Tell your boyfriend if he says he’s got beef, to take it up with 3OH!3

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Photo: Kai

By Kaitlyn Fehr, Chief Copyeditor

By all accounts, seeing 3OH!3 in the year 2021 was supposed to be a meme. I wanted desperately to go to a concert after going two years without seeing one, and decided that the iconic band from my middle school years would be a funny first concert back. Yet somehow, I walked out of Paradise Rock on Nov. 6 having unironically experienced one of the best concerts of my entire life. 

If the name 3OH!3 sounds familiar but you can’t quite place it, it’s probably because you’ve heard their iconic line, “Tell your boyfriend if he says he’s got beef/That I’m a vegetarian and I ain’t fucking scared of him,” from their hit song “DONTTRUSTME.”

I’ve been screaming these lyrics at the top of my lungs every time it has played since I was eight years old—and I don’t intend on stopping.

I’ve seen the band live once before at Warped Tour 2018, but that short set came nowhere close to this past Saturday’s performance. 

This concert was both mind-blowing and soul-numbing right off the bat with the opener, which is surprising considering how much I usually hate opening acts. “The Gunz Show” seemed destined to follow the theme of dislike of openers based on the name alone. Imagine my surprise when a man in a flannel walked out alone, seemingly the Gunz Show, took the stage, and started blasting iconic emo hits like “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “I’m Not Okay (I Promise).” 

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I learned throughout his set that Gunz is a DJ both on the radio and at live shows, and he did a damn good job at DJing an opening set. Not an easy job considering how much people usually dislike openers and impatiently wait for them to end. 

Standing in a crowd of fellow former emo kids turned depressed college students scream-singing our favorite emo songs was truly a magical moment. Everyone knew every single word, and I felt like my middle school self had found a place where she could be accepted. I would have paid for a whole concert of just the Gunz Show to live in that moment forever.

Despite the crowd full of former and repressed emos, One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” was also a hit during his set. 

I genuinely didn’t know if live music was ever going to come back, let alone general admission shows. I found myself grinning like an idiot standing in that crowd at the sheer fact of being pressed against a hundred other people as we all sang along. All that mattered was that live music was back and we were all there together in the present moment. 

Even though I was at the concert alone, it never felt like it. The sense of unity in that dark room was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced at a concert before. Maybe that had something to do with the Redbull Vodka coursing through my veins, but I’d like to think it was the atmosphere in the general crowd.

By the time 3OH!3 finally took the stage, I was already having the time of my life. 

The band opened with “STARSTRUKK” sans the backing track—it was just them and the audience chanting the opening lines. The energy from the crowd was palpable, and it felt like being in a club.

3OH!3 cycled through new and old songs, but the old songs were the clear winners of the night with everyone screaming as loud as they could. Clearly, we were all there for the nostalgia of our youth. 

I overheard one conversation about how someone didn’t realize this band is so popular with the “Gen Z TikTokers.” Even though the crowd was full of college kids losing their minds, it was also full of older millennials who were there reliving their youth. Everyone there genuinely just wanted to have a good time, and it seemed that everyone definitely was.  

Admittedly, I don’t know many of the band’s new songs. Besides the iconic boyfriend-beef line, I was primarily there just for the few other songs I knew like “STARSTRUKK” and “IMNOTYOURBOYFRIENDBABY.” I expected to awkwardly stand around waiting for those songs, questioning why I came to this concert. Instead, I danced through every song, jumped around with the crowd, and screamed so loud that I dislodged my tonsil stones. 

The duo was clearly having fun themselves, joking around about their dreams featuring Ashley Simpson and how neither of them know how to dance. At one point, they paused the show to wish multiple people in the audience a happy birthday.

This type of audience interaction is why I’m a small venue general admission kind of girl at heart. In a giant venue like TD Garden, musicians can’t really interact with the crowd. But at Paradise Rock, I felt so connected with every person in that room.

Usually at concerts, I feel some level of self-consciousness and never know what to do with my arms for some reason. 3OH!3 and their audience genuinely having fun completely knocked that self-consciousness right out of me. I was dancing around and throwing my arms in that air like I was the drunk girl in “DONTTRUSTME” who washed the X’s off her hands in the bathroom.  

Of course, all of us there were waiting for their final song— “DONTTRUSTME.” The experience of hearing a crowd of unhinged people sing along to this song is unparalleled.

After almost two full years without live music, people were giving into their wild side during this song. I’ve never seen the crowd scream along to lyrics that loudly in my life. 

The post-concert depression hit almost immediately as I stepped outside into the cold air with my dry throat and ringing ears. 

As I Ubered away into the night, all I could think about was how badly I wanted to see them live again. I may not have beef with a boyfriend, but I do have beef with 3OH!3 fans for not telling me how good they actually are live.