It was the first time I’d been in a mosh pit in more than 25 years, and strangely enough, it wasn’t too disturbing an experience. But here I was, ipod in hand, inundated with stage fog backlit pink, green, blue, orange, and a variety of other colors from the more radiant regions of the visible spectrum.
Deep abdominal breaths yielded the tiniest second-hand high.
“Ah yes… I remember this…”
I struggled to keep my feet, not so much from the unintended airborne mystic event, but from the constant jostling of the enthusiastic metalheads two to three decades my junior.
It’s an odd experience being the oldest person in the room. It’s an even odder experience at a metal show. You realize you’re no match for those who still sport a full complement of testosterone. Instead of pushing back, you just go with it. It’s a sweet, humbling experience, the roiling of spiritual electrons, that wondrous literal and figurative stench of humanity as the over and under lords float a chuckling reminder of the inevitable your way.
My feet hurt like hell from more than 9 hours beastly burden during the day. I soldier on, so happy to feel the pain rather than the alternative, perhaps out of sheer ignorance. Who the hell knows what lies beyond, if anything? These kids who weren’t even born last time I got jack-stomped on sweat-drenched floor seemed oblivious to this inevitable. I admire that. I think I was too back at Houston’s Consolidated Arts Warehouse as Jello Biafra leaned against a stool, his leg in full cast, a surgical glove gripping the mic, belting blast after blast after blast, taking a few rests to thank the fans in L.A. who broke his leg. How’s that for punk rock appreciation? Jesus! I think that was 1984. 32 years ago? Man, that concrete floor was slick. Everyone was caked in black mud when it was over.
History repeating itself?
The sun had yet to set. Humid as all fuck here at Lat 30. Fucking sauna. Storms that afternoon- thunder, lighting, dark clouds; portents.
Not a cloud in the sky now.
The sun was unfettered, typical Texas tyranny.
Seattle’s Earth chainsawed its way through a set invoking Valhalla, demons, covens, and myriad residents and myths of the fantastic realm.
“Fucking Earth!” someone screamed from the back.
“Yeah! Fucking fans!” responded the lead singer. “But honest, man. If it weren’t for you fans, I’d be dead or in prison, so thank you!” A polite applause rose and fell. Earth sliced on as the sun fell and the hygrometer rose.
After dark, Boris came on and set the crowd into a frenzy- A mad Chesire Cat grinning drummer; a double neck guitar, bass on top, six string on bottom; a woman charming the hell out of a Gibson at stage right, making sounds that could drive the devil himself mad. It certainly had me wonderfully unhinged.
“So this is Japanese prog metal” I mused to myself.
The band plowed through their album, Pink.
They wore black.
I wore black.
We were all drenched in sweat by the set’s midpoint.
Furiouser and furiouser went the band.
Pink, green, orange, blue, yellow, more – off the spectrum, off the charts.
Faster and faster it all went until the guitarist/bassist/singer lifted his can of Tejas Lager and gave a final “Cheers!” to the crowd. He looked like he’d been blasted with a firehose. I know I had – of the sonic kind, of course.
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