posted by Kirsten Collins
Rushing over to The Works directly after Lone Twin, I was distraught to find that, at 10:30 Antony and the Johnsons was “at capacity.” Antony and the Johnsons and 300 others were inside, having the most memorable moments of the whole week, and I am missing it. “You’ll have to wait in line. We’ll let people in as people leave.” “But, I have a pass!” “I’m sorry, the line is around the corner, there.” “But…!”
And at once, I was a consumer. Painfully, a consumer. No more feeling loved and cared-for under the TBA wing. No more sense of community, sharing a mission with fellow audience members, other artists. I am outside. They are inside. I want what they have, desperately.
I will do anything, pay anything. I have never heard Antony before, I have no pre-established connection to his music, I literally do not know what I am missing but it eats me. I am so completely a have-not. There was buzz, there was hype, there was advice to get there early. “The Mercury wrote it up, it will sell out, be there by 8:30 or you’ll be sorry.” I am so, so sorry. I stared at those on the inside, those by the bar chatting uselessly and not even paying attention to the music. “Don’t you people know how you torture me? All of us here, waiting? Antony is changing your life, could be changing mine and you don’t even care! Just leave and let me in!” I wanted to scream at them. On the inside, I am overreacting. My body is jittery from too much coffee and not enough sleep, and I have lost perspective. I wanted to, but I didn’t scream. I waited, patiently. I didn’t make a scene, I didn’t sneak in through the back. I was a model citizen. Eventually, I was allowed inside, but only for the last two songs, and I couldn’t really hear or see anything.
My life was not ruined. I was comforted to find my friend afterwards as the crowd shifted, and learn that she couldn’t really enjoy it either, even from the inside. “There were too many people and they kept bumping me, I couldn’t see, the sound was funky.”
And with that, I was back in the fold. I was a ‘have’ again. I don’t have Antony and the Johnsons, but I have Lone Twin. I have Guy Dartnell. I have Locust, and I have Streb. I have DJ Spooky and I have Victoria Hanna. I have I.M., and Allen Johnson. I have so many new images, and ideas, and information tangled in my head that I don’t really know what to do with them all. I have spent more time over the past week dedicated to creative thought than I have all year. Every night, I’ve sat in the dark with a notebook in my hand, unable keep up with all the earth-shattering ideas I want to write down. Tired when I come home, but unable to sleep until I can process the day’s sensory overload. As the festival comes to a close I am exhausted, but so completely armed to create.