BY EMMA WESTCOTT//
I feel like being stuck in the house with nowhere to go is enough to bring anyone to the brink of committing a questionable decision. Cutting your hair, piercing your own ears, spending an ungodly amount of money on Etsy merch (maybe I’m just projecting my own vices onto you now, but you get the point). We’ve all been doing whatever we can to get the rush of happy neurotransmitters that we aren’t otherwise getting from concerts or roller coasters or going to parties with people we don’t know. Music and dancing and yelling and letting it all go is seemingly so far away, but I know a place that can come kind of close if you squint a little bit. The only place that you can go at a time like this to get these fuzzy feels is the car.
My Honda CRV has been audience to many a concert, crying or laughing or screaming, always a hand hanging out the window, always the sunroof open no matter how cold it is. Sometimes I even keep the windows down when it rains, because I feel like concerts should be rain or shine. The best thing about a car performance is doing it alone. No one can hear you or judge or even see you. (Unless you want them to see you. If that’s the case, you can roll the windows down at red lights like I do). This freedom allows you to perform an entire set of whatever you want, happy or sad, old or new, which is what I have for you today. It is an amorphous collection of some of my car essentials, a smaller selection from my master playlist.
The opening act to your world tour is “Everybody Talks” by Neon Trees. It’s the kind of song that you tap your finger to without realizing it, that knots your hair because you’re shaking your head into the wind out your window. I also feel like it’s the kind of song teenage boys pretend not to like, but if they saw your performance, they’d be jumping. “Love It If We Made It” by The 1975 is when your tour goes riverside, driving by the water as the sun is setting beyond the hills and your cursing modernity. Either with your best friends or by yourself, you just let the track bounce off the water and back into your car as next track begins. “Particles” by Nothing But Thieves is the closing song for the tour of your sophomore album; a head-banging, scream-along track about giving everything for one purpose, as you give your everything in the performance (at least I do). Fleetwood Mac could honestly make an appearance with any one of their songs on this list, but I’ve chosen “The Chain”, because it makes you feel interesting and mysterious and like you have a story. If someone, by chance, drives by as your singing or screaming along, maybe they’ll smile to themselves on put on some Stevie of their own.
“By Herself” by IV DANTE is one that I think you need to have friends in the car for. It’s pink and orange skies and soft but speedy guitars, but most of all its smiling with your best friends who just got back from college and you haven’t seen them in three months. ZAYN does his part by swinging us through “There You Are”, kindly allowing us to duet his sultry vocals with ours that our most definitely less stellar. It’s the kind of song that you feel throughout your entire body, the chorus making you reach your hand out to the non-existent crowd that’s seated on your dashboard as your screaming into the microphone (a pen maybe?). The next track is your time to take a backseat on vocals and move to the (air) guitar. “Anarchy in the U.K.” by Sex Pistols fills your car with the smokey air of 1977 and a crowd of leather and red and sweat and the best kind of genuine hysteria, and it’s all for you. The next track brings us back up to 2005, with “Cupid’s Chokehold” by Gym Class Heroes. I feel like this is a forgotten gem, which is a travesty when it provides lyrics like “if I had to choose her or the sun, I’d be one nocturnal son of a gun”. I mean, come on.
The second to last track is “I DON’T WANT 2 B UR FRIEND” by Devon, which is the perfect song to get the crowd jumping and the pedestrians staring at your car at a stop sign. My advice is to perform to them; clap and sing and smile at them and let them remember you as you drive between the Subway and the maximum-security state prison in your town. I mean, they’ll forget about you by tomorrow, but these car performances are a temporary fix anyway.
It wouldn’t be a concert without an encore, and it wouldn’t be a concert without Harry Styles. Harry is the king when it comes to stage presence (in my humble and learned opinion), so it’s only fair to give this one your all. “Only Angel” has the right amount of grit and rasp to swing your corded mic to. The best time to start it is right before you hit a red light; keep your windows down through the intro so that everyone you share the road with can hear the screeches of guitar once they come in. And as you drive away, as obnoxious as you should be as a teenager or an adult or a kid in this life, the sun is set, and your show is over. The confetti is swept up as you pull into the garage, and you set aside your keys and mic until tomorrow evening.
1. Everybody Talks by Neon Trees
2. Love It If We Made It by The 1975
3. Particles by Nothing But Thieves
4. The Chain by Fleetwood Mac
5. By Herself by IV DANTE
6. There You Are by ZAYN
7. Anarchy in the U.K. by Sex Pistols
8. Cupid’s Chokehold by Gym Class Heroes
9. I DON’T WANT 2 B UR FRIEND
10. Only Angel by Harry Styles