Alright, you’ve been warned. It’s gonna get weird. It’s gonna get gross. So don’t blame me, I’m going to just try and report on exactly what happened that night.
After our RSD adventures on 4/21 Eric and I headed to our Pocket Vinyl show that night, which took place at a dark and dingy store front in a strip mall, called Swayze’s Venue.
The doors opened at 6:00 and small handfuls of teenagers trickled in. We’ve played in front of and along side teenagers before. We have fans who are teenagers. Teenagers as a whole are fine; we like them. But this situation made me uneasy… Maybe the lack of any authority figure and their attitudes and conversation made it feel far too Lord of the Flies-like.
Then the first band started. A handful of teenagers took to the stage to play a punk set (they were all dressed up, claiming it was Punk Rock Prom Night). After a song or two the lead singer spray painted a smiley face in black onto the drummer’s bare chest. Another song or two and then he shaved the bassist’s chest hair into the shape of a penis. Another song or two and then he got two girls from the audience to come up on stage and, using aerosol spray cans and lighters, burned his leg hair off. Yes, this all happened during the first act, and things haven’t even started getting weird yet.
We were third on the bill, and we were told we’d only have about 20 minutes for our whole set. I have not done a 20 minute painting in a long time! Not since summer 2010 at least, and I was pretty nervous about it. But, I have to admit that after the show I was so proud of myself for accepting the challenge and stepping up! I’m super happy with how my painting came out that night; this is the kind of painting I’d want to hang on my own wall. And, I brought a monster back into it, and I do love my monsters.
A bidding war went on between a handful of the teenagers in our audience, until the venue owner (besides us and one other guy, the oldest person in the room) outbid them all. But for the photo, he had the other guy who’d been trying to bid on it shake hands with him as a peaceful gesture:
That other older guy I mentioned? He was the 4th act, getting on the stage after us. He played guitar and did a lot of yell-singing. It was unusual. Then another teenage band got up and did a bunch of covers.
Then we got to that weirdness I mentioned earlier… The last band to “play” all got up on stage and set up their instruments, then spent maybe 15 minutes or longer sound checking and yelling at the sound guy. I was confused at their rudeness and couldn’t figure out what was going on. Then they all got off stage and headed into a back room for another 5 or 10 minutes while everyone waited in the audience. Suddenly over the sound system the song Working For the Weekend by Loverboy began blasting and all the guys from the band paraded out of the backroom.
Some had their shirts off, some were in their underwear, some were in thongs. They were waving large American flags. One had a hula-hoop. One had a Native American headdress on. A couple of them were carrying shopping bags filled with dozens of bottles of milk. They had those aerosol spray cans from the first band and immediately began spraying the crotches of their underwear and then lighting themselves on fire until they couldn’t take it anymore.
They set up a garbage can near the stage and a ladder on the stage, and the venue owner, the guy who’d bought the painting, climbed the ladder. They passed out the bottles of milk and everyone began chugging milk as quickly as possible, while they continued to dance on and around the stage and light their crotches on fire. Some audience members joined in and more clothes got taken off.
The garbage can was set up to hold the puke. Everyone began to vomit milk and whatever else they had in their stomachs into the garbage can, onto the stage, and onto the floor where we were all standing. This went on, and on… and on. At one point Eric had to leave because the smell and watching it all was so bad he thought he was going to puke. The song was on repeat and continued on for 7 or 8 rotations as everyone continued chugging, puking, dancing, lighting themselves on fire… At one point a guy got down on the floor and people lit his butt-hole on fire and someone else put the fire out by puking on it.
(Hey, I warned you.)
Here are a couple select photos:
As soon as it was over and the venue owner paid us, we were out of there. I think the best way to describe ourselves as we drove away was complete and utter shock. I mean, I guess they probably meant for it to be shocking, that was probably their goal…
I honestly still just have a really hard time wrapping my head around it. Something about the entire night seemed not only really disturbing, but also… I dunno. Maybe it was because they were all so young.
Anyways, I think that might go down in the books as one of the weirdest shows we’ve played anyways.