A flag flying for losers, somewhere in the heavens.
Last Saturday I got to go see my favorite band from my teenage years on their reunion tour. Everyone who knows me even a little bit knows that my favorite band is Five Iron Frenzy.

I drove into the city, fighting terrible traffic and awful parking and saw that even two hours before the doors were scheduled to open there was a line wrapped nearly around the block. 

"Not bad for a band that hasn't toured since 2003." I thought. I had come there alone, but as I stood in line I found this group of strangers to be more talkative than anyone I had met since moving to Chicago. 

I met a guy that had flown in from Washington DC alone just for the show. I met a guy who had been to every ne of their shows since they had gotten back together. I met more than a few people that were very socially awkward in most situations that seemed one hundred percent at ease in this crowd. 

As the show started I noticed that the singer could have dropped out at any moment and the crowd would still sing every single word to every single song. In fact many times I difficultly hearing him over the crowd. 

No one seemed to be nudging each other to say how lame the show was, how they had come ironically. Everyone was sincerely enjoying themselves, accepting each other, being genuine.

Five Iron has been known for drawing these crowds. People on the other side of cool, but genuine, real, sincere. Three things that "cool" people would never be as they would immediately lose "cool" status.

So what draws this group together? It's more than just the music.

You find the answer in the lyrics of their song Suckerpunch: "A song sung for underdogs, for all the left out, a flag flying for losers somewhere in the heavens, the God of everlasting comfort believes in me, loved me when I was faithless He still died for me."

The answer is simple. Acceptance. That night it didn't matter if you were cool enough. It didn't matter if you had the right clothes, attitude, piercings, swag. Everyone simply accepted each other, ready to have fun. No judging. Couldn't dance? have fun anyway. It was beautiful. 

It was just a show. It was more.

It was beautiful.

11/20/2012 10:34:05 pm

I don't believe anyone is a loser in God's eyes. And as we learn to have more empathy and tolerance we can become more like Him in that way. Good post, David. I like the storytelling aspect of your posts.

David Helms
11/23/2012 09:28:31 am

Hey, thanks Dan! I'm trying out the whole storytelling thing, flexing a new muscle as it were, thanks for the feedback!

11/23/2012 01:57:03 pm

I'm digging the new look! Also, I love ska. I love Five Iron Frenzy, but came in just as they were going out, so I never saw them live or anything, which is a shame. My last church was incredibly trendy, to the point that many people complained about trying to keep up with each other, which is ridiculous. Where I'm at now is wonderful in that 1- I'm one of the most trendy people there and I get laughed at for it, which blesses my heart 2- the coolest people there aren't hip, they're themselves and I entirely admire them for it. Church shouldn't feel like high school, unless you're in that season of life. BUT, I'm far from it and that, is a good thing. Sorry, I'm just ranting at this point, which the longer I go, the funnier it's going to get, I promise you.

I didn't realize you're a Chicago man. I've only seen it from O'hare, as I passed through on the way to other places, which is a huge shame.

David Helms
11/23/2012 09:11:48 pm

I agree completely Jake. I live pretty close to Willow Creek Church, to be clear I am NOT bashing them, but that is one trendy church. I much prefer the ragamuffin, random collection of misfits at the church I go to now. They are the coolest.

And If you are ever in/near Chicago we should go bowling.

11/24/2012 01:57:41 am

I'm going to be awful, I was at a satellite campus for the Global Leadership Summit that Willow Creek puts on..... I just didn't love it. That's the nicest way to say it. But then again, I'm convinced that leadership and influence are Christian idols.

11/27/2012 04:00:37 am

The show was amazing, and I felt exactly what you're talking about. Smiles from strangers who were just enjoying themselves as much as I was, great crowds who were more polite than most, and best of all, great music.

Thanks for the report. Glad I found the link on Twitter.

David Helms
11/27/2012 01:33:02 pm

Hey, thanks Justin! What it made it so much fun to me was how genuine everyone was with each other. That AND the great music. What's your twitter name? I'll give ya a follow.


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