And the Band Played On

Nevermind the Olympian bollocks—New York rocks. Right?

After the city’s Olympic fortunes flagged in the wee hours this morning, a dispirited throng of Olympians, sleepy members of the press corps, and bid junkies were still milling around the Jumbotron screen at Rockefeller Center like so many miserable moths. In an attempt to salvage the mood—and to celebrate what might have been their Best Gig Ever—the members of a local indie rock band called The Din strutted and hollered like therapists for the damned.

“We’re down, but we’re not out!” called Matty Pritchard, the group’s flaxen-haired lead singer. When he isn’t on stage, Mr. Pritchard works as an assistant to Jay Kriegel, the executive director of NYC2012. For a rocker whose day job had just quit him, he looked unnervingly peppy. “Smile! C’mon!” he whooped.

Though Mr. Pritchard leapt about and punched the air with a fervor peculiar to unsigned musicians and soccer moms, the mood wasn’t catching. The dwindling crowd stood on a soggy patch of sod, where a painted-on Olympic logo was dissolving slowly under footprints and mud. His bandmates launched into a song called “Crack That Bell.” Halfway through, he brought his hands together above his head. Group clap, anyone? Anyone…?

As the guitar struck up a closing riff, Mr. Pritchard gave it one more shot.

“Come on, this one’s about New York City!” he declared. “And we didn’t write it.”
—Jessica Bruder

And the Band Played On