Last night I was feeling a bit melancholy. As I contemplated all of the things on my mind, I found myself listening to Third Eye Blind. I realized what I was doing and thought to myself “I can’t believe I was so obsessed with this band. They’re not even that good” – but I kept listening nonetheless. It was then that I realized that my favorite group of 90’s alternative has-beens isn’t still on my playlist because their music is good; it’s because they hold sentimental value and nostalgia. The Third Eye Blind realization prompted me to make peace with the fact that I still order an occasional Stella Artois for the exact same reason.
Way back in 1998 I attended a Third Eye Blind, Our Lady Peace and Eve 6 concert. It was the summer after my 8th grade year and I was just 14 years old. My friends and I ended up winning on-stage passes for part of 3EB’s set and I was forever changed. The catchy melodic rifts of their late 90’s pop infiltrated my young teenage heart and the next decade of my life was filled with their music. I’d never really been that into a band but there was just something about them that made me want to explore every song they put out and ultimately branch out to other artists, some similar and some not.
The first time I had Stella Artois I was a 19 year old college freshman and I was visiting my best friend from high school at the University of Toronto (the drinking age in Ontario, Canada is 19 so I was perfectly legal,) I had just started enjoying the occasional alcoholic beverage and beer wasn’t my drink of choice. Kegs of Genny Light and Miller High Life were all I’d ever really experienced up until that point. As we sat in a real bar that we’d used our real identification to get into, I watched as my friend and her friends all ordered something called Stella. I followed suit, not really knowing what would be arriving at our table. I’m not sure whether it was the fancy glass, the sophisticated company, or what I know recognize as a slightly elevated taste but I was hooked.
Throughout the remainder of my college career, Stella and I became good friends. I thought I was pretty cool when I came back to Buffalo and told my friends about it. Those unfortunate souls thought Blue Light was good stuff. Pfft!
Today I am pleased to report that I have come into my own as a beer drinker and the soundtrack to my life contains much better music but that doesn’t change the fact that I like to look back and reflect on how far I’ve come sometimes. As it turns out, having a Stella isn’t the worst thing in the world and neither is singing along to the single “How’s It Gonna Be” – they meant something to me then and I guess they always will.
What’s your nostalgic beer (or band) of choice? Feel free to tell us in the comments.
[techtags:NOSTALGIA, STELLA ARTOIS, THIRD EYE BLIND]