About a month ago, acclaimed New Jersey punk outfit Titus Andronicus played a show at Wesleyan to great student enthusiasm. Linus and The Parents opened. Maybe you were there—if our current sidebar poll is any indication, it was one of the most well-received shows of the fall semester, and I tend to agree with that judgment.
Turns out Titus violinist Amy Klein, who blogs semi-frequently about music and feminism and life on the road as “Amy Andronicus,” was less enthusiastic about the experience. In a blog post shortly after the show, Klein describes an unfortunate (or inevitable, or meaningless, or horribly sexist—you make the call) incident during a gig, in which a male audience member grabbed her breast while she was crowd-surfing. She identifies the venue only as “a small, private liberal arts college in the Northeast,” which very likely identifies Wesleyan. [Confession: I was at this concert and I have no recollection of this supposed interruption. Disclaimer: That does not mean it didn't occur.]
Here’s Klein’s detailed account, after the jump.
Unfortunately, as soon as I stepped off the stage and into the audience, a male college student in the audience came up behind me, grabbed me so I couldn’t move, and then grabbed my boobs. I was shocked. The whole thing felt surreal, as if I were in a bad dream, because what was happening seemed too terrible to be true.
I broke free and ran away from him, back onto the stage, where I tried to figure out what had just happened to me. I was too confused to play the rest of the song. I couldn’t figure out where the band was or what they were doing.
When the song was over, I took the mic and said something along the lines of: “Someone in the audience just grabbed my boobs. You can’t do that! That is not okay!” There was a commotion in the audience on my side of the stage, with one guy’s voice rising out of the others: “But it felt so good!” he shouted back at me. The worst thing was, the room was so dark and packed with people that I couldn’t see who he was.
Klein includes the incident in the context of a discussion of her personal relationship with and use of feminism. “Feminism gave me the voice to tell other people what had happened,” she writes. “I would have kept silent if I hadn’t had an entire philosophy there with me in the moment when it really counted. I could almost feel the voices of other women supporting me, encouraging me to believe in myself.”
She uses the example as fodder for a statement against violence and assault against women worldwide, but what if this particular issue is all a terrible mistake? By any account, the Titus mosh-pit was a thrashing, drunk clusterfuck. One ACB poster—post 27; anonymous, obviously—even takes tentative, uncertain responsibility for the incident:
I went to Titus, and while flailing around in the mosh, one of my hands grabbed some girl’s breast. I was too worked up at the time to think about it, and I couldn’t see who it was. Later I figured that it must have been alright—after all, we were smashing into each other pretty uncontrollably, and a little contact was inevitable.
Now I’m afraid I might have been the one to touch Amy, even though I’m pretty sure I didn’t grab anyone “so she couldn’t move”—it would have been easy for someone else to have done that.
If that was me, I want to kill myself.
Either way, it’s a sour addendum to one of the more memorable shows I’ve seen in my three semesters at Wesleyan. If you’re interested, read Klein’s full blog post here.