The WOMBATS @ Union Transfer

The alternative radio stations have been playing the few mainstream hits of the WOMBATS for years, but that didn’t teach me more than all of the lyrics to “Jump into the Fog.”

Eventually, I felt compelled to listen to all of their songs obsessively. Of course, “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” is a banger and a half, but I fell in love with their sound. I saw them during a brief set they performed at a local radio station’s show and lusted for more.

I have patiently waited two years for the moment they toured in my tri-state area. As I have been home in NEPA (Northeastern Pennsylvania) for my winter break, the most convenient tour stop was in Philadelphia.

My mother has many issues with Philadelphia, and she won’t fully explain them to me. She thinks the traffic is so bad that she refuses to drive there. She’s fine with my flying across the Atlantic, driving to Boston regularly, and driving across the entire country, but driving to Philly is out of the question. Luckily, I’m an adult, so (after much convincing) she gave her blessing.

After a quick stop at the Independence National Historic Park to see the Liberty Bell, there was nothing left to do, but a few hours before doors opened. I then made the huge error of deciding to get in line. Though very close to the front, I immediately remembered why I hate waiting in lines.

She’s old

In addition to the freezing temperatures and my brand new Vans not keeping my feet very warm, being forced to stand near people and overhear their conversations is painful. I don’t want to listen, but it’s impossible not to. The young people essentially wearing costumes are all performing for each other in line. This is the special night, this is their time to shine and show how they perfected their cut-off jeans and crop top look.

After waiting a couple of hours in line, I had to wait another hour standing in front of the stage. The two opening acts were… interesting. It’s difficult to watch a esoteric band perform in a strange way that they could get away with if they were more famous. I’d let my favorites get away with dancing in whatever manner they choose and move their body however they want.

And then there were the WOMBATS. Despite forgetting the words to the first song, they were charming and amazing. I was so content screaming along to every song. I sweated, I jumped, I was happy. A concert is like a party in which they play all the music you like.

What I wish I could be better at is living in the moment. Even at concerts, my mind is running about how I’m going to feel later or some interaction from my past. I couldn’t wait to hear their new single “Turn” live, yet I couldn’t just enjoy being there. I try very hard and smile through it, but this is something I’ve struggled with for years.

Well, either way, the show was great, and I’m looking forward to seeing them again in two years. The bassist, Tord, has incredible energy and is so fun to watch. And I’m excited for their new album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life! Their new singles are so good, I look forward to hearing the rest!

In and out in seven minutes or fewer

How do you live in the moment?

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