Energy is neither created nor destroyed. So, where does it come from? Does it come from Klondike’s pineapple bacon pizza? Does it come from friendship and frustration? A little of all three?
Magazine Dirty’s last show at Bill’s Place was alive with energy, sparking and flashing like a fork in a socket.
As I put on the silly plastic ape head to sing our last song, “Go Ape,” I was taken over by the allure of the mask. Next time you’re in front of a crowd, try putting on a mask. Any mask will do. The transformation is so instantaneous it’s almost creepy.
Suddenly, you’re free. You move differently. Breathe differently. You definitely sing differently too, and by “differently” I mean “crappily, because you can’t really breathe.”
Near the end of the GO APE anthem, I was actually afraid I might pass out. Good thing I didn’t, because I would have missed our friend’s new band, THE STATE IS OBSOLETE, who took the not-so-coveted headliner spot.
I’m just a dabbler in the hardcore genre (a fan of Warzone and old Agnostic Front, but someone who has no idea what the new kids are doing). However, that really doesn’t matter. Who cares! If a song or a feeling translates, it translates.
It is my belief that music should not need context to be great. It will either suck or not suck, regardless. Just ask the strange, sinewy dude in the “rap sucks” T-shirt who bounced into Bill’s off the street.
When he wasn’t busy telling everyone in the bar how “he hadn’t had a drink or been to a concert in 15 years,” he was busy high-fiving all the musicians with the intense exuberance of a first-year guidance counselor. I have to note: He asked me “who I was here to see,” but eventually gave me the high-five I was so rightfully due. Then, he gave me $5, but wouldn't accept a CD. WTF? I am still wondering where he purchased that horrible shirt and if it is racist or not … ?
Anyway, back to THE STATE IS OBSOLETE. They certainly did not suck! Full of life and tinged with aggression, energy emanated from every note, daring to explode. Singer Luke stomped around the bar hollering in fits and starts. He moved like my dog Manning, when he gets hyper (we call it “Rocket Dogging.”) Every time I tried to take photo, all I got was a weird blur. I consulted with Luke’s awesome wife, my pal Erin, and she laughed. While she was able to get a zillion pics of Magazine Dirty doing our thing, it was nearly impossible to get a shot of anyone in THE STATE IS OBSOLETE besides the drummer (even he wasn’t all that stationary).
They just do it faster and louder I guess! Did I mention it was their first show ever?
Guitar player Brook, also of The Mighty Fine, makes the most awesome faces while he plays, and I always love to see him noodle away. It looks like it physically pains him to be shredding as much as he is. I was lost in the moment, sitting on a stool (I realized early on that I would have to be way more aware if I wanted to stand immediately in front of the band), when the cops arrived.
They didn’t come inside, but the tell-tale gestures from person to person conveyed the news: The fuzz was here, outside. Apparently, they wanted the music to stop. Confused, the audience looked at each other while our singer, Curtis, said something to the band.
I thought: Is this really happening? At Bill’s Place? At a club that routinely showcases live music? What happened next surprised me. Brook quietly unplugged his guitar and walked straight out the back door like a man on a mission.
I hopped off my stool and ran after him, always the nosy reporter. With his guitar around his neck, Brook bent down to talk to the cops, who didn't feel like getting out of their squad car. He was calm, rational...not like someone you'd expect from a band called THE STATE IS OBSOLETE.
“Our set is only six songs. We have three left,” he said to the cop. “What do you say you let us finish?” The cop thought about it. “We got a complaint. You have to be careful with people who live in the Village here,” he said. I quickly interjected. “We can turn down the volume.” The cop thought about it again. He seemed like a nice enough guy, "just trying to do his job." Who knows what kind of old cranky geezer called in the complaint, and here were these two perfectly polite youngish people, asking for a little more time to rock n roll.
“OK,” the cop concluded, as if it really wasn’t any skin of his nose, anyway. Victorious, we ran up the back steps and inside to the waiting crowd. The news soon spread. Brook fought the law and he won!
OK, “fought” is a pretty harsh word.
They got to finish their last three songs.