Last night I witnessed the return of Five Iron Frenzy to the stage. The late ’90s/early ’00s ska band played their first show in Minneapolis in nearly 10 years. The band called it quits in 2003 but came back in 2011 thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $200,000 to record a new album. Since then they’ve been touring and recording said album, which is set to release in November.
Five Iron Frenzy was the favorite band of my youth, the soundtrack to my high school and college years. They’re still one of my all-time favorite bands (I say that for the sake of clarification—Petra was another favorite band of my youth; not so much anymore). I reflected on what Five Iron has meant to me before, both before and after their 2003 show in Minneapolis.
I spent my youth rocking out to Five Iron: Singing along in the car, learning to skank at concerts, laughing at their hilarity and feeling anger at injustice right along with them. I went to every concert I could, probably a dozen between Detroit and Minneapolis. I interviewed various members of the band nearly half a dozen times. I wrote a lengthy, self-indulgent article chronicling the band’s history back in 2003, which was mostly a form of personal therapy.
We’ve got some history.
So the concert last night was quite an experience. First off, I don’t go to concerts like I used to. The last concert I went to was U2, and before that I don’t even remember. Probably another U2 concert? We had to get a babysitter. When the opening band started playing I realized I’d forgotten my ear plugs. Needless to say, I was feeling old. Continue reading Five Iron Frenzy Returns to Minneapolis→
We depend on one another. We depend on our armed forces to keep us safe. We depend on family and friends for love, sanity and good times. We depend on employers and clients and customers for our paychecks and livelihood.
The loner is the great American archetype. Personal freedom, personal responsibility, personal choice seems to be our national mantra. It’s so often about me, myself and I. The consumerism that drives our capitalism is all about self.
But independence was only achieved by depending on one another. Freedom is not about selfish gain but what we can have and achieve together. Right now Iranians are flexing their democratic muscle by relying on one another. No man is an island.
I’m watching coverage of the Republican National Convention tonight (and making snide Twitter comments, like I did during the DNC as well, trying to be non-partisan) and noticing lots of signs that say “Country First.” It’s the theme of the evening.
And I’m confused. I don’t put country first in my life.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my country. I experienced the incredible freedom we have here yesterday, freedom you won’t find in China. That’s amazing. I’m thankful and grateful for it.
But I don’t put country first. Is that so wrong?
I put my faith and my family and my principles before my country. Is that so wrong?
Country first? That kind of blind nationalism scares me.
And if by “Country First” you mean the people of this country, I have no problem putting others before myself. But those ‘others’ involve humanity at large, not just Americans.
Country first? I’m not comfortable with that.
A work-at-home dad wrestles with faith, social justice & story.