RICHMOND, Va. — In an attempt to prove his dedication to the scene, local investment banker, Matthew Wilhelm, 37, was seen awkwardly lingering near the bar at Strange Matter as he attended the concert of his third favorite local folk-punk band Llama Thrust.
Wilhelm was observed nursing a vegan Cubano Panini and his second can of Carling Black Label, while standing with his arms folded and his head slightly rocking back and forth for the Friday night show. According to witnesses, Wilhelm made a desperate attempt to not stand out. “Just because I work a standard 9 to 5 doesn’t mean I can’t hang in the underground scene, man,” Wilhelm stated, unconvincingly, to some fellow patrons at the show.
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Still wearing his light blue button-down from Banana Republic, purchased specifically for his office’s casual Fridays, Wilhelm arrived at 6:00 p.m. sharp for the 9:30 p.m. show. “I wanted to make sure I got a good spot up front,” he explained. “Plus, you never know what kind of cool folks you can meet at these things.”
Wilhelm unsuccessfully attempted to force small talk with fellow concert-goers to no avail. “Yeah, he came up and started asking how our days at the office went,” Crystal Mayweather, 24, an attendee of the same show, recounted. “I told him I work at a local coffee shop, but he kept going on about my tattoos and how he wanted one of his own.”
When pressed on this point, Wilhelm explained, “I want to work within the system so I can subvert it from inside, you know? When I was younger I wanted to get a giant tattoo on my chest of the Misfits logo, but then I got promoted to upper management and you know how those normies roll, am I right? This guy gets it,” he said, gesturing to no one in particular.
Wilhelm’s night took an unfortunate turn as, approximately five minutes into the opener, The Fidget Sinners, he had to take an urgent call from the office to tend to the Henderson account.
The nature of the phone call has been disputed. According to Willhelm, he spoke briefly on the phone but quickly ended the call so he could enjoy the show.
“Now, I’m really rocking out,” he recalled, “but the fellas in Milan needed me to hash out some deets on our new leveraged buyout, but I told them, ‘No way, man, the music waits for no one, THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS!’ Then I held up my phone to blast some gnarly punk in their repressed corporate ears.”
However, contrary to this account, Wilhelm was spotted by other concertgoers outside the venue deep in conversation on his phone discussing his company’s new options in the European market. Witnesses indicate he was overheard stating that he would “calendar this for Monday before COB” and “edit the proposal promptly before week’s end, sir.”
Wilhelm left promptly at 8:15 p.m. before the second opener, Thots and Prayers, conducted their sound check. He was last seen having a glass of Pinot Grigio and working on his laptop at Café Caturra.
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