In the past month, I've heard reports from two crossover-ready LOLchillwave shows--Memory Tapes at Chop Suey in July and Pictureplane last night at the Sunset--of overwhelmingly douchey crowds. A text message from the Memory Tapes pit: "the most unchillwave chillwave show I've ever seen...a bro in front of me is trying to simultaneously do the jerk and throw up the devil horns." And from Pictureplane last night: "Douchiest crowd but really fun sets so far...For serious though, who are any of these people? A ton of Bellevue girls and flat-brimmed hat'd goofy sweater motherfuckers."
Now, this is not a swipe at Bellevue girls (I'm an old Bellevue girl myself) or hats or devil horns, it's merely the observation that any trend goes through some pretty distinct phases of popularity, expanding in concentric circles from brand new thing to underground scene to blogged-about trend to shows packed with bros. That's just what success looks like: There aren't enough elitist snobs in the city to entirely fill the Showbox SoDo, so you're gonna have to appeal beyond that demographic eventually. (And, you know, these crowds probably aren't ANY different than at any rock show; it's just that perhaps the inherent irony and trash '80s aesthetics of chillwave, combined with white guys trying to dance, makes them seem douchier.) Of course, that success is also the moment that those previous circles start to fall away--the underground and the blogs move onto something else, let the Chads have chillwave or witch house or whatever. Which brings me to the point: Is chillwave finally mainstreamed? Two years from inside-joke genre to bro-fest? Are we done here? (And do you guys wanna take "witch house" next? I'll throw in a Deftone!)