I waited too long to buy myself a ticket before the show sold out, but I really wanted to go out dancing and see some music, so I showed up on a chilly April night hoping to find an extra ticket to The Rapture. I hung around outside the Music Hall of Williamsburg, unaggressively, and eventually grabbed an entrance about 5 songs deep into the set.
I beelined for the elevated portion of stage left to solidify a view of the band and scope the scene. Officially warm and in the depths of a smooth, solid sound, The Rapture had the crowd staggering about in a sea of blue light. Bodies deep in sway increased the heat, so I stripped myself of extra layers, shoved them between my feet on the dingy floor, and commenced to dancing.
It can be awkward to appear within a crowd, seemingly out of no where, and dance alone. Most of the time people assume you are drunk. Or at least I do. But then again, I'm a judgmental drunk in the company of nothing but live music and my thoughts. (To be fair, other times too).
So there I was, gyrating clumsily and postulating. The Rapture draws strange emotions out of me for many reasons. The lead singer is a recent Catholic convert, and I strayed from that path long ago. The religiosity of their latest album In the Grace of Your Love does not go unnoticed, but it is so damn catchy that I try not to burst into flames in my sinful skin. The people around me appeared to be outrageously smashed. Maybe not everyone yet, but there was this lanky dude who continued to fall over the hand rail into the crowd below. A disgruntled man caught him over and over, protesting his sloppy behavior. The lanky guy was clearly having a really good time and couldn't care less, and was likely on drugs, I thought with a smile. I was already feeling devilish, so when my smile crept into a snicker, I found myself feeling unapologetic for the angry guy for some reason.
As Luke Jenner belted the line "aren't we all children" from one of my favorite songs on the album, a lingering thought floated around in the loud, dusty air. I closed my eyes and danced a little harder to try to remove myself from expressing unwarranted unkindness toward this stranger. It passed quickly, and not too long later, after one fall too many, the angry guy and I exchange a "what can you do" look before he and his date moved on to more a more comfortable space.
As less Catholic guilt and more staggering pleasure set into the beats, I moved silkily, happily. Somehow the lanky guy landed his focus on me in the crowd, though I don't know how as I couldn't see his face through the glare of the blue light-scape and the blur of my own dancing. Perhaps he could see better than I and thought the whatev-half-shrug-with-a-smile I gave Dude was meant for him. Whatever the motivation, his thoughts brought him to me at that moment, and he leaned over and kissed me deeply on the mouth. I stepped back and we separated briefly, bewildered. A second later, as he picked up courage from himself, but not support from his friends, he went in for another. A burly guy (who looked like he might be named Dan) reached over and grabbed him cautiously and pulled him away from me, mouthing an apology in my general direction.
At that point, not sure what to make of the strange world I had stumbled into, I refocused my efforts on a more proper sway, and began to enjoy the band again. They played "Sister Savior" and I tried to refuse to be reminded of my ex, though I could see his stupid face clearly in the darkness. I turned my thoughts to the kid who kissed me, smiled in appreciation for the anonymous distraction and sang along. At the end of that song, I decided to grab a drink and see if the sound was any better on the other side (it is not any different in fact). When I returned to my nook, the burly guy and some other folks had maintained their turf, though lacking the lanky lip-locker.
Better for it, I thought. I came to dance, so I got back to it, abuzz. My mind racing, limbs adjusting to the pace, and me, there, pushing and singing. They closed out the night with "How Deep is Your Love?" and I am truly glad I made it out, for all its awkward glory.