The weather may be hopping back and forth from poolside reclining to tightly wound scarfs, but concertgoers are already in the holiday gift-giving spirit—and we aren’t just talking about folks throwing their panties on stage.
When singer-songwriter Charli XCX took over the Royale recently— leading swarms of teens in sing-a-longs and serenading with tunes she co-wrote like Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”— she was no doubt worthy of admiration. Yet watching her fans pile gifts for her onstage in between songs came as a surprise. Painted flowers? A stuffed bear? An entire gift bag with red tissue paper and curled ribbons? We chalked it up to an XCX anomaly, brought on by her chokers and Tumblr princess status.
But then last week it happened again. Australian psych rockers Pond took over The Sinclair with goofy attitudes and heavy guitars – quite unlike the schoolgirl skirt-wearing pop star, if you didn’t know— engaging in quite a bit of banter with the crowd. After wrapping up their encore and exiting behind a curtain, a young girl climbed onstage and ran after them, gift in hand. The present? A giant green street sign she ripped off a post that read “POND Ln.” As soon as the crowd processed the scene unfolding, a “Take the sign!” chant started and the band members returned, accepting the sign from her in true mayor/lotto winner fashion. They shook it above their heads. They laughed. They hugged her several times.
Fandom has gotten a serious upgrade. Crying on the big screen at a One Direction concert is so overrated. It’s all about creativity now. If you want an artist to know you’re a real fan, your gift has got to be Instagram-worthy. A stolen street sign? That will make it to Twitter. A pig fetus tattooed with Mac DeMarco’s face on a mermaid’s body ? That, folks, is what it’s all about.