Bonjour-hi mardi rétro,
How’ve you been? I feel like I haven’t seen you in a while—probably since the night before my last midterm.
On behalf of Montreal’s student community, I would like to thank you. I am grateful for six-dollar pitchers and the ensuing nights that I don’t remember. Swinging and dancing to Footloose and Grease with all of my friends while subtly avoiding creepy CEGEP boys was a huge part of my first-year experience and taught me a valuable real-world lesson: If someone makes you uncomfortable, go hug your friend at the other side of the circle. I will definitely try this out the next time my boss screams at me.
While I know that none of your patrons were alive when the majority of the playlist came out, it still fills us with nostalgia. “Remember Flower Power?” I would yell at a fellow member of Generation Z over the deafening sounds of Good Vibrations. Ah, the ‘60s. As a left-leaning woman of colour, I’m sad that I wasn’t around to see North America in that period; I was truly born in the wrong time. Like most of the girls on your dance floor, I’m not like other girls–I’d much rather get down to John Travolta than Post Malone. You allowed me to express my quirkiness and individuality with all of my fellow Martlets, who also wear black sneakers and a cool crop top.
What truly makes my Café Campus experiences memorable is the crowd: A flock of dirty younguns vying for the “Sloppiest Kiss of the Year” award. Nonconsensual grinding, having a crossfaded New Rezian spill beer all over you, and being surprised, every single week, by the appearance of the ancient Café Campus man are what make you an intriguing rite of passage.
Naysayers will say that the playlist—even its order—hasn’t changed since your birth. I say, why ruin a good thing? Personally, I like knowing that I will rage to Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” at exactly midnight and that “Y.M.C.A.” means that it’s almost time to leave.
You’re no less Insta-worthy than any mosh pit at some ‘cooler’ venue. I don’t need live performances by screaming artists; instead, I can listen to Jacques St. Claire’s cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody” while slipping around on the suspiciously-sticky floor.
When I think back on my time at McGill, I won’t be nostalgic for my classes, my friends, or Montreal. I’ll be nostalgic for twisting and shouting at my true home: Café Campus.
A fan who wants to dance with somebody.