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TWRP (College Tupperware Remix Party)

TWRP (College Tupperware Remix Party)

Monday night concert tickets. I’m not sure what I was thinking when Ally told me her boyfriend, Mike, left them for us. I had less than an hour to get ready and look up a band I only heard about in passing. Apparently, TWRP stands for Tupper Ware Remix Party, but when paired with Danny Sexbang and Ninja Brian, they are known as Ninja Sex Party; now them I have heard of. Still, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I called Ally, nearly frantic. 
“I don’t know what to wear, or how do to my hair! HELP!”
         I don’t know what she did to me, but in twenty-five minutes I had been turned from a frumpy grandma in leggings and a cardigan, to a college sex icon with glitter eyeshadow, a side part, skin tight tube dress, and a borrowed leather jacket. I was forbidden to put my hair up.
         We arrived 10 minutes later than we wanted, but still got a great spot in line, and started talking about the songs we knew – or recently, and quite discreetly, searched Google in the Lyft. We filed into the venue, a small dark basement that supposedly fits 600 people. I wasn’t so sure but didn’t plan on taking our chances considering both of us were short, so I decided to go behind the handicapped seats. I hadn’t been to a concert as an adult and I didn’t know if I could even stand for 3 hours, let alone ‘mosh’ or do that jump and fist pump move for longer than 30 seconds. We were right in front of the loading ramp where the band members run out into the audience. Where I would be inches from Commander Meouch later that night, strumming his bass just like he was playing for me alone.
         The moment the opening act came on and announced they were Planet Booty, I was skeptical and slightly confused. I forgot there was such a thing as an opening act.
         “Y’all ready to make this place your sacred space tonight Boston?” The lead singer asked, thrusting a disco ball bust of his own booty into the air.
         “Booty! Booty! Booty!” The crowd chanted, as the light refracted around the room.
         Between realizing that I got “Das Booty” amongst my friend group, and that I’m “Not Afraid” to get my “Future Sweat” on, I surprised myself by dancing, and jumping while screaming “BOOTY!”, along with the crowd. Tonight, was full of surprises, more than I expected.
         There was something about going to this concert that represented a new woman inside me. I’m not one to be spontaneous and go to a concert. A nice nap and a cup of tea are more my speed. I wasn’t sure if it was because I was in a basement with mostly complete strangers, or if I finally wasn’t, “… afraid to be 110%” myself. Yet somehow, as the band preached self-love, the freedom granted by The Middle East Bar’s basement allowed me to begin to break out of a shell I didn’t know I had.
         This was only the opening act, so by the time intermission arrived at nine o’clock I was spent. My energy was dwindling and I realize that the main act is about to come on. Everyone else is energized and excited, but I’m ready to go home. Determined to stick it out, I excuse myself for a bathroom and water break, promising I’ll bring back some to share.
         I went and touched up my face in the bathroom, laughing as soon as I enter as the reality of what I’m doing sets in. It’s Monday night, I’m out late at a concert during my senior year of college. The exact opposite of what everyone has been telling me what I should be doing. The bathroom walls, coated in black graffiti, echoed my giggles despite my best attempts to muffle them as I tried to coax my hair back into a stylish side part. 
The bartender looked at me sideways when I handed him my debit card and asked for a bottled water. I sat in the barstool for a few minutes, still trying to collect myself and make sense of this collective energy leftover from the opening act. The smell of sweat, weed, and alcohol combined into an interesting, yet mind and body numbing, cloud over the dance floor. The bartender handed me my water and I downed it like the boys next to me shooting tequila. I gave up my seat at the bar to another woman whose look of fatigue, and excited confusion, I recognized as similar to my own, before making my way back.
         “Water?” I asked, 
         “Thanks Katie.” I silenced my inner germaphobe as my inner rebel broke all silent rules of not sharing food and drinks with friends. I’ve heard it said that this is how people my age bond, and the reason we get meningitis shots. My conscience started mocking me by singing, “Good Girls Go Bad”, as I took my drink back and took a hesitant sip, reclaiming the bottle as my own. Funny, nothing was different with the water bottle, or the water. I began to wonder what the big deal was, if my rules were useful.
         As I leaned on the railing, saving every remaining ounce of energy, the crowd started chanting, “TWERP! TWERP! TWERP!”, how you pronounce the band’s funny abbreviation.
         I thought I lost it. This self-described retro futuristic funk band came out on stage, the lead singer with a traffic cone on their head, the guitarist looking like a cowardly lion meets Spock animatronic, and the other two were Iron Man lookalikes. The first few songs I had absolutely no idea what was being said, the lead singer breathing heavily into his synthesizer made diction a fleeting desire. The beat kept the basement pulsing, everyone seemed to understand what was going on even if no one understood what was being said. The crowd moved as one, opposite the band, swinging their hips to the beat while trying to get as close to the stage as possible.
         Every song was dedicated to the ladies in the audience, and maybe it was the fact that I was in a crowded basement, in the middle of nowhere Cambridge, on a Monday night, but as they played each song, new feelings came over me. Refreshed. Revitalized. Excited. Inspired. Self-Loving. Encouraged. And then I thought, How is just a concert making me feel this way?
         Then they started to play Synthesize Her, one I had looked at on the ride over, and was anxious to hear. To be honest, it took me a few weeks of listening to the song before I understood the sub-context of it, its word play slightly lost upon me. It was the next song, Body Image, that became my new personal anthem.      
         “This song goes out to all the ladies, and gentlemen here tonight. No matter if you’re a boy or a girl, or anywhere, or anything,” he looked at the person in a full body furry suit, “in between, are you ready to have some fun tonight Boston?” Commander Meouch exclaimed.
         “We are absolutely positive that you should have a positive body image baby!” they sang.    
         That’s where it clicked. All of us, not just the people in the basement that night, are all the same. We all face the same struggles, overcoming them in different ways to make it. Somehow, possibly due to the lack of blood flowing to my brain from it pooling in my legs due to standing so long, TWRP and Planet Booty made us all equal in my eyes. A lesson on existentialism though was not what I expected from a concert.
         So I may or may not have posted a selfie where I preached self-love on my Instagram during a song break, captioned, “A leather jacket, side part, and my bestie. I think I found my combo to be a badass… at least for a night.” and tagged both TWRP and Planet Booty. Planet Booty may or may not have liked said selfie. I may or may not have screamed like a five-year-old at Disney World when I may or may not have seen that notification. One thing is for sure though, the minute I left The Middle East Bar, I decided to live my life to the fullest and best I possibly could. The first step was learning to love, “…every hair, fold of skin, and drop of sweat.”, and as I danced to the encore I did. As I ordered a large fry, milkshake, and breakfast burger from Tasty Burger that same night on the way home, I still did. So, I guess you could say that this piece is dedicated to all the gentlemen on stage that night who helped me embrace myself as I am.
 

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