Hot Keegans In Motion

If the title gave you a bad feeling in the pit of your gut, be uplifted: it only gets less gross from here.

Let’s talk about concerts. I don’t go to concerts for two reasons: I’m not a music junky, and crowds make me trepidatious (not recognized as a word by WP, so fuck that). I’m also psychologically incapable of getting drunk in public, because I worry too much about how I’ll get home, and honestly who can afford a cab these days. This past Saturday, however, I went to a concert.

And I loved the shit out of it. There is, however, some amount of context.

Back up to Friday. My friend Zach (or you, to Zach, because you read this) is in Seattle, and we’re looking for something to do. Luckily, another friend by the name of Daniel Armerding—of the Hood River Armerdings—works at a very, very good brewery serving very, very good beer, so we had our first stop of the night nailed down. As we left, Dan had the courtesy to remind us of a CD release party the next night for a band called Hot Bodies in Motion. We agree to attend, and go on our merry way, but not before purchasing pint glasses.

Back up to college. I’m friends with a lot of musicians. A lot. Remember Zach and Dan, from three rows up? It’s okay if you don’t. They’re pretty forgettable. Whatever, both of them are musicians. But the thing with knowing musicians is that they know other musicians, so you’re acquaintances with even more musicians. But the thing with being me is that people remember you forever. I think it has to do with the height and the girth and the volume and the humor. Just a guess. Anyway. Scott Paul Johnson and Ben Carson, who together make up exactly one half of Hot Bodies, fit neatly into this musician-friends-of-musician-friends-who-know-me-better-than-I-know-them category. I met them through Dan, or someone. Just take away the fact that this is a band of people I know. We’ll pick up that thread in two paragraphs.

(Before I forget, and because I can’t really think of a better place to put this information, the other two members of the band are Tim LoPresto and Zach Fleury. Tim I’d never met before Saturday, but Zach is an SPU grad and instantly recognized my face/voice. Like I said, it sticks. They’re managed by a beard attached to the chin of a man name Nate Berends, with whom, back in school, I shared many a breakfast conversation re: faith and Apple products.)

So the stage is set for Saturday. I make my way to the Tractor Tavern (Portland Zach is otherwise occupied with under the assumption that I’m going to a relatively small event for a band consisting of men that I know. There will be music, and drinks, and perhaps I can pick up a copy of their new CD. Maybe they’ll play a little.

Turns out it was a concert. And what a concert it was.

The place is packed. I’m crammed up at the front with the rest of the friends and family, and even though I can’t see the crowd behind me, I can feel the energy and the heat. The screaming is a hint as well. Soon after the opening act—The Golden Blondes—and the sound check, four people in terrible workout clothes run out from backstage. They are attractive, sure, but they have made themselves atrocious. It’s a work of art, frankly. The idea of the “hype man” as a part of a show is fairly new to me, but certainly not unwelcome. It’s hard not to think of them as musical fluffers, though. These particular hype men and lady, who call themselves the actual hot bodies in motion, teach us a few basic moves of that Beyoncé dance. The one they did on Glee. I’m sure you know it. It’s far too crowded to do any of the moves, but we do our best anyway. Either way, consider us well and truly musically fluffed.

And now that I’ve brought oral sex into the lexicon, the crowd started chanting “Hot BM!“, which is certainly a better abbreviation than I thought of.

The band walks onstage and  quickly makes the audience its namesake. We are hot, and we are in motion.

Here, though, we learn that I have absolutely no idea how to write about music, so I won’t. There are plenty of other people who can do a much better job at it. Most of you probably are those people—like I said, musicians. All I will say is this: I bought the CD (Old Habits, by the way), and have had it on in the car nonstop. You can listen to it, and purchase it, right here. Also at those other links. Perhaps you should to both of those thing, then maybe take steps to make love to said music. It wouldn’t be the worst decision you ever made. (Or maybe it would, but then that might be half the point.)

Looking back, my instinct is to quantify why I enjoyed the concert, because I, as a man, WITH EARS, so usually don’t. I have to wonder how much of it was just the music (which I loved), and how much of it was seeing and spending time  (and grinding) with old friends, and how much it was just watching friends doing what they love, and doing it well. But I don’t have to, because it was the whole package, and that’s the entirety of the thing. Turns out social events are called events for a reason.

(I’m pretty sure I’m the first person in the history of the world to reached this revelation, and thank God for that. How else would I draw the crowds?)

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