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Friday, April 12, 2024
The Observer


The Driver Era is coming

We must prepare

Of all the things a person can be, unprepared is among the worst. Yet there are some situations where unpreparedness is especially detrimental — among these being job interviews, alley fights, giving birth, world wars and most of all, The Driver Era's SUB concert

When The Driver Era was announced as the SUB artist, my initial reaction was to see if they were connected to the Eras Tour. Upon further research, I discovered that it was instead a band whose members I knew from their Disney Channel days, but was unaware of their musical endeavors.

This may be because Ross Lynch claims they are “not interested in fame, there's nothing compelling about that.” However, this is exactly what people say when they either can’t get famous or are already really famous. For The Driver Era, it’s the latter. After all, the Lynches have shaken the hand of Barack Obama. Meanwhile, Father Jenkins doesn’t even notice me when I pass him on God Quad.

As for the band name, if you’re confused about its meaning, that’s okay because it seems like Ross and Rocky are, too. They’ve been asked about the name several times, and just like an uninsured drunk driver at fault for a fender bender, they can’t seem to get their story straight. In one interview, Ross claimed their name was "inspired by predominantly the lost generation which is Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald,” and they felt it was a “cool sign or trademark for the time that we’re living in.”

I wasn’t connecting the dots, so I turned to another article for clarification. I found none. Instead, I discovered a completely different explanation, equally as thought-provoking.

“The name came from a conversation that Rock and I were having about the future and stuff,” Ross said. They were “talking about all of the technological advances, and really exciting stuff like SpaceX” and the term “The Driver Era” popped up, and they liked the ring of it. 

So, The Driver Era encapsulates the past, future, SpaceX and Hemingway, all in one name that means everything and nothing, all at once. If you fail to see the vision, just hold tight, because according to Rocky, “in 20 or 30 years … it’ll have even more significance.” However, I can’t help but wonder how many of us will be pondering the significance of The Driver Era as we’re dropping our kids off at college. But considering that last year my bookstore basketball team was named “You’re a Wizard Harry,” I am in no position to judge. 

Besides their name, I was also unsure what type of music they made. I hoped their Billboard interview would help me get a sense of what their music was like. Unfortunately, this is not possible since they’re not “influenced by anyone … so [they] can create something authentic … that’s never been done before.” However, they still do have idols, being “people like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, people who are constantly trying to push the envelope.” So if Ross comes on stage wearing a turtle neck and singing his new song named "Æ A-13," don’t be too shocked.

Initially, I failed to understand why, out of all people throughout history, they chose these two men as their idols. But then I learned that Ross and Rocky are supposedly really into biohacking, which they described as hacking one’s dopamine by having a growth mindset, which does feel very Silicon Valley. 

What they lack in a cohesive name meaning and musical influences, they make up for in appeal to childhood nostalgia and good looks. In all honesty, the main reason I’m going is the potential for them to sing an “Austin & Ally” or “Teen Beach Movie” song. I’m also demanding an acoustic performance of their song “Preacher Man” featuring Father Jenkins, Father Pete and/or Father Kevin. Should this occur, music as we know it will never be the same.

In terms of actions I am taking to prepare for the concert, I have firstly adopted the practice of biohacking in hopes I will be able to connect more to their music. The growth mindset goes crazy. Second, like any true type-A Notre Dame student, I made a Quizlet folder for flashcards on their song lyrics. There’s a reason I’m a top creator on Quizlet. 

As for the concert, I’m not really sure what to expect. Rocky claims, “The driver era to me feels like you’re in the future, it feels like you're present and it also kind of feels like your mark in the past.” I’m not sure what he means by that, but come next week, it will make me feel like I’m in Stepan Center on a Friday night, jumping up and down to the songs I probably never learned.

Who prepares anyway?

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.