Brianna Wilson

Going to a concert isn’t what it used to be. The jitters you get aren’t just pre-concert nerves or bouts of excitement; it’s anxiety from wondering how you’re going to social distance (and recognizing, just from seeing the line into the venue, that you’re not going to be able to) and what you could do to keep yourself as safe as possible from COVID-19. I went to a concert on Friday, Feb. 4 at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood, under strict masking and vaccination guidelines, and, although I was anxious about being so close to other hyperpop enjoyers, I still had a fantastic time. (Plus, it was a birthday present for my brother’s sweet 16, so it’s not like I was going to be getting out of it anyway.)

While the concert I went to was marketed under glaive’s tour, a handful of other artists were there — with aldn and midwxst both holding 20 to 30-minute performances before glaive even appeared on stage. His DJ even had a segment to play upbeat songs and hype up the crowd before midwxst came on stage, preparing us for the transition from calm, laid-back aldn music to the small mosh pits that midwxst’s hype would cause. It got even more rowdy when glaive came out; the whole building was shaking with the volume of the music and the crowd jumping around. You can imagine, then, how crazy it got when glaive unexpectedly brought The Kid Laroi onto the stage; the two of them performed Laroi’s “Diva” and wrapped up the show with glaive’s “cloak n dagger,” despite his other feature on that song, ericdoa, not actually being at the concert. (He was there in spirit . . . and on FaceTime, as glaive showed us halfway through his set.)

Before the concert, I watched a few videos of previous glaive, aldn, and midwxst shows to see what it was like. Unfortunately, a lot of them were quite dead, with maybe a few people bobbing their heads in the audience. You can guess, just from the mosh pit formation, that this show was nothing like that. I know L.A. is ‘party city,’ and you can get hype to just about anything in Hollywood, but this show was full of dedicated fans who knew the lyrics to every song performed that night, even if they were only really there for glaive. Hyperpop is a pretty social genre; if you know one artist, you know everyone they’re friends with, and it really showed with the excitement of the crowd during aldn and midwxst’s sets. Hell, we even went wild when glaive turned his phone around to show that ericdoa was on call with him — just knowing another artist was kind of watching with us had us on our toes.

I’ll be completely honest: I did not know a lot of the songs played. I’m mostly a fan of glaive, and I listen to aldn and midwxst mostly in passing, but I still loved every song, and I have definitely added a few to my playlists. I already knew and enjoyed every glaive song, but aldn surprised me with tunes like “n2o” and an unfortunately unreleased and untitled song that I’ll have to wait around to hear again. I really enjoyed midwxst’s set; before, I only knew his songs “Smile” and “trying” (which was the last song he performed that night), but he got me interested in listening to all of his music; “Tic Tac Toe” and “riddle” fascinated me the most. The lattermost song even sounded like it was influenced lightly by glaive’s older music, which, mixed with hip-hop influences, makes for an interesting song.

The last 45 minutes of the show are a blur; my brother and I were so excited, and everything felt surreal. Part of that is chalked up to the fact that glaive randomly covered “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton in the middle of his set, and then called The Kid Laroi on stage fifteen minutes later (who, by the way, my brother and I were talking about in the car on the way to the concert — he’s a big fan). It was just surreal to see an artist that I not only listened to for the entirety of the pandemic, but who was so unknown when I discovered him. He’s just a kid, after all — turned 17 a few weeks ago, and here he is on a Hollywood stage. Being that my brother is right around his age, and wants to do what he’s doing, I feel oddly proud. And worried — because everyone at that concert was some kind of faded, and most of them were crossfaded. But, that’s Hollywood, isn’t it? Given that a large percentage of my concert experience was making sure my baby brother didn’t get crushed by rowdy kids forming mosh pits everywhere we went, I wasn’t as in-the-moment as I could have been, so I didn’t experience that post-concert depression, but that hasn’t stopped me from really wanting to go to another glaive show. Hopefully, if he does tour again, and comes around Hollywood, it’ll be at a time when COVID-19 isn’t still a huge issue, and the butterflies I get standing outside of the venue are solely caused by excitement.

Featured Photo: Brianna Wilson / Quaker Campus


  • Brianna Wilson is an English major who has been with the Quaker Campus since her first year at Whittier College. In-between work and school, Brianna loves journaling, working out, and watching YouTube videos (mostly from the gaming community).

Brianna Wilson is an English major who has been with the Quaker Campus since her first year at Whittier College. In-between work and school, Brianna loves journaling, working out, and watching YouTube videos (mostly from the gaming community).

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