In This Moment…

I know, I owe a recap with photos of the conference in New Orleans, but this is one that has to be done while it is fresh in my mind. Also, with the ringing still in my ears it is the majority of what’s dancing through my noodle this morning. A Tuesday night show featuring In This Moment and no less than three other bands. Say what you will, but for the $15 ticket to get into the Majestic, it was a steal. And that is about as PG13 of a review of the night as I can give. It goes downhill from here folks. You’ve been warned…

In a stunning display of technology fail, I forgot to charge my phone on the drive home to pick up my son and head back into the downtown area for the show. I managed one blurry photo of my zombie totem Darrell the sniper at his first concert before my phone died. Luckily the band took a group photo that I hope they don’t mind me attaching. I can see where I am, but only because I knew where I was standing. And where I was standing was not too close to the pit. I’m not that demented, and while I like my neurosurgeon, I’m not buying him another summer home. 😉

The day started with lunch provided by my parents. Every couple of weeks my father calls to go to lunch, but my mother was with him this time. They not only paid, but my father told me there was nothing too important going on at the Italian Workman’s Club meeting that night. In short, giving me the green light to leave work, get some writing time in, and then make the show. Lunch and a hall pass, even in your 40’s its nice to have parents that “get it.”

During the day I sent my son a text. I told him they were playing and it was fifteen bucks, did he want to go. His reply was, “What time?” Now I know there may have been more enthusiasm that didn’t translate in SMS, but in my mind the proper response from a 21 year old would be, “Fuck yeah!” Baby steps… baby steps. (Yes, I understand it is going out to a concert with your middle aged father and not your friends. I’m not an idiot.)

Lacking in time after getting home, changing, picking up my son and then heading to the Majestic we were left with Taco Bell for dinner. Not exactly 5-star, but it is something that surprisingly fits into my nutritional schedule for the diet. Also, it’s fast. Parking downtown is… well… parking downtown. I decide to pay for the ramp across the street from the Majestic. The first sign of the night to come was when we were going around the ramp construction to get to the club.

I told my son, “I think this is the direction.” I was waiting for him to notice that the brick-to-the-head clue was Chris Howorth standing outside the tour bus parked at the back entrance to the club. It was either that or the zombie outbreak I wrote about in Under the Hood was actually happening and I left my multitool at home! Seriously, the outfits and the blackened eyes… no mistaking the band.

Grabbing our tickets and getting in line, I was ready for two opening acts. This was according to the web site for the venue. Getting in we found out they added a third. And at least one of them was a local band. I’m fairly sure the first two were locals. While the first band had some issues with the singer’s mic, the music was good. Unfortunately my Instagram Memory fuzzed out the name of the group and I didn’t go up to grab an EP before I left.

The second group started the pit in the front tier of the floor. Serious amount of roar coming from both the singer and the lead guitar. And the drummer? The dude transformed from a goof setting up the stage to a skeletal masked rocker when they came out to play. Seriously, it was as solid of a transformation as I’ve ever seen on stage. Unfortunately they said this was the last show they would ever play. Not sure the story behind it, but they definitely put on a show.

A lot of head banging and a lot of “fuck you” lines were in their music. At the same time, they were tossing shirts, guitar picks and drumsticks out into the audience. Clearing out the leftover merch is my guess. It left me wondering why these “blue collar rockers” (their term) were hanging it up. There has to be a reason for a group saying “fuck you” to The Man is leaving the stage. I didn’t see any animosity between the musicians, so that tells me there’s a story there. Without knowing it, I suppose I’ll have to make up my own. Sounds like a short story exercise.

The last band before In This Moment hit the stage (whose name I am also drawing a blank on) and seemed to drop the energy that had been building a bit. Until they played Let The Bodies Hit The Floor. During that song the floor seemed to go back to shaking from all of the jumping. Overall they were a good band, just not as high energy as the one before them. They did close with a song called Zombie Town, so I can cut them a lot of slack. 😉

They were definitely more fauxhawk than dreadlock. Their singer also had a deep baritone voice (for a fairly lithe guy too), but didn’t really do the primal screams that every other band was doing that night. It left me wondering if this band was traveling with In This Momemnt (as they were from Denver and not local) or if they were put on the ticket that night by the venue. Again, without knowing the story, I am left with having to make up my own. We’ll see if I get around to that short story.

So, after the stage prep (which was extensive), In This Moment was hitting the stage around 11:00 or so. At this point I had been on my feet four straight hours. Those new to this blog thinking, “So?”… I had spinal surgery several years back. I have a limit, and pressed past it last night. But, after hearing Blood on the radio I knew that it was going to be part of the playlist for the next book for my Under the Hood characters. Seriously, I bought the song on iTunes before getting on the train for New Orleans on the 7th. I held off on buying the full album.

In hindsight, I’d love to say it was because I knew I’d be going to the show. I’d love to, but I had no clue. Getting up that morning I hadn’t even planned on it. Once I was there I did pick up the CD from the merch booth. And a zombie themed shirt they had there. Hey, all the money goes to the band and who doesn’t need another zombie shirt. Right? All that aside, I’m not above spending some at the merch booth to ensure touring bands are touring. Local or not, it plays into supporting the Make Good Art initiative.

By the end of the night Maria was shouting for everyone to be moving and jumping up and down though. I knew I was lucky I was still standing. In my mind that immortal 20 year old was jumping up and down.  And for an encore they played an old song that is totally going to see use on the next playlist. It may not be in line with the new protagonist’s style, but it is totally in line with his mentor’s. Welcome to the Gun Show is one of those songs with a strong primal scream of a voice to the lyrics that embodies a lot of what goes through my head in the violent scenes. They always seem to be tempering the violence in them with as much discipline as they can, but do their best when they let it all go.

Philosophically my favorite part of their set was when they prompted to crowd to let out a yell of their own. Maria wanted to hear all of that which was pent up inside everyone. Everything that makes going to these live shows such a release. All that stress, anger, rage… whatever. All burst out from everyone at the same time in three simple words. “Hell. Fucking. Yeah.” At this point I should say I don’t shout in public any more. Ever. If you hear me shouting in public, it’s for a reason. A good one. But I have to say I was living vicariously through everyone else’s shout.

I had expected to hear one from my son. I know he has no problem saying those words in front of me. Next time. 😉

I would have loved to stuck around to meet the band, maybe gotten the CD signed, but we both had work in the morning. As it was I didn’t get to sleep until nearly 2 in the morning. Up at 6:00. Yeah, it was totally a 2 cup of coffee morning. And was so worth it. I may be an old man. Close proximity to the pit is a dangerous endeavor for me now. But at the same time there’s an energy to a show like that you need to experience to reproduce. It was that energy that kept me going and thinking of it kept me moving the entire day afterwards.

Even though it is too blurry for use, I’ll end with the one photo I managed at the show. Darrell my zombie totem at his first concert…

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