Two Door Cinema Club
by Taylor Munoz
I want to tell a story. I want to talk about some of the things that make me who I am today, and who I will become in the future. Before I begin, I feel it’s important to note that this is not solely a show review—but rather, an analysis of the formation of my music taste and pure, unadulterated love for music. It’s going to be dramatic, but I’m a Scorpio with a Cancer moon so I don’t know what else you really expect from me.
Two Door Cinema Club are the first band I EVER loved in this lifetime. Ever since I stumbled across them, they have become such a significant and formative part of my life. In fact, I still remember the exact moment I heard them for the very first time. It was 2010. I was in 8th grade. I convinced my mom to let me stay home from school for the day, although I’m pretty sure I wasn’t sick enough to warrant staying home (which is a different story for a different time). I was flipping through TV channels and landed on MTV playing the hottest and newest music videos ("Hey Soul Sister" by Train was on that list, for reference at how long ago this really was). Tourist History by Two Door Cinema Club was an up-and-coming album in the indie rock scene at the time, and everyone was talking about their debut single off of that record, “What You Know.”
I remember watching the music video and thinking it was the pinnacle of what it meant to be cool in 2010—3 cute Irish guys, dressed up in suits, surrounded by girls in Urban Outfitters dresses dancing to an extremely catchy, guitar-driven song. My 12-year-old eyes were opened to something that would come to change my life, introduce me to some of my best friends, and set me on track for my future career: indie rock.
By now you’re thinking, wow this chick is dramatic, and you’re absolutely right. Let’s keep going, shall we?
Two Door Cinema Club’s Tourist History is the reason I got into all of the music I now listen to. That album was the foundation upon which I built my entire music taste from the ground up. I began with Tourist History and worked my way up to Foster the People’s Torches in 2012. From there, I explored more with Sufjan’s Illinois, Coldplay’s entire discography, Phoenix, and then to Bombay Bicycle Club, who I rightfully claim as my now-alltime-favorite-band.
Throughout the years, I’ve found my niche in alternative and indie rock. Music has truly gotten me through some of the most difficult times of my life. The truth of the matter is that Two Door Cinema Club are a band that will follow me for the rest of my life.
When I was a sophomore in high school, I transferred to a new school, knowing absolutely no one. It was one of the most isolating and miserable times of my life, and Beacon, Two Door’s sophomore record, had just dropped. It was everything to me. Every morning, as my brother drove me to school, I sat grumpily in the passenger’s seat, blasting “The World is Watching,” in my headphones, which was my favorite track off of the record at the time. I pictured myself in a place far off from my reality—I was an uncomfortable, depressed, awkward sophomore in high school. Listening to this song every single morning without fail gave me some kind of hope that the world was watching me. I would look myself in the mirror and sing the words “You’ve always known you’re not alone” to myself. I used to wonder: how do I reclaim my life? How can I continue to live like this? Is there something more for me? I know it sounds a little ridiculous and even arbitrary for a 14-year-old to wonder such depressing things, but this band gave me answers to questions I had never had before.
When I want to feel nostalgic, I listen to tracks like “Something Good Can Work” and think of the times my older brother Eric and I used to sit at our desktop computer in our old home and watch the music video of the song together. I’ll think about the time I would blast “Eat that Up, It’s Good for You” at the gym while on the pursuit to perfection (disclaimer: that pursuit is a sham). Every person that I’ve ever had a crush on since I was 14 will most likely never know that I used to think about them and imagine “Spring” playing in the background of our movieworthy love affair (Scorpio in Cancer moon, people). I listen to the title-track “Beacon" every single day of my life up to this very day. Hearing front-man Alex Trimble sing the words “Take the deep end, and swim ‘til you can stand / It will make the difference in the end” made the difference between life and death for me when I was 14 and still does to this day. I’ll sit on the bus with my headphones in or stand in the shower or disassociate hard core in the peanut butter aisle in Safeway and ponder how vastly different my life is since the release of Tourist History, or even Beacon, and wish I could give my pre-teen self a pat on the back for living to see the day that I picked up my life and moved it up north to Seattle. To live to get a job at a radio station. To live to get a job at a preschool. To meet the best friend I’ll ever have. To know that taking the deep end and swimming until I could stand did make the difference for me in the end. Personally and professionally, their music changed my life.
I was alive to see Two Door at Showbox SoDo on April 19th, which brings me to the second half of my story. I’ve never been married, but (since I’m dramatic) I like to compare how I felt the day I saw the band that changed my life for the very first time to the likings of the day of one’s wedding. I was stressed out the entire day. Even standing in line for the show was one of the most-high stress experiences of my life. A literal 7 years stood between this show and I, and I felt like I was carrying out some sort of mission that my 12-year-old self assigned to me before slapping me in the face and sending me on my way. I think I was mostly nervous because I didn’t really like Two Door’s newest record, Gameshow, which dropped late last year. I felt guilty that I couldn’t align any of my emotions with any of their newer songs, and I somehow was nervous it would hinder my ability to fully enjoy the show. Yet, despite my worries and doubts, the show was more cathartic than I could have ever pictured.
When the lights dimmed and the intro to “Cigarettes in the Theatre” began, my heart could have burst out of my chest from beating so hard. I’m not one to cry at shows, and felt I held myself together pretty well throughout the set. Despite the 6-feet-tall frat bros pushing the crowd around me, couples making out at every turn, and my general anxiety, I was put in a trance. Seeing Alex Trimble walk on stage wearing a leather jacket, black jeans, and his long hair tied into a half-ponytail was everything to me. I had spent so many of my formative years imagining what it would be like to be in the same room with the 3 people that had such an impact on me, and there they stood. I stood with my eyes closed and my hands raised to imagine the girl speaking words that could melt in one’s hands. I listened as Trimble touched on the complicated relationship he has with the internet and mass media, and how it fundamentally changes and even hinders people, which is the largest theme on Gameshow.
I felt my doubts and anxieties shrinking. I felt comfortable enough to scream the lyrics, dance, and ignore the fact that I was sweating literal buckets. It was pure bliss. I left Showbox Sodo with my cup overflowing. I felt more fulfilled than I probably ever have. At this point, you’re probably wondering, “Taylor, if this band is SoooOoOooooOOOOOOO important and transformative and blah blah blah to you, didn’t you cry at all?” Here’s the good word: I felt like I needed to be strong that night. I didn’t want to completely fall apart in public while in the presence of the band that was the soundtrack to all of my high school hardships and failures. What I will say, however, is that the second I walked back into my dorm room—the SECOND—the waterworks began. I cried for two hours that night. I cried because I was tired. I cried because I was emotional. I cried because Alex Trimble’s half ponytail belongs in the MoMA. I cried because after 7 years of being stuck in the mud, they pulled me out that night. I felt incredibly in touch with my younger self and channeled some of the pain I felt years and years ago. I cried because I was alive to see it all.
I know I’ve joked relentlessly throughout this about my dramatic tendencies, but I will never for as long as I live be apologetic about feeling things as deeply as I do. Music enables me to do that. I’m not ashamed of being in touch with how I feel, and acknowledging all of the good, the bad, and the ugly, that made me, me. I spent so many of my high school years teetering on a fine line between wanting everyone to know that my love for music made me who I was, and trying to hide it because I knew people were judging me. I didn’t have “I’m not like other girls” syndrome or I’m-so-different-itis, but I felt like there was always something to be ashamed of.
I am no longer ashamed, and have stepped out into the sun to reclaim my experiences in this world as a teenage girl. I believe the world is watching me now.