Do you have songs that make your ribs swing open on a hinge, and pump your heart full of helium? If one of those songs isn’t Teenage Wasteland (yes, nerds, I know it’s actually called Baba O’Riley), then you’re wrong.
Now, like any other self-respecting millennial couch potato, the first time I heard TW was on an episode of House, but the real first time I heard it was live in Chicago from a cover band, *Mr. GreenGenes. Up until that point, the best music I regularly listened to was probably Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky in my tri-weekly ballet classes. I’ve been lucky to have friends and family with excellent taste in music that eventually rubbed off on me, but in that moment I felt like I had discovered The Who (Don’t laugh), and that was fun.
To set the scene, I was on the high school dance team, The Pantherettes. For future reference, add “ettes” to any title to make it sound more bedazzled. We were in Chicago with the **marching band. Weirdly, in my memory of this night, I am drunk, which is impossible because the FR marching band ***wouldn’t stand for that shit. (Cheers to those of you who proved that last sentence wrong). But, I was so giddy listening to Teenage Wasteland live, that damn intro, that in all my memories of it I’ve had two strong long island iced teas.
The night I heard TW was during one of my earlier bouts with depression, and it made me realize that music, specifically loud music, can be a temporary relief from overwhelming darkness. I was there in the middle of what I’m sure seemed like a huge crowd to me at the time, could see all the strings on each guitar, and for five minutes, I felt relief.
Back to present day. I’ve been to so many awesome concerts, and all around the country, that sometimes I get jaded. I try to remember that the perfect antidote to your darkest moments is a spot by the speakers, sobriety (give or take a few drinks), and a local cover band.
*I googled Mr. GreenGenes to see what they’re up to these days and found out that the world’s first scientifically altered glow-in-the-dark cat is named Mr. Green Genes. We live in the future, people.
**Watch this video of the FR marching band performing Thriller. We were the rock-stars of the high school marching band circuit.
***Never got drunk on a marching band trip, but I did pierce my own nose in the hotel room! #rebelrebel