On Nov. 22, I attended a Travis Scott concert at the House of Blues, accompanied by various roommates, siblings, and significant others. This retelling follows the epic journey that transpired that night—which, in all seriousness, could have been referred to by Homer himself as a quest of Odyssey-like proportions.
Like countless ignorant concertgoers before us, our initial mistake was timing—classic college concertgoer hubris. Upon arriving ten minutes prior to doors, the line, to our dismay, had stretched down the block from the entrance and around the corner. This sense of annoyance manifested into full-blown despair upon the realization that a majority of our motley crew had opted to leave jackets at the hotel to avoid the cursed coat check. As we joined the line and huddled together in March of the Penguins formation for maximum warmth retention, we prepared ourselves for what we anticipated to be a lengthy and frigid wait. Little did we know the magnitude of the misfortune yet to unfold.
Inevitably, we soon faced the first opponent of our quest: the Siren. In our case this bewitchingly devious, mythical beauty took the form of a woman I will only refer to as “Taylor.” First, though, a bit of context is necessary. About fifteen minutes into our wait in line, a herd of 4-5 “bros” (like a herd of centaurs, they never skip leg day) sidled up to our shivering huddle to ask the typical line-cutting question of “Do you mind if we wait next to you guys?” Reluctant to piss off such a large group of alpha males, we grudgingly accepting their intrusion and good-naturedly conversed in an attempt to overcome their abhorrent line manners. Amidst the confusion, the siren had struck.
Clearly plastered off her rocker, “Taylor,” an attractive, raven haired woman of about 24, dressed in little but a leather mini skirt and crop top, inched up to the “bros” and began to croon her bewitching song. By this, of course, I mean blatant sexual innuendo and sloppy kisses, all in an elaborate scheme hatched to secure her position in line.
Although truly concerned for my safety due to the looming possibility that the siren might target me next, my attention lay elsewhere as the cold had really started to kick in: both the flannel and thin t-shirt I was wearing had been soaked through by the unwaveringly steady drizzle.
(PRO TIP: To stay dry, employ the stealth tactic of seeking refuge under nearby umbrellas.)
After a period of minute line movement, Taylor and the bros inevitably moved on in further attempts to cut the line. Under the assumption that we had seen the last of our mythological adversaries, we joked amongst ourselves about the spectacle we had just witnessed. Little did we foresee, however, the arrival of yet another unwanted guest: the Oracle of Delphi, in the flesh.
Physically manifested in the form of a young woman, the Oracle approached us from the street with tidings of news and advice. “Listen up, y’all, I just got out the 7 o’clock show and that shit was crazy. I lost both my shoes and my bag, so make sure y’all tie yo sh-t up ASAP. F*ck Travis Scott, though. He only put on a 30 minute set.” With those final words of warning, she stumbled off down the line.
True to the mysterious nature of the mythical oracle, the prophesy she delivered was one we heroes could not yet comprehend. Dozens of questions raced through my brain: “What on God’s green Earth has this individual consumed inside, and what could she have meant by a 30 minute set?” Brushing off the encounter as the ramblings of an MDMA-addled basket case, we continued on our quest for the entrance.
Suddenly, breaking the silence of our vigil, a shrill cry pierced the sullen surroundings. Whispers moved down the line like a game of telephone: someone was making a scene up ahead. Upon further inspection, we deduced that the disturbance was caused by none other than our siren friend. As she continued her line hopping, the men onto whom she had just dispatched her feminine wiles were both unexpectedly sober and cruel, outwardly exposing and shaming Taylor for her true siren self. We laughed to ourselves in an attempt to stave off the chill.
At this point, however, we had been standing in line for around an hour, and members of our troupe were slowly falling victim to the unfortunate circumstances. We hit the wall, and we were seriously considering cutting our losses and leaving. Remembering a bar we had passed not so long ago in our journey, though, one of my roommates made the astute suggestion that we take turns warming up inside while the remaining members saved the spot in line. It was in our implementation of this tactic that we encountered the final obstacle that marked our time in line: the Cyclops.
After a few rotations in and out of the bar bathroom, one of my roommates, his girlfriend and I were making our way back into the line where the remainder of our group lay in wait just 100 feet from the door. Blind and aggressive, the herd of Cyclopes we encountered accosted us, supposedly for the same behavior we had previously criticized the likes of Taylor for: line cutting. Fortunately, we were able to avoid any violence, and by some act of the gods, finally found ourselves beneath the famous neon sign that marked the entrance to our Mt. Olympus: the House of Blues.
After an extensive pat down and further jockeying for a position in line, at long last the stage was in sight. As we anticipated, Mr. Scott had already taken the stage and was about half way through his song “3500.” More immediately noticeable, though, was the hazy cloud of smoke that lingered over the pulsating crowd. On all sides, the flash of Bic lighters complemented the lightshow that cut through the smog as audience members ignited various means of “personal recreation.”
As the song came to a close, we drove ourselves deeper into the depth of the general admission area, and to the crowd’s delight, the intro to the hit single “Antidote” began to play. To their credit, the crowd’s vibe was truly excellent. Every word was shouted with intensity, pushing the performer to the limits of human vigor. Thus you could imagine my surprise when, as the song drew to a satisfying close, Travis Scott abruptly dismissed himself from the stage.
Accurate to the warnings of the oracle, his performance spanned a total of 30 minutes—only 10 of which I witnessed. At the risk of beating the mythological metaphor into the ground, Travis Scott embodied the enchantress Circe: drawing unsuspecting audiences into his clutches with an enticing feast of rap, but denying them of an amazing experience, wasting their time. I thus found myself on the way back to my College Road dorm room: damp, cold, furious, and with vengeance at my fingertips. While House of Blues is often criticized for their persona as a strict and unforgiving venue, that night, Travis Scott was the real culprit.