That’s a huge understatement, actually…
I’m getting into this nasty habit of making non-rant posts, but I don’t really care. It’s summer, I see no reason to go out of my way to get pissed off, and as long as I’m not posting what I ate for breakfast, I figure things can’t be too bad around here.
So Friday night I went to a concert (Blindside, Showbread, and The Showdown) with two of my friends. We’d been planning this for awhile, since a show even with bands that are relatively unknown is STILL 200 miles away from us, and I have to say it was the best damn day of my summer thus far. I guess it was more of the overall experience than the show itself… Anyways, here’s how things went:
We checked into our motel and then Jed, Ben, and I wandered off in search of the venue and just generally something to do in downtown Spokane. Well, none of us had ever been to the place, so aside from knowing it was a couple blocks from the motel, we had no clue what we were looking for. And being from Troy, we’re not so adept at finding things in cities…
About an hour later, after being given poor directions by half a dozen people, we stumbled upon a hitchhiker who claimed he could lead us there. As we’re waiting to cross a street with him, he decides to break the silence by telling us he “just graduated from his anger management course”. From there we learned that he’s going to do the drug course next (but not before heading to the other side of town to smoke a bowl with his sister), he once hitchhiked all the way to Missoula to see his girlfriend, and that he’s tried all sorts of other drugs. I thought it was pretty funny, though Jed did most of the talking and he was just waiting for the guy to flip out on us.
We finally made it to the venue with the guy’s help, checked the time the show started, and wandered around the various shops downtown. I won’t bother detailing much of that, but I have to say that finding a gangster coloring book at one of the weird stores there was a great moment.
Onto the show… This was my first metal concert, and second “real” concert. I saw Porcupine Tree and Opeth in Seattle two years ago on the Damnation tour, which was amazing despite Opeth only playing their mellow stuff, so that’s the only thing I have to compare this with. Kinda unfair, given the sheer brilliance of both those bands and how long they’ve been at it.
Anyways, I got a kick out of waiting in line for an hour. It was worth it to see all the emo/hardcore kids looking completely ridiculous just as you’d expect… The haircuts (holy hell, the haircuts), the terrible attempts at fashion statements, and people just trying to be as unique-looking (read: moronic) as possible. Though the best part were all the Jesus/general Christianity shirts I saw (the bands themselves aren’t really preachy, but the influence is definitely there). So despite it being sort of “my kind of music”, I didn’t feel at all a part of the crowd. *sniff* I feel so alone without Jesus in my life!
Ahem. Moving onto the important stuff: Fat Tuesday’s is a pretty nice venue. The sound quality was good enough, and the set up was nice since it allowed you to get away from the crowd if you wanted and still have a decent view of the stage. Bear in mind this is compared to The Showbox in Seattle (PT & Opeth show), which is essentially a concrete floor with a stage in front of it. Anyways, a good half an hour later, things got started (click each band name to go to their page on Amazon, if you’re curious what they sound like)…
The Showdown: First band up, and my first exposure to double bass live. They kicked it off heavy and didn’t slow down at all, even when the vocalist announced “The next song is a monster ballad; every rocker’s got his soft side”. It was nothing of the sort, and I’m not complaining.
Their sound is basically southern-influenced metalcore, which is a welcome twist on a genre that’s growing increasingly stale. It’s a bit reminiscent of Pantera, though admittedly I thought their songs all sounded pretty similar. But they put on a great show so it didn’t really matter, and their vocalist in particular was really entertaining: He had a southern accent (on stage anyways; we talked to him after their set and it seemed to have disappeared), would pretend that the mic stand was a bar-bell during parts of the song where the guitar “chugged along”, and at one point took his flannel long-sleeve shirt from around his waist and fanned the guitarist during a solo. If nothing else, hicks are always great fun to watch…
Showbread: Not long after The Showdown was done, these guys came on. They have 7 members: Two vocalists, two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, and a key-tarist (there’s pics at the bottom if you have no idea what that is). In general they have a punk-ish sound, obviously with some electronic influences.
Sadly, with a venue so small and that many members, sound quality suffers. I couldn’t make out either of the vocals- a lot of times I simply couldn’t hear one or the other- and it became a wall of sound at some points. But the upside is that you have 7 people essentially spazzing out on stage, which is quite entertaining. Moreso since they were all sorta… “Flamboyant”. The drummer was great to watch especially, as he had a lot of showmanship (twirling his sticks while playing, bouncing around, etc). And there was a keytar solo, which was in itself hilarious and very cool…
Blindside: The main attraction, and they didn’t disappoint at all. I have trouble describing the sound accurately, since I love trying to pigeonhole bands into a certain genre, so I’ll just say it’s a fair blend of emo and hard rock.
There was a lot of energy from both them and the crowd, which chanted along enthusiastically to many of the songs (All Of Us & About A Burning Fire especially). The guitarist and bassist ran around the stage quite a lot, and I’d say their vocalist did at least two jump kicks every song. Their sound quality was great, on par with The Showdown earlier, but the vocals were still occasionally overpowered by everything else.
The highlights, for me, were “All of Us” (one of my favorite songs of theirs) and the final song, “About A Burning Fire”, which the entire venue seemed to be singing along with at the end.
Once that ended, we waited outside (where it was at least 30 degrees cooler) for the crowd to thin out, then headed back in to find the band. I was a bit surprised to see them all just hanging out near the merch, not getting mobbed or anything. Everybody managed to get something signed, though only Jed managed to get the guitarist’s autograph since the guy was pretty squirrelly. We met Christian (their vocalist), got a picture with him, and then slowly wandered back out.
The Showdown was nowhere to be seen at that point, but we’d already got a picture with their vocalist right after their set. Showbread was here and there, but nobody seemed to care or notice. They looked like typical emo kids, so it was hard to tell which ones they were anyways.
And that’s pretty much it. Well other than the giant, fat, stoned Indian guy who struck up a conversation with me when we were outside. It was a bit scary, seeing as he was apparently disappointed in me: “I told you earlier man, you could’ve got in there for 20 bucks, but you didn’t listen to me!” I just kinda nodded along with what he was saying, hoping he wouldn’t attack me with the rolled up umbrella he had under his arm… Then we ate at Perkins around 1 am, pissed off the waitress more than once I’m sure (we were kinda hyper), and headed back to the motel.
I’d just like to say thanks again to Jed for taking me along on such a great trip, Ben for taking the brunt of more bassist joke than I can count, and Charleigh & Matt for the ride after the show, and for hanging out with us as well. It was a lot of fun, and I’m really glad to have met the both of you (in the unlikely event they read this)…
I’ve got all the pics I took that didn’t turn out like shit (2/3 of them were really blurry due to the lighting) here, for anybody interested:
And a collection of video clips I took of Blindside here (right click, save target as):
The audio is atrocious (this is my digital picture camera, not my GL1), so feel free to mute it. The only songs you can make out if you really try are All Of Us (38 seconds into it), Shekina (1:16), Eye Of The Storm (2:10), and About A Burning Fire (2:53). You might be mildly entertained by what you can see of the band since there’s a couple of Christian’s jump kicks in there, but it’s nothing too great given my camera’s crappy quality in low-light environments.
So that’s that. I’ll inevitably go back to my cynical rantings, but I felt like I had to post this. Good day.