Much like sobriety and exercise, rock concerts routinely fail to live up to the hype. For every Jesus Lizard or AC/DC, there are two dozen bands that are about as exciting as watching hair grow.
Because of this, it's often necessary to come up with ways to entertain yourself at rock shows, other than the tried and true method of getting Nick Nolte-drunk. And we've discovered the mother of all diversions: hipster bingo, a concert game that spikes bingo with various cool-guy conceits. You begin by logging onto Catbirdseat.org/catbirdseat/bingo.html, which lists all the things you'll be looking for, complete with a handy game board that you can print. Then you head to your local rock dive and let the fun begin.
Here's what you'll be looking for: an ironic trucker-cap, old-school Pumas, a too-small sweater, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Miller High Life, a high school sports T-shirt, a hoodie, a white-boy afro, an 8-foot-tall guy, a 4-foot-tall girl, a circa-1968 Mick Jagger haircut, old-school Chuck Taylor, old-school Vans, an ironic mustache, an über-hot Asian hipster (female), an über-hot Asian hipster (male), a "grandpa" (a hipster over 30), a purse with a skull on it, a guy wearing a cabbie hat, a tattoo of a star, chunky black sunglasses, that '70s ski-vest, a blogger with a digital camera, and Parliament cigarettes.
We decided to try our hand at this new sport and found it to be almost as challenging as staying awake during a Rainer Maria gig. Here's how we fared:
Turbonegro, September 20, at the Agora Ballroom
Spotting hipsters at this gig was as easy as the Hilton twins. First off, the ironic mesh hats were everywhere -- Turbonegro even sold 'em at their merch booth. An older dude in a top hat, button-down white T-shirt, and a tattered denim jacket made the perfect grandpa, cool as a polar-bear turd. Then there was the guy rocking the Son of John Holmes mustache for another score. The only thing chunkier than the bevy of thick, plastic-frame glasses was Turbonegro frontman Hank von Helvete's oil tanker of a beer gut. Throw in many a Mick Jagger 'do and a thrift store's supply of old-school Chucks and Vans, and bingo was called before we finished our first beer.
Overkill, September 22, at Peabody's
From feast to famine, hipsters to hair farmers. After our kick-ass performance at Turbonegro, we decided we needed more of a challenge next time out, and hanging with the headbangers at Overkill's stop at Peabody's certainly fit the bill. Shortly after we walked into the club, we spotted a blogger filming the show for a quick, ego-inflating score that had us thinking about turning pro. And there were plenty of older dudes present, so the potential for a grandpa seemed promising.
But despite the presence of so many middle-aged metallions, the preponderance of tight, sperm-count-reducing jeans and sheep-dog coifs limited our options. We did see an older dude sporting a "Death to Nü Metal" shirt, though, which was enough to win our approval. We also spotted a Caucasian afro, but it was on a 40-year-old lady headbanging at the bar, so we were foiled again. Though seemingly every other item of clothing in the joint had a skull on it, we couldn't find a purse to match. As time expired, so did our chances of another victory.
The Distillers, September 23, at the Grog Shop
Since half the crowd consisted of squealing 16-year-olds, it wasn't hard to spot a 4-foot-tall girl. And as we bellied up to the bar for our first drink, a dude in chunky black-frame glasses and a nose ring large enough to pass for a horseshoe slugged back a Pabst Blue Ribbon for a two-for-one. Due to the relative youth of the crowd, high school sports T's were easy to come by, as was the hoodie on this first night of fall.
Then things got a little tricky. At one point, we went a good 15 minutes without a score, sputtering like the Browns' offense. An indie rocker with a mound of hair puffy enough to be the envy of every juniper bush put us a step away from victory. And with the clock ticking, we spotted a towering dude with a knot of dreadlocks, giving us the win. Hell, we didn't even mind when the guy stopped right in front of us, effectively blocking our view of the stage. The Distillers weren't all that great, anyway.