Band Tees: A Diatribe

Can we take a second to talk about band tees?

Now any Quirky Girl™ knows that band tees are an integral piece of an identity. Band tees are the shit! They display individuality* and show off to others what kinds of weird and cool music you’re into – all wrapped up into an awesome visual design. There’s a dark side to band tees, however, that no one (okay, everyone) talks about… They’re fucking expensive.

As a Quirky Girl™, naturally, the bands I often see in concert are of the less popular variety. The venues these kinds of bands play in are dark, used-to-be-really-grand but are now run-down places that are ninety percent bar and ten percent stage with some floor for crowds to stand on in between. The bars serve really strong mixed drinks for really cheap and all twenty people in the crowd are drunk, sweaty, and ridiculously happy to all be smushed up together against this tiny stage to see weirdly dressed musicians they know absolutely everything about play their hearts out. Often times, these rock gurus are virtually unknown to the regular average Joe and as a result, their ticket prices are less than twenty bucks a pop.

Since we cult followers of such bands get tickets and alcohol in shitty-but-awesome venues for ridiculously cheap, I wonder – why the hell am I paying twice the cost of my ticket on a fucking band tee shirt?

Now I am all for supporting the artists – that’s why I pay to see their shows! Take for instance the Mother Mother concert I attended at The Bowery Ballroom in downtown Manhattan last night – I was front row of that show for the second time in my life, and at this point I have stayed after and met every member of the band, have grabbed all of their hands in concert, and even strummed on the lead singer Ryan’s guitar in the middle of a solo. We tight. I am one of their 5,000 followers on social media and support them as much as I can. So Mother Mother, tell me why the hell your tees are thirty fucking dollars, dude!? Ali, I’m looking at you.

Mother Mother, The Bowery Ballroom, 7/8/17



These bands have to know that their demographic is the poor starving artists who love them for being true musicians in a corporate music world. The kinds of fans that will continue to stay loyal and talk about how they have been on board since the beginning even when they can no longer afford tickets should the band ever make it big (God damn you, AWOLNATION!).

So, little bands that play concerts in dive bars for less than twenty bucks a ticket, if you’re reading this, take pity on us poor, music hungry fans who will support you through your early years and continue to yell about how we loved you first when everyone else catches on to how great you are. Keep your tee prices low until your ticket prices rise. Us little guys need any bone you can throw us.


*Results May Vary

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