By Rachel O’Brien
“It’s $16,” said the t-shirt vendor at the Iggy Azalea concert.
“Golly! In that case, I’ll buy some for all my family and friends!!” I thought to myself.
I gave him a $20 bill, but instead of handing me the t-shirt, he said, “$60. Six. Zero.”
Unfortunately, the shirt was the only Iggy item offered, and the general response to my inquisitions about a poster were, “Who dat? Who dat?” So I huffed away with my $20 bill and a piece of confetti that would serve as my only souvenir (and a small symbol of my dignity). But as I walked past person after person wearing the $60 t-shirt, my heart grew heavy. “Christmas Time is Here” played in my heart as I thought back to the days of yore, when vendors used to sell reasonably priced posters instead of these outlandishly priced concert t-shirts.
I began to reminisce about a summer evening in 2003. It was a day just like any other. I was sitting on my couch, eating cheese doodles and picking lint out of my belly button with not a care in the world. I was in the midst of a particularly steamy daydream about Aaron Carter when my mom summoned me to the Infiniti. She told me to “buckle myself into my car seat” and “get ready to ride!” As we traveled to our mystery destination, I couldn’t help but wonder what lied at the end of this metaphorical tunnel—an untimely death? A waterpark? As we drove, I took in my surroundings: a tourist t-shirt shop covered in jail-cell bars, a fried “doe” stand, Hampton Beach. As we rolled up to Club Casino, my heart stopped. I saw his name on the marquee: “AARON CARTER,” written in flickering lights. After screaming/shitting my pants, I got out of the car and entered da club. The first thing we did was approach the vendor and purchase a concert poster that came in at under $5. I then went on to have the best night of my life.
…Which I was able to relive each time I stared at the poster that I’d hung over my bed. Aaron’s soulful brown eyes transported me to that magical night at Club Casino every time I looked into them. I was reminded of the great times we shared: me screaming his name, him screaming for security. That poster was everything to me. Aaron’s shiny paper lips were the first I ever kissed, licked, bit. When I moved to New Hampshire I did a Smithsonian-worthy wrap job on the poster and buckled it into the passenger seat. I considered bringing it to college, but stopped myself. “No, too precious,” I thought.
But alas, singers no longer sell posters at their concerts; they sell $60 t-shirts. And that makes me as sad as Aaron was when he let Hillary Duff get away. Because posters take you back to the concert every time you look at them (which, if it’s hanging above your trundle bed, is often). They’re much cheaper than t-shirts (at least last time I checked, in 2002). And most importantly, they’re easier to make out with than Hanes cotton. After ordering my second Bangerz Tour t-shirt, I’ve decided I’m finally putting my foot down. I’m not buying any more concert tees. And I’m asking you, my fellow concertgoers, to join me in protest. Let’s make “Bring back the poster!” signs in glitter with a heart dotting the “i,” join hands, and chant, “WE’RE NOT WEARING SHIRTS” together. I’ll see you outside Club Casino, waiting for the ghost of AC to make another appearance. The fried doe is on me.