The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday February 25th

Beyond hipsterdom and the mainstream

Were you a hipster before being a hipster was cool? Brace yourself, because your once-exclusive subculture is now the latest trend — nowadays, it’s mainstream to make fun of people who are mainstream. Confusing, right?

I’ll admit I’ve had my own hipster moment while working a Kid Rock concert this summer. As people flocked the venue gates, I watched in dismay, silently mourning the deaths of paychecks lost to see Kid Rock play his “Sweet Home Alabama” rendition from a few summers ago.

But amidst the sea of arms and white phone lights illuminating the crowd as it anticipated his entrance, I saw a familiar sight. I saw a group of people who truly connected to Kid Rock and found solace in his songs, just as I did with my favorite artists.

It was simple. They love their music the same way I love mine. And in losing sight of that, I became hipsterdom’s newest victim — shifting your eyes from the stage to the crowd says it all.

It isn’t about the type of music or the mainstream popularity of the band — it’s about that indescribable aura of feeling connected to thousands of strangers belting the same lyrics with you.

It’s about experiencing your favorite music in its most tangible form and feeling nothing but complete, utter happiness.

Happiness is a tween girl sobbing because Kendall from Big Time Rush said she smelled like roses. It’s a group of die-hard Skynyrd fans revving their Harleys in the parking lot with satisfied smiles, like they just arrived home after years of being away.

Happiness is a squealing 10-year-old and her mother in matching mermaid costumes getting pulled onstage with Train. It’s a married couple driving across state lines for the same Dave Matthews Band concert that ignited their love three years before.

Music couldn’t care less about who you are, where you’re from, or where you’re headed — it’s your least judgmental and most loyal friend.

So why does it matter how underground a band is or who discovered “Ho Hey” before The Lumineers made it big?

Ditch the mainstream, the hipsters and naysayers and go back to the basics — the nature of music’s allure depends on the individual.

And in the end, if all music is created equal on the basis of happiness, who’s to judge what makes you happy?

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