Sunday, September 21, 2008

Overheard in the parking lot: "I HAD to go outside during So Many Dynamos. They were so awful."

Philadelphia was a party. Kids new our songs and they danced and we got them to do foolish things like sit on the floor and do "jazz hands". Our show at First Unitarian Church the other day was the best of the tour so far, much like how our show there years ago with Harvey Danger was the best show of that tour.

Our show in Danbury, CT last night was the polar opposite. I won't complain about the cold reaction from the crowd during our set, as we are never going to be the band that expects anything from the audienc and people were more friendly and supportive of our band than their inbetween song cheers indicated. There's nothing worse than the mosh-metal opening bands we've had yell at the crowd for not dancing. The Heirloom Arts Theater in Danbury has a bar in their balcony, which gave a prime view of the pit ninjas. This, of course, is what I'm going to complain about.

During HORSE the band, Danbury had the most stupid, reckless pit yet. Kids were running around just pointlessly pushing each other and knocking each other down, and it looked more like a drunken WWF cage match than a hardcore pit. It would be different if their movements seemed to coordinate with the music being played on stage at all, but it didn't.

I'll never understand this type of dancing. The kids swinging their arms around and kind of doing this tough-guy version of skanking. There are a few things that I find confusing and somewhat hilarious about it:

1. Some of these kids are really, really good at this dancing. That means that they HAVE to have practiced it. And the way the pits are set up, there's a big circle and people take turns going in the center and doing their "solo", kind of like Soul Train. This leads me to point two.

2. Nobody looks cool at all doing this. Nobody, one bit. It just reminds me of a 8 year old kid having a hissy fit.

3. It all comes together to be the lamest dick-measuring contest I've ever seen. When the arms are windmilling around in the pit, the mentality is that if you run into the dancer and get hurt, it's YOUR fault. It's all about territory marking. It's all primitive in a strangely metrosexual post-modern way.

The hilarious thing about it is that HORSE the band and Heavy Heavy Low Low are two bands that are simultaneously embracing and mocking traditionalist hardcore ideas, and there are tons of kids that just don't get it.

This, of course, is not how every kid acts who dances at every show. This is just how Danbury was last night, and only for about half of the time.

During HORSE's set in Orlando, there was stage diving and the kind of non-violent mosh pit that happens when you cram too many dancing folks into too small of a room. A lot of times I look at the pit ninjas and I can tell they aren't taking themselves too seriously and it honestly looks like it might have been fun when I was younger. I used to go to ska shows and skank, so I can't judge them for doing the thing they're supposed to do by tradition.

Also, this dude in Danbury peed in front of our van and there was a stream of urine that ran under the vehicle and ended in a puddle about five feet from our back left tire. I hope he got ejected.

Philadelphia put things into perspective about what we want crowds to be like, much like whenever we play Visalia, California and everybody just freaks out in their own way. Tonight we play the School of Rock in Hackensack, New Jersey, which was one of the best shows last time we went out with HORSE and HHLL. Hopefully the kids will like it, that's all we really want.


Jaystuckininternet said...

I was one of the kids dancing infront of the stage during your set in Philly, haha. Your drummer kept winking at us and stuff, there was like seven of us just getting down to the music, haha. The set was awesome, seriously ; you guys definetly stole the show and I'll be pumped when you come back to Philly.

alison said...

i was at the danbury show, i was the chick in the blue hoodie dancing in the middle/front of the crowd (let more self-embarrassment begin.) i loved your set. and i'm sorry connecticut is full of snobby assholes who can't understand/enjoy anything outside of their tunnel vision daydream. left after you were done, so i paid $12 to dance around to you guys for a half hour, and i'm fine with it.
also, the danbury crowd is a special breed. heirloom used to be a different club, and hardcore shows there would always get out of control, totally violent, and it's why i really never went there.
i'm sorry you guys had a shitty tour stop. dont bypass ct because of that, just don't play danbury. new haven is way better anyway.

Andrew said...

This is going to sound like ridiculous fan-boy-ism, but I have to respond to this post:

I wasn't at the Danbury show (very sad), but I am from Danbury originally and grew up going to the Heirloom (was called the Empress back in the day). Unfortunately, this venue is a crap-hole. Always has been, always will be. The change in name and ownership hasn't changed anything. It's nice that we had a venue that attracted a fair number of great bands, but the crowd there has always been the typical suburban angst that apparently was obvious at your show. I hope this doesn't sour your opinion of Danbury and that you head back there sometime to play another show. My friends and I (who are all dispersed across the northeast right now because of college or having moved after college) grew up there and adore you guys - if anything can bring us together it's putting Flashlights on and singing every word at the top of our lungs. The Heirloom is a big room where 14 and 15 year olds get dropped off by their parents to pretend like they have some palpable problem because they were raised in a great town with a boat-load of awesome people.

That being said, I live up in Boston now and you guys need to come here. You'll have at least one person there completely into everything you do.

Anonymous said...