AT THE PROM

There are good reasons why I didn't go to my high-school prom: ill-fitting dresses, awkward dancing, bad music. Call me crazy, but that's not a good time. Rather, I spent my "night of a lifetime" at the now-defunct RKCNDY, getting kicked, pushed, and beaten at a punk rock show. Now that was a good time.

God bless Graceland for catching on to the fact that not all kids want to partake in tired and traditional high-school promenades--the rock and rollers deserve a dance of their own. Which is why the club hosted their second annual prom, "Summer of Zombies 2," on June 14.

The idea was good. There was the option of dressing up as undead prom dates, and rock music from C.O.C.O. and Milemarker. Graceland got into the spirit by supplying authentic prom décor (balloons, streamers, lights), refreshments, and even a photographer with a glittery photo backdrop. Everything was present and accounted for.

Then why did I have such a lousy time? Maybe because it was too much like a high-school prom. Even though the girls were dressed in Cyndi Lauper-style gowns and everyone had fake blood and white make-up smeared on their faces, there was still that awkward feeling in the air--the awkward feeling that comes when you put a bunch of self-conscious kids (whether they admit it or not) together. Many of the girls danced in groups, while many of the guys stood along the wall. It was just like my high-school prom (had I actually gone), except the kids were allowed to smoke and no one was getting drunk in the parking lot.

After C.O.C.O.'s average set (I'm sorry, I just can't get excited about that band), I tried to liven (ha ha) up the situation by socializing with a few of the undead.

"He can't talk, he's dead," said Michelle Giarmarco, in response to my asking her friend how he "died."

"Well, then how did you die?" I asked, turning to Michelle.

"He actually ate my brains after strangling me," she said, pointing to her date, Aaron Wright.

"And how'd you die?" I asked Aaron.

"Drunk driving."

With the undead obviously not having much to say, I retreated back inside. The dance floor was bare, despite Calvin Johnson's efforts to play the most danceable, hip music he could find. Kids wandered the club with a "what do we do now?" look on their faces. Some took advantage of the "photo booth," some grabbed some food, but most stood around... looking dead.

Milemarker hit the stage with the biggest burst of energy the night had seen, and the prom turned into a rock show. But I really wanted to get out of my uncomfortable shoes, so I took off early--just like everyone does at their high-school prom. MEGAN SELING

megan@thestranger.com

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