Sunday, August 31, 2008

What a Show

If anyone has been following my progress in leaving my current employer, the penultimate chapter has been posted over at my other blog The Mister.

This Saturday night marked a milepost. Years ago a group of high school kids formed a production company and really got the local youth music scene going. Eventually the company petered out and one of the members opened Main Street Coffee (Come Get Some). To keep things going he had been hosting shows there and the place became the center of indie music in the immediate area. To give you an idea of what a flourishing scene it was, a lot of people you might have actually heard of played there, not just the local kids. Moneen, June, The Myriad, Gym Class Heroes... yeah buddy, we rocked that place so hard we almost tipped it right over a few times.

Well, the guy is closing down his current location to move into one that will hopefully sell more coffee for him, but will not allow him to continue to do shows. I doubt he'll be able to put down promoting completely, but it's going to be a hassle now without a ready venue. So to end things off with a bang he booked up the month of August with a few last shows. Last night's was the very last one and man was it ever a beautiful thing. Not the crown jewel, but a mighty fine effort to cap off eight years of shows.

Six bands were booked, including two reunions. For one of them, their entire career has been encompassed by the efforts of our beloved promoter. It was almost like a family reunion, or a funeral. It was an event so loaded with emotion for a lot of us that he hired a film crew to make a DVD, I'm cutting the audio for it as we speak.

Now I've written a few times about all the lousy gigs I do in order to occasionally mix one that really makes me know why I got in to this in the first place. Last night I got to see band after band turn in killer performances. Some of these guys I've been mixing since they were fourteen years old. Now, many, many gigs, albums and tours later, the seasoned pros returned to the nest.

One performer who has recently moved to New York City to pursue his career came back and had one rehearsal with a couple of the local heavy hitters so he could play with a full band. It was flawless, just flawless. Another act that consists of The Viking on drums, a front man singing and playing guitar, and a CD player that is not just a device playing the exquisitely produced backing tracks but actually a full fledged member of the band, rarely plays out and left the crowd aching for more.

The crowning glory of the night came at the end. My good friends' band, that loves Jesus and POUNDS when they get on stage turned in a performance for the ages. I was standing outside with our beloved promoter, reminiscing about old times when they tore into the intro for my favorite song of theirs, I'll Be The Rock. We looked at each other, dropped our drinks and sprinted back into the room. I haven't been in a mosh pit in almost ten years, but I showed some young whipper snappers how it's done. (!) At the start of the second chorus we were all leaning on each other, breathless from the effort, and still found air enough to scream the first line with them, "BLOOD RED ROSE-AAAAAAAAAAAAS!" I get a little shiver just thinking about it.

After the gig let out, I was striking my gear with an abnormally large crew. Even the old techs that used to help me out had turned up to coil a few cables for old times sake. We talked over the events of the evening. Our excitement about watching the DVD. How many people we had seen crying throughout the night. How great it would have been if Down To Earth Approach had actually taken the stage for an impromptu reunion. (They're not on the best of terms with each other and it was only by a miracle that they were all in town at the same time. Bloody shame that none of them remember how to play the material. For a frame of reference, they were some local boys that got picked up by a national label and actually had a go at making it in the industry for real, local heroes.)

So, now it will all take place somewhere else. The bands will still play, I'll still mix, the fans will hopefully find their way in front of different stages, life will go on. But a comfortable home base is gone, and a chapter has closed. Oh, but it was sweet while it lasted. What a ride.

Thanks Rob. We love you.

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  1. It was so much fun... ahhhhh the memories.

  2. i have to agree with you it was a great time


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