contact. I couldn’t text anyone to meet me at the bar— scanning the crowd was my only option to find my friends.
Without the burden of needing to share my cool adventures on social media, I noticed details that I would tend to overlook.
For one, the gals of Daddy Issues reek with stage presence. They aren’t afraid to make eye contact with everyone in the crowd while they shred on their instruments. Bassist Jenna Mitchell sticks her tongue out at people, while singer Jenna Moynihan screams “fuck you forever” into the mic—it’s something to behold. It’s empowering to watch these women be vulnerable but strong on stage with catchy rock ‘n’ roll. It almost felt inconsiderate to have ever interrupted their live set just to get it on my IG story.
Tall Juan always keeps the audience on their toes. At every show, he invites a member of the audience on stage to play drums for a song. Normally, I’d have my phone at the ready for Tall Juan making sweet love to his mic stand. For the first time, I noticed that he’s able to fit at least the entire upper half of his microphone into his mouth. The intimacy of it all caught me off guard, even though I’ve seen him perform tons of times. All this accompanied by his loud ‘70s NYC-punk influenced tunes was like I was seeing him for the first time.
This was my first time seeing Together PANGEA, so it was rough not being able to document it, but it was still amazing. I’d moved to the upstairs VIP area by the time they took the stage. I was not only able to enjoy the show, but also all the people going crazy on the ground floor. One guy came out of nowhere to do a complete backflip into the crowd.
Together PANGEA is like if hardcore punk had a baby with indie rock, but then the baby was raised mostly by pop punk. It’s melodic and emotional, but still has some dark moments. They got everyone leaping and pushing each other around. It didn’t matter how many people got dropped on their head, they still kept throwing themselves into the crowd.
The atmosphere was filled with adrenaline. It was impossible to not have a good time—even if your phone was broken.
Since I had no sense of time, I continued after the show with the bands to the after-party at Dardy Bar and Clem’s. Two things worth noting from being phoneless at this show’s after party: One, everyone is glad to have someone to talk to in a crowded bar—even musicians who just played on stage. Two, the only thing left to distract yourself when you’re alone in a crowded bar is your drink. So instead of grabbing your phone and scrolling through your Facebook feed, you start chugging whatever drink is in your hand.
When I got home, I checked my iMessages and Facebook Messenger on my laptop like back in the day when you’d check your landline answering machine.
I’m sure lots of people are rolling their eyes at my experience of going out without a phone. It’s just been so long since I’ve been without a connection to the rest of the world. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d ever go back.
But it was actually pretty nice. Maybe I’ll start leaving my phone at home on purpose.
Throw your phone out the window and give it a try—see if the tour is coming to a city near you.