On Thursday night, I went and saw Youth Lagoon play at Paradiso, one of Amsterdam’s indie music venues. There’s only so much you can say about a fantastic live music experience before you start to sound like a gushy fangirl, so I’ll just say that it was utterly magical and leave it at that. A few observations: 1. You know how there’s always that one freakishly tall guy that inevitably ends up standing right in front of you when you go to a concert? As Dutch men are enormous I probably should have anticipated this, but it was like every guy in the audience was that guy. I was craning my neck for most of the performance trying to see around my giant fellow concertgoers’ heads. 2. The performance itself was really short. What’s interesting about musical bookings in Holland is that they don’t do opening acts; they only have the “main event,” and venues will book three or four different main events in a single evening to maximize profits. So Youth Lagoon only ended up playing for forty minutes, which is about the same length of time an opening act would play in the U.S., and then everyone in the crowd left immediately when it was done. Kind of weird, but also kind of nice to be able to just go and see the band you wanted to see, nothing more and nothing less. 3. It was strange listening to English lyrics while people chattered in Dutch around me, but the best non-musical thing I heard that evening ended up being Dutch. There was a particularly flamboyant group of gentlemen standing near me, and during a part in a song where the music was slowly building up, I heard one of the gentlemen count down “Drie! Twee! Een! Go!” and start vogue-ing Madonna-style. It was hilarious.
All in all, ’twas a delightful and fascinating European concert-going experience that I will always remember. Cross it off the list!