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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lightning Strikes!

One post per week. Maybe then you'll click on the ads enough that this will be worth my while. No just kidding. Saturday April 2 the B-Side hosted Providence's Lightning Bolt. It is my belief that much of the audience did not know what hit them.

Instead of setting up in the middle of the floor, as they are known to do, the duo stuck with convention and used the stage. Presumably half the crowd was just there for a spectacle and expecting insanity, so they created it. The last time I got so crushed by an audience surging towards the stage was probably the time I saw the Ramones about a million years ago. Funnily enough, that was in Providence. Anyway, there wasn't really enough room to move for people to get out of hand, but somehow a few of them managed to levitate out of the mob enough to crowd-surf. They nearly destroyed the suspended stage lighting in the process. To their credit, NZ staff on the premises did not freak out or try to stop people from...uh...dancing.

Well. It's been some time since I was pressed hard against so many sweaty youths. As much as I enjoy it, this time I opted out of elbows in the throat and armpits in the nose and heads in the chin, and retreated to higher ground behind the mob.

For some time I lived far away in an exotic land where rock & roll was still new, fresh, and forbidden, and on the rare occasion a band managed to play a few songs on a stage before the authorities shut them down, the teenage audiences would lose their minds and go into this frenzy of emotional release. They needed to blow off steam and rock music, the heavier and louder the better, was their way of venting, rebelling, escaping, shocking, and banding together. In writing this appears to sound tame and obvious, but this was a society where expressing your individuality was frowned on, where no normal kids would dare to scream in public or behave in any way that might embarrass their families.

In a weird way, this crowd last night reminded me of those days when it was clear the kids didn't care what was in front of them as long as it was loud and they could rip their shirts off and scream their lungs out and then go home and change back into their public persona.

Are you still reading this? Wow, thanks, I guess. This is why I don't post every week. Who wants to read it, anyway.

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