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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Major Minority at Minor Majority

The Norwegian band, Minor Majority, had their first concert in two years on Saturday to commemorate the tenth anniversary of their breakthrough album Up for You and I.  

Naturally, I went.

For anyone who didn't click the link above, Minor Majority sounds like a less self-serious, Norwegian (with english lyrics) answer to The Decemberists with the fan base of a Dave Matthews Band.

So, yes, the show was packed and plenty of fun.

Full Disclosure.  They're my second, favorite Norwegian musical act only behind Kings of Convenience so I'm a little biased.

However, despite a cold, lead singer Pål Angelskår brought all the melancholy and longing to every song off the 2004 effort, including my second, favorite song by them (Ok, here's my favorite).  The others played their instruments with a type of passion and care that is present in well-studied bandmates who enjoy each other.  Some old dude even stumbled up on stage and played a helluva harmonica solo.

It was the kind of performance that reminds you why you fell in love with the band and would leave a new listener wondering why the 8,000 people around them were so turnt up.

Speaking of the 8,000 people, just as I've noted in the past and one would expect, I was like the only spot of color in the crowd.

(Btw, I'm not picking on Norway with the whole race thing… Nothing will ever compare to attending a 96.3% white campus during the height of The Chapelle Show.  I haven't gotten to a place where I can talk about that yet)

Anyway, yeah… It wasn't that awkward at first, because, it's dark and not everyone could see what I could see (or would notice until they stared at me long enough).  But, soon after we had gotten there, the house lights came on as the opening act was shuffling off-stage.

Then, the stares came.

We were in the general admission area which meant we were amongst about half of the capacity crowd packed tightly in a standing room only open space.  So, there was a decent cluster of people around us.  Again, nothing that happened bothered me (not even getting hit with two, empty wine juice boxes… I was actually more impressed that people were able to sneak that in.  Speaking of sneaking in, this group in front of us smuggled a bottle of champagne.  Impressive stuff), its just that I'm aware of it.

In a way, it was a microcosm of my whole life.  I've always been one of a few black people in every, non-family setting (except for my seasons playing and coaching basketball).  I'm use to it and it feels normal to me, which I'm sure is due to some, sub-conscious coping mechanism (If you think I'm exaggerating, imagine if, for every day of your life, the majority of people you interact with are of a different race or ethnic background).  In fact, I'm so cool with it, I live in a country where I'm like a vast minority (Black American Males in Norway: Approx. 10) and I've stopped ticking off the places where I'm the only black person (this blog post, notwithstanding).

I totally and whole heartedly enjoy my life, it's just that some times, I can become painfully, self-aware and it can be a disjointing view.


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