This past Friday, I got to attend the Green Day Revolution Radio Tour with my best friend in the world. It was an almost 4 hour drive round trip, plus 5 exhilarating hours of rock n roll. And all I came back with was this $30 snapback cap from the merch table.
Could I have bought a similar hat for much cheaper online somewhere? Of course. But there’s something about picking up that piece of clothing or poster or whatever that you know you can (probably) only get at that moment. That’s why Tour Date tees have such an allure to them. It says, “I was here!”.
It’s also why I feel that artists who sell their tour merch to the public who haven’t been to said tour, cheapen the experience a little bit. Stores like Hot Topic and Forever 21, of course, capitalize on these feelings by selling multitudes of shirts bearing the designs and logos of various artists to sell. Some go to the hardcore fans and some some to those who just find it cute. Shoot, I have a pair of Panic! at the Disco sweats on their way to my house even now. But there’s something about an item of clothing tied to one particular event, where you were surrounded by people who felt the same way about 1 (or a few) people as you did.
So I say, let band merch culture live! In the age of minimalist fashion, let’s not stick the label of cringey teens on those who wear it. If grown men can run around screaming with their sports jerseys on about how much they LOVE that team, then we can incorporate band merch into our everyday styles without repercussion.
-Dymond M. <3