“Hello, Dad,” I imagined everyone saying. I had on my Arctic Sport Mucks, with my jeans tucked into them. (“Dude, it’s snowing, and I’m riding my bicycle. I like warm feet.) I had on more layers than Dante’s Inferno, and nowhere to store them. But I was there, and that’s what matters.
I only caught three songs from the first band, Sex Tide, from Columbus, Ohio, but I was immediately drawn in by their set up. That sounds arbitrary, but I liked the configuration. Aurelie standing center stage on the drums flanked by two guitarists. Her bangs hung down into her eyes as she hammered away a marching pace and howled only slightly angry lyrics at the crowd. Dramatic while minimalist. The guitarist on the right was turned so I could rarely see his face, and the other slipped in and out of the light that was focused on Aurelie.
“Dad” watched and thought about how music transcends era. Even though I want to link it to a time, once a sound is created, it will be replicated in some form from that point on. It’s popularity amongst captured and used music may rise and fall, but it will never cease to exist because musicians are the modern storytellers. They carry on the tradition from the campfire days, when stories were passed down through generations.
“Quit staring,” Cody said. “You’re old, and that’s creepy.”
Leave it to a fiction writer to create backstory on the purpose of music. “Sorry,” I said. “I like this. It’s trance rock. That heavy heartbeat rhythm. It’s hypnotizing.”
“You’re freaking everyone out. Just act like you’ve been in public before.”
When they finished, I stood with my friends thinking, do I tell the band that I write for a music blog? How do I do it?
“They’re staying with us and really nice,” Missy Pence of The D-Rays said. “Just go talk to them. Tell them what you just told me.”
Did I say that out loud? And how much have I been drinking?
“Not much,” my friend, Taylor, said.
I spoke with Aurelie. She said we should connect through the social media world. It was humorous because we both rolled our eyes at the thought.
The band I was there to see was Guru Babies. Taylor’s husband, Matt Clouston, plays the guitar and sings. Our mutual friend, Ethan Bartman, plays the drums and sings. Tommy Stumpp on the synth, guitar, and vocals and Dillon Green on bass complete the lineup. Taylor had told me that they were going to get weird, and she thought I would like them. I hadn’t actually planned on going, but I was glad that I did.
The first song was called “Middle of Nowhere,” sang by Ethan, and from that point, I have very little memory of what happened. Music takes my already scattered brain and distracts my memory of details. I remember thinking, they have done a good job building a set. They started with a song that got my attention and built. Compared to Sex Tide, which was a marching pace, Guru Babies had one of three flavors that please my taste buds; a faster tempo. (The other two are twisted/dark/self-loathing humor in the lyrics and slightly angry vocals.)
The sound was spacey but with purpose. Creative exploration with a roadmap. It showed skill and musical intelligence. Three of the band members sang, and I could see that they have the ability to evolve, mutate, and experiment within the moment. However, the lyrics kept them grounded. At least until the last song, “Space Place,” led the audience on a twenty-minute journey.
Yes, I was a “dad” out of his element for the night, but I have been there before. As an early twenty-some, I loved losing my sense of self at live shows, and I could never have imagined actually watching a band play. It was always about dancing myself…You can finish that.
I am just now beginning to learn how to pull descriptions of the music I see from the mush it turns my brain into. Watching Sex Tide and Guru Babies, I realized I need to get back into that scene so that I can do bands justice. Sex Tide and Guru Babies, I owe you a better post in the future.