September 14, 2012

TOWER staff writer

As a new school year dawns there are only a few things a student can count on: convocation, overpriced textbooks, regrettable decisions made by freshmen at the opening night of The Bison Inn and events usually consisting of personalities trying to resurrect their flailing careers (Bowling For Soup was a great band in the early 2000’s but there is only so long you can be singing about teenage girls till it inevitably becomes creepy and the appropriate authorities get involved).

George Watsky is the exception that changed my pessimistic, cynical viewpoint toward events put on by the College and made me reassess my antisocial stance. The fact that my attendance was mandatory was a blessing in disguise.

As the lights dimmed in a packed Renner Too, George Watsky paced onto the stage, casually dressed in a green hoodie and sporting a San Francisco Giants cap. After the usual greetings that are a necessity in any show, he immediately unleashed a monologue with a fierce tempo and exceptionable clarity that took back every single student present in that room. With this opening gambit he had seized the attention of every student, those who wanted to be there and, more importantly, those who were required to be there and were reluctant to give him the respect and attention he deserved.

His poetry covered a range of subjects that every teenager or young adult goes through while coming to terms with their adolescence (I’m 21 and still don’t understand why it’s unacceptable for me to buy a happy meal). Topics included first times, love, politics, parties, self-confidence and why catapults are still cool. His delivery and enthusiasm were still overwhelming despite the fact it was probably the 264th time he had performed these poems. You could see that he believed and felt every single word, and they still meant as much to him as when he first wrote them.

Silence is ambiguous. It could mean that the audience is disinterested; it could mean that an awkward situation has arisen; it could mean for once your girlfriend “who knows everything” is actually speechless and doesn’t have a witty retort. With George Watsky it means you have the entire room fixated on every word you have to say. Watsky managed this with utter ease due to his flawless delivery, use of humour and his ability to convey his beliefs and points without patronizing or preaching to others. A truly impressive and inspirational show that proved you don’t have to be a dowdy 19th century depressive English Opium addict to be a poet.


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