Nice day for a red wedding
I nearly had an anxiety attack. I walked toward the Red Museum and saw a guy dressed in a nice suit, carrying a wedding gift. My wife told me I should “dress nice” tonight since this was technically a wedding reception, but I brushed off the suggestion since it was also technically a show with more than a dozen local hip-hop, punk, doom metal and indie rock artists. I figured everyone would be dressed like dirtbags, like me. It was bad enough that I didn’t know the married couple whose wedding reception I was crashing.
Turns out, my wife and I were both right. It was a strange mixture of older nicely dressed folks and casually dressed 20-somethings at the Red Museum.
A friend wore a Fruit Loop-colored shirt and punk-patch-covered jeans. A man in an artsy beanie asked me if I knew the bride and groom. No, I told him. “Good. Now I don’t feel so bad.” He went back to enjoying the live music.
The couple, Hallie Wenz and Tyson Bouey, are big supporters of local music and art, according to attendees. Writer Josh Fernandez read a piece about a having bad mushroom trip and trying to kill his friend, and he had officiated the wedding, which was held just before at Sol Collective.
Local poet and rapper Andru Defeye, who hosted the evening, told me that he wanted to teach a class about how to support the scene using Wenz and Bouey as examples because of how often they attend shows. “If we had 100 people who supported like them, there wouldn’t be starving artists in this city.”
The couple invited artists to participate in what they called the “Super Great Awesome Incredible Fantastic Wedding Reception,” including SpaceWalker, The Philharmonik, Caliscope, Vinnie Guidera & the Dead Birds and Hobo Johnson & the Lovemakers, who headlined. The choice of Johnson—who raps about his divorced parents and girls not liking him—shows just how far from the traditional wedding reception the couple allowed the evening to be. However, Johnson shared a few sentimental words about the couple: He had seen them at shows and noticed how much they enjoyed each others’ company, and he said it gave him a model for a relationship.
The couple had also opened the proceedings to the public, so I wasn’t actually a wedding crasher.
Bands and rappers performed at an almost constant pace from 6 p.m. to nearly 1 a.m. In a sense it felt more like a show than a wedding reception, even though there was free booze and a wedding cake. After punk-ska band At Both Ends played a highly energetic set, which included a bouncy cover of Rancid’s “Time Bomb,” Wenz hopped up on stage, got choked up and said a few words to everyone, like a normal wedding reception. Her gown was colorful—another deviation from the norm.
After thanking everyone for coming out, she said: “I just want to say that I fucking love third-wave ska,” she said. “I’m so honored to have a ska band play my wedding.” The crowd roared.