I’m a ‘90s kid. I was born in October of 1999, so I got my very first age — zero — in the 90s. I’m still counting it. I lived two sweet, sweet months of my life in another century, and let me tell you, life before I developed a working memory, object permanence, or the ability to stand was a wild ride.
Reminiscent for those good ol’ days, two friends and I shelled out $12.30 each on Saturday night to buy tickets for The Bug Jar’s “Y2K End of the World Dance Party w/ KOPPS & DJ CHREATH.”
At 8:30 p.m., my friends and I showed up a fashionable 30 minutes late to an empty, dimly lit venue. Through the condensation-fogged glass walls, I could see an empty floor filled with balloons instead of people, and about six individuals sitting at the bar, hunched over drinks and/or cellphones.
But I wasn’t about to throw twelve dollars away, so, clutching my necklace I’m pretty sure was made in the ‘90s, I led the pack into The Bug Jar.
The music venue and bar were appropriately grimey, but still cleaner than a frat house. Maybe because unlike the homes of university students, someone cleaned the bathroom.
Attached to a ceiling fan, two plastic bugs flew, larger than life (two feet larger than life-sized counterparts, to be exact), circling each other above the bar.
As we were too sober and too shameful to commit the social faux-pas of starting the dance floor, my friends and I grabbed one of the two tables along the side and waited for something to happen. More people to arrive, KOPPS to start playing (they were scheduled to perform at 9), a fight to break out, anything.
Once the party grew to a reasonable size, we migrated to the main dance floor, which leaked the same shame and painful self-awareness that plagued middle school dances. I was hoping to throw it back to those dances with trashy 2000s bops, only with less shame and more alcohol. As the Xs on my hand can attest to, I was disappointed on both fronts.
DJ Chreath, please don’t quit your day job. The only redeeming songs played were Santana’s “Smooth” and “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind. All else was irrelevant. All else was forgettable. All else was boring.
(I would be remiss if I did not mention that, before the party got started, Army of Me by Björk came on in a moment of clarity.)
I am of the firm belief that a good group of friends can save any function, no matter how bad the vibes get. I was fortunate enough to have such a group with me, and we unabashedly busted it down, partying like it was 1999. Our vibes were infectious, and we eventually melded with the only other three people in the room who seemed to want to have a good time.
My original group bothered the DJ three separate times, begging him to play Superbass by Niki Minaj. He dismissed us, saying song recommendations would be taken later. I don’t believe that man had any intention of fulfilling our request.
90 minutes later than their scheduled playing time, KOPPS took the stage. It quickly became apparent to us that this was, in fact, not a dance party, but a concert. Much like my parents when they found out I got MERTED, I wasn’t mad, just disappointed.
KOPPS is the sort of band that makes music for drunk people. Their songs are best listened to live, in the sort of grit and grime the Bug Jar had in spades. The high energy singer was the saving grace of the evening. I didn’t know a single song, but I also didn’t need to, as the lyrics could be picked up after about 30 seconds.
They played their pieces, they left through the back door, they came back for their encore: Toxic by Britney Spears. As you might imagine, my group went hogwild. The crowd was virtually unmoved.
All in all, the evening was a slow introduction to the grime and grunge of the Bug Jar. I’ll be going back to play concert roulette with bands I’ve never heard of soon.