I can’t recall the last piece of merchandise I bought at a show. While I have hunches on the band and items, I just haven’t found any black concert shirts that I needed to add to my collection lately, and I guess that’s the root cause of my clutter: I acquired basically anything I fancied, but rare is the item I truly wanted. If it doesn’t remind you of an incredible experience, is it clutter?
I would almost hazard to say yes.
I’m generally amused by Cradle of Filth’s comically extreme imagery, however, nothing inspired my imagination enough to encourage me to wait in line to buy it, and for anything short of that: “I can always look at a picture of it if I want a chuckle.” If I had purchased a shirt, how often would I have worn it in the past two months? If the shirt had cost $30 and I’d worn it thirty times, that’s still a dollar per wearing.
This essay isn’t specific to one band or set of circumstances.
There were three Powerman 5000 shirts at their show last night, I’ve seen them probably five times, and I’ve been a fan of theirs for at least sixteen years. Even though I own four shirts of theirs already, I would have bought another, it’s just there weren’t any striking enough designs for me to consider. In the past, I would have acquiesced with a shirt that wasn’t quite my aesthetic just to own it.
I’ll frequently pass wearing those shirts; I shouldn’t have bought them.
Now, unless the band completely overwhelmed my imagination with new inspirations for how to live my life or otherwise changed my perspective of what could be possible over the course of a concert performance, no shirt. I’d rather buy the select few that remind me of an incredible night, or have a cool design, rather than buy things just to prove that I’ve been to a show or three over the years.
There is still time to correct this fault of mine.
The concert shirts are an analogy for everything of mine that I own: 80% junk; 20% treasure. Today, I cleared out about five racks of shelf space in my storage room, and I don’t even know how I did it, because the trash and recycling I took out weren’t saturating. Downsizing stuff like that has been easy in comparison to looking over some of these concert shirts that I may never wear but fancied buying years ago. There’s a regret that I still have yet to parse out completely.
Let me cut that regret down:
Even though many bands survive on their merchandise sales, there are many bands I enjoy that I haven’t been able to financially “support,” which seems financially insidious. I like a bunch of things. Let me focus on supporting the select few things I really enjoy, so as an open letter to everything else: Sorry, I can’t support you all.
I don’t need more stuff/shirts I’ll never/seldom use/wear.
|Quotes:  IDKFA.|
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Even though I am in the midst of a massive downsizing project, the likes of which have oversaturated this website but which proves to still be fruitful ground for writing, I still bring money with me for merchandise at shows.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photo: Cradle of Filth show. I was going to take a photo of the Powerman 5000 table, but it wasn’t as visually interesting.|
|Written On: April 26th [30 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft for the Internet.|