There are a lot of funny things about the Block Plan, but I think one of the more peculiar ones are those 20 minute breaks some professors give you around 10:35. On a random Tuesday in December I had run into an issue during one of those breaks where the Wordle wasn’t cutting it and the Colorado Coffee breakfast burrito wasn’t calling my name like it usually does. I just needed something a little more fulfilling than Bon Appetite’s potato/egg/cheese combo or the New York Times’ silly little games, so to AXS I went. The funny thing about that app is some concerts are so far away, or too distant in the future, and some have already passed. Low and behold, though, on that uncharacteristically warm December day, there was a Dominic Fike ticket for the same night – there couldn’t have been any better use for those twenty minutes, honestly.
Ever-anxious that this choice wouldn’t be what I needed, I was soothed when the opener, Baird, came out wearing lizard masks playing music that was well worth the I-25 traffic, quick deterioration of the mid-afternoon warmth, and zero parking. Their music was reminiscent of Peach Pit, The Backseat Lovers, and had a way of making you feel like it was already May with full sun and good ice-cream. Their deep passion for music, beautiful voices, and creative crowd engagement put them well on the way to greatness, plus, they’ve recently shown up on my Discover Weekly—always a fun crossover.
As for the main act, Dominic Fike was just as amazing as you might think – five people passed out right before he came on, and some may say it was because they were dehydrated but I like to think it was in anticipation for what was to come. Looking reminiscent of a CC student, he came out wearing a chunky-knit sweater and baggy pants that the Arc could have produced on any good day. He opened with “West Coast Collective” and finished with “Phone Numbers,” both of which are great, of course, but I would argue that in between is where the magic was.
There was an acoustic version of “Acai Bowl” that brought me right back to the first summer I had listened to it — the one where my friends and I sat on that wobbly roof and shared music for the first time — and a preview of an unreleased song that made me feel like maybe college was going to be alright. But, really, what I found to be so compelling about this concert was the way that Dominic interacted with the crowd. When I took a moment to really pay attention to the way he would catch his breath or talk between songs, I found he was letting the crowd see that he was human, too—refreshing from an artist of his caliber.
He, too, requires coffee to finish his tasks. He, too, needs to sit down and take a breather. He, too, got stuck in endless traffic on I-70 because of the snow. It takes a good performer to put on a show, but it takes a great performer to become one with your audience and to relate to them as humans (not just as fans). While I could be endlessly happy just as a Dominic Fike fan, I left feeling like I got the chance to be his friend for those few hours.
It is safe to say that I was left satiated in a way that a 10:35 breakfast burrito couldn’t fathom, and I’m grateful my philosophy class took an extra long break that day. Whether you decide to buy your ticket months in advance or the morning of, you should probably carve out some time to be friends with Dominic Fike for a few hours – he is real.