My Life In Concerts, Or How I Realised I Loved Women With Guitars

I’ve been going to concerts and gigs since I was a kid- mainly because my mother felt it was important I was “cultured” and believed exposing me to live music was a brilliant way of nurturing my imagination and creativity. Because of this, I was lucky enough to never be one of those girls at school whose parents made sure all concerts were chaperoned by a parent who would stand in the moshpit with ear plugs and their arms folded, whacking away any elbow that came within a 4km radius of our angelic little heads.

As long as I was dropped off and picked up at least 100m from the gates of the venue, I was all good to go. Some of my earliest memories of concerts include Australian manufactured ‘Popstars’ group Bardot, who I got to meet after the show- except I was such a lanky teenager, I had to duck down in front of Sophie Monk and Belinda Chapple so that they could be seen in the photo, Kylie Minogue, whose extravaganza I witnessed through squinted eyes because I was too embarrassed to whip out my glasses- they didn’t match my faux leather mini-skirt and one shouldered fuchsia tank top, and Destiny’s Child, who were so dazzling I started hysterically screaming and crying during their opening number because I was just so excited and overwhelmed with it all.

Other highlights have included Christina Aguilera (when she was still her hot, slutty and pants-less alter ego, X-Tina) and Simple Plan, where I took my wrist cuffs, NOFX t-shirt and teenage angst and stood in line for hours before getting slammed up at the front of the moshpit (if you could call it that) and fainting. I ended up needing to be yanked to safety by a burly security guard and doused by plastic cups of water- all before the No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls boys had even hit the stage.

More recently however, it has come to my attention that by documenting the gigs that I have attended over the last 10 years, the list could also read as a guide to my sexuality and the realisation that I am insanely attracted to women, especially ones with guitars. I have seen the following perform on one sticky stage or another in Sydney:

Tegan & Sara: Enough said.

Washington: Megan Washington is somebody I would like to take home to my mother. She twiddles about on stage in pretty dresses like a small fairy I found near my backyard pond and I just want to put her in my pocket and stroke her hair.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Karen O is a Goddess unlike no other. There are no words for her.

Crystal Castles: Alice Glass is so screamy and sexy, dripping in smudged mascara and leather, she makes you want to get so fucked up on drugs you forget your own name.

Little Birdy: ”After Dark” was a song my ex and I would put on whenever the other wanted a little somethin’ somethin’. I once bought us tickets to a gig of hers and then as an added surprise, rolled up in a skirt without underwear. ‘After Dark’ was not required that night.

Florence & The Machine: I saw her perform at Splendour in the Grass last year and a few of my friends and I ended up being locked out of the front of the auditorium. There was no other option but to risk being thrown out of the entire festival by jumping not one, but two sets of fences. We ended up being chased by security, grabbing the tips of our hoodies but lost them in the crowd. It was worth it. She had that crowd eating out of the palms of her hands- she was the cult leader and we were her evangelists.

The Grates: Patience is like a newer, younger, less experienced Karen O. When she is thrashing about on stage, you cannot help but have a smile as big as the : D emoticon slapped across that ugly mug of yours.

An Horse: Despite there being some technical difficulties on the night of the show, there were enough lesbians in the crowd to make it feel as if you’d thrown your own house party, invited all of your closest friends and had somehow convinced An Horse to do a private show just for you.

Sarah Blasko: See ‘Washington’.

The Jezabels: My friends and I went from having Hayley, the lead singer, serve us beers at our local pub to drooling over her on stage. No one can pull off those high-wasted shiny American Apparel pants like Hayley.

Metric: Somebody once said that if I were to ever take my amazing (read: non-existent) vocal talents on the road, I’d look and act a little something like Emily Haines on stage. This is equally flattering and confusing. Flattering because she’s a mega babe and confusing because she’s a mega babe who I’d like to slip one to. Explain that one to me, Freud!

Warpaint: A band that contains that many attractive girls deserves to be mentioned. Also, Shannyn Sossamon was once a part of the group and that’s a reason in itself to mention the band. You can fuck me with an orchid all you want Shannyn and I won’t even be disappointed.

Regina Spektor: See ‘Washington’.

Katy Perry: Love or hate what she’s doing for the lesbian and gay community, my point is, she has a great rack.

And most recently, Kimbra: Those soft pillowy lips. Those bouncy curls. You’d croon me to sleep when I was too drunk to close my eyes wouldn’t you Kimbra? Wouldn’t you?

Did I mention that I saw Kylie, the Queen of the Gays, perform as a child? What chance did I have!

So how about you? Tell us about the concerts that made you realise.


Special Note: Autostraddle’s “First Person” personal essays do not necessarily reflect the ideals of Autostraddle or its editors, nor do any First Person writers intend to speak on behalf of anyone other than themselves. First Person writers are simply speaking honestly from their own hearts.

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24, single white female with too much time on her hands and a fatal obsession with social media, travelling, food and creating an abundance of online time capsules otherwise known as blogs.

Tully has written 5 articles for us.

38 Comments

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    i agree with the emily haines confusion. ive met and hung out with her 3 times and my brain is always like “I WANT TO BE YOU BUT I ALSO PROBABLY WANT TO MAKE OUT OH MY GOD”
    basically, she radiates sex in real life.

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    It’s a proven fact (meaning I can vouch for it) that EVERYONE feels gay at a Lady Gaga concert. Everyone.

    Also: Jenny Lewis, Jenny Lewis, and Jenny Lewis. Although lately I’m going through a love affair with “Exile in Guyville” era Liz Phair. And I’m just now going through my requisite Tegan and Sara phase. It’s fucking intense.

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      Oh god yes Jenny Lewis. I saw Rilo Kiley at a nice wee venue in Glasgow, but nothing compares to the outfit she wore to the first Connect Festival. I was cold, wet and miserable but forgot all this as soon as she stepped/shimmied on-stage.

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    Jenny Lewis. I’ve seen her solo twice (but never with Rilo, sad face). The first time the venue was only about 1/3 full but she put on a SHOW. She was wearing some sort of jean, one-piece pantsuit straight out of the 70s and that red hair and guitar…I wasn’t the only gay lady sort of losing it in the front row.

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    That honor goes to Allison Mosshart from The Kills circa 2007ish. I saw her perform at SXSW and she was just so commanding of the stage. She was fierce and I think the thing I liked most about her was the fact she kept fsmoking while singing.

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    Best ‘girls with guitars’ gig I have ever attended was Sleater-Kinney at the Oran Mor. They were amazing.

    Other ‘girls with guitars’ I’ve seen: Rilo Kiley/Jenny Lewis, Bjork who was just such a brilliant experience, like being on drugs without being on drugs. I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing Kylie Minogue live. She sang ‘Kids’ with a female backing singer and it was officially the sexiest thing ever.

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    When I was eleven my favourite teacher put the Cloudbusting video (which is so many different kinds of lovely I can’t even) on in assembley and said to me, “You’ll like Kate Bush Fran, she’s fierce.” I know that the chances of ever seeing her in concert are pretty slim, but I think I’ve watched that video enough times to form some sort of psychic link.

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    I saw Warpaint at Reading Festival this year. I have to admit, I was pretty disappointed – the bass was way too loud and it was all a pretty headachey experience. On the plus side, their bassist is fiiiiiine. It just sucks that the sound was messed up :(

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