Friday, July 08, 2005

Harry and the Potters / Donnell Center, New York Public Library / July 7, 2005

Sometimes I believe in God. Like when God says, “You know what Amy really needs in her life right now? A concert by a Harry Potter tribute band that takes place in the basement auditorium of the New York Public Library on 53rd street.” Wow, God. You were so right. I did need that.

Harry and the Potters are two brothers from Boston who look/dress/act like what would happen if Harry accepted Calvin Johnson as his Lord and Savior. Their music is K Records love punk circa 1993: sloppy Farfisa; drum machine; garage fuzz guitar; simple, straightforward, silly lyrics. Sample songs: “Voldemort Can’t Stop the Rock” (“this song is about standing up to The Man!”), “Wizard Chess,” “Save Ginny Weasley.”

The place was packed. The audience was half parents with young children and half teenage/twentysomething indie kids (mostly female). Many girls sported homemade HP t-shirts. Punk fucking rock. Everyone was giddy. I haven’t heard that much squealing since R. Kelly walked onstage at the Best of Both Worlds tour.

The Harrys were total pros. They lead sing-alongs. They climbed through the audience on the backs of chairs. They told perfectly timed jokes. (“This is a song about how I’m angry because I’m a teenager, and teenagers are always angry, and stuff keeps happening like my dead parents show up as ghosts in a cemetery in Bulgaria.”) They executed precisely synchronized windmills. They knew exactly when to collapse on the floor in mock passion/terror/overwhelming rockingness.

I have a massive friend-crush on these boys. I want to ride in their tour van (broom?) and discuss the intricacies of teen male psychology as it relates to Harry’s relationship with Cho Chang. I want them to read The Half-Blood Prince out loud to me next weekend. I want to geek out on Springsteen with Harry Year 7. I want to watch them rock libraries all over the world.