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Crowd Split in the Duster Dimension, a Concert Review

April 17, 2023

On April 11th, DMV audiophiles experienced the heart of slow-core, up close and personal. Duster took the stage at D.C’s Black Cat on tour celebrating their musical comeback. The slow-core icons and up and coming Brooklynn’s Widow’s Peak was an energetic stop to be remembered in the legacy of the tour. 

Well before doors opened at 7:30, the line outside of Blackcat on 14th street, formed around the block. While Duster’s staple album, Stratosphere, was released in the 90’s, the crowd consisted of mostly high schoolers with college students mixed in and a sprinkling of unamused parents. 

If you wanted a barricade spot you had to line up before the school bell rang. 

As Duster took the stage they gazed out over the sea of bright eyed and foul smelling teenagers, and only two words came to guitarist Clay Parton’s mind… “Hi, kids”. 

Tik Tok is a major contributor to the band’s reinvigorated success, as some of their songs have gone viral on the app. Music being passed to a new generation is exciting, but young Tik Tok fans have left performers wanting more in the recent past.

In the last few years, artists have begged for more humane concert etiquette. Lead singer of Big Thief, Adrian Lanker, released a video asking for audience members to show respect for opening acts that were blatantly ignored. Steve Lacy also recently smashed an audience member’s camera after he demanded the young crowd stop throwing trash on stage. This has left the next generation of concert goers in a less than flattering light as the future of concert behavior remains uncertain. 

Joe Kennedy, 19, from Annendale, Virginia was among those Tik Tok fans. “I’d say there’s a 50/50 split of people who have showered here” Kennedy chuckled, but added that he felt at home with the crowd. 

Only a Duster fan of about three weeks, Kennedy was exclusively looking forward to seeing the viral hit “Inside Out”. When the iconic opening notes of melancholy guitar riffs played the crowd knew the moment had arrived. Many opened a mosh pit front and center, causing already nauseated parental supervisors to reach their breaking point. Several others were basking in the mammoth wave of sound with their eyes closed, reaching a level of religious experience that only Duster could facilitate.

While the audience was made of many fans like Kennedy, others were in attendance to see the legendary figures whose music they have grown up to. Passionate fan Tommy Maleski, 16, said the show was “bigger” than the Tik Tok crowd. Duster had inspired him and his brother, Greg, to make an ambient noise band and that they had “helped [Tommy] gain consciousness”. While 19 year Greg nodded his head in agreement, he simply remarked “I’m just happy they’re making new sh*t.”.

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