Darker Waves 2023

This weekend I went to Darker Waves in Huntington Beach. It was pretty great. We saw: Molchat Doma, The Cardigans, DEVO, Soft Cell, The Psychedelic Furs, The B-52’s (via video screen), and New Order. We also overheard Tears for Fears on the way out, saw a bit of X, heard a touch of OMD, and a few other bands I couldn’t name.

The amount of people at this thing was pretty insane.

At one point I had to really shove myself through a huge mass of people to make it back to my wife, and it started to feel kind of weird and scary how, as I progressed further through the crowd, people began to push back and get angrier that I was trying to get past them, even though I was saying “I’m sorry, excuse me,” and trying to get the attention of each person as I passed.

Half-way there, someone did a very pointed two finger triple-tap on my shoulder after I had passed them, clearly pissed off, and I ignored it and kept going because I knew no good could come from a tap like that.

I started saying, “I’m sorry, excuse me, trying to get back to my wife!” as a means of further explanation for my apparent transgressions. One row away, an old guy tried to stop me, saying I wasn’t being “nice enough” as I tried to get through the crowd, after I had to push between him and his wife because she tried to body block me after I said “please excuse me” to her twice. Everyone had been drinking all day in the sun so honestly I’m lucky I didn’t get knocked out by some old geezer.

It was a little traumatizing, like one of those anxiety dreams where you’re trying to wade through a mass of people but suddenly your arms are wet noodles and the crowd swallows you whole and you wake up crying thinking you’ll never see your wife and dogs again. Don’t you try to tell me I am the only person who has those sorts of dreams!

Aside from that, it was great. From DEVO onward, whoever was playing, I was dancing to it, I didn’t want to stop moving. I felt like a shark, telling myself that if I stop moving: all the sun, THC, and alcohol will get to me and I will crumble to pieces. It worked. I had a great time. And I learned I should probably be listening to Soft Cell (very horny) and The B-52’s (basically everything I already listen to).