“I’m not bringing a bunch of bullshit.”
I could practically hear his voice saying it as I read it, and in the the parking lot of The Talent Farm, I actually did. Mean Pete shouted this text verbatim at us when we moaned, “WHERE’S OUR CHILI DUDE?!”, then he went further, pretending to hold a big pot of chili while making an 'I’m an asshole hippie' face.
“I’m not gonna be one of those dudes with FOOD at a SHOW. Fuck you.”
The Talent Farm itself is reminiscent of a European venue. The stage is extremely tall, there’s a band room to chill in, the bathroom has toilet paper, and there’s a giant sound booth... but The Talent Farm has one curious and unique quirk: 3 cameras installed in the walls which both stream the band’s set live, and produce DVDs to be given to bands after they play. Ours is sitting in our living room. We’ll rip it and upload it one of these days.
This show was the reason this tour was booked. First off, it was like 80 degrees outside and there were palm trees everywhere. Second, we wanted to see our friends... and this show was like a family reunion. I'll get into them in a minute.
Before our set I became overwhelmed by the fear of toppling off the stage as this had almost happened once on a similarly tall stage in Germany. Derek Zipp, one of my BFF’s on the internet, on my cell phone (top 5 y’all), AND in real life (NBD) sat on the side of the stage and talked me down, and then it was time to play. Our set was fun- the mosh was brought, kids sang along, and I stayed upright. Here, see for yourself:
After we played, lots of people came up to us and thanked us for coming, thanked us for caring about things (never sure what to say to that...thank you for caring that we care about things?), and one dude and I spoke at length about putting DIY ethics back in hardcore, which was fun and refreshing. Sad that it's refreshing though, huh?
In the band room, One To Blame was in make up. Our buddies Daron Marino, Jared Warsh, and Sam Kooby were transforming like beautiful butterflies into... a hippie... a... bat...dude? and a Mexican wrestler. And I’ll tell you, they simply took our breath away.
I will not attempt to describe One To Blame to you, I will simply give you this video from the show:
We poured out of the venue laughing and out of breath, hugging and high fiving and taking pictures. Here's a class of '09 Bishop/Kingdom European tour reunion shot:
Then went to Derek’s to meet Lulz, his rapmetal coatimundi that I’ve heard oh-so much about. I’ve known about Lulz for a long time, but he and I have never met. In my mind Lulz was a squirrel sized, adorable fur ball that hung out on a little hammock and ate bananas. As we walked up Derek's steps it turned out that my mental image was... small scale. Lulz was gigantic. Like a fucking raccoon.. mixed with a monkey. The fact that he hung out in a hammock and ate bananas made him no less terrifying as he ran at us... just minutes after John Warden and Mean Pete had told us that Lulz is prone to attacking and biting people.
Lulz quickly tired of my hysterics and left to leap around Pames, Dave, and Dustin.
Dustin, braaaaave Dustin, tried to make friends with Lulz. And what did Lulz do? WRAP HIS ARMS AROUND DUSTIN'S LEG AND BITE HIM. He drew blood. (After the initial shock, we all said, "He drew first blood, not fucking me!" and moshed.)
Lulz eventually, after doing this weird thing where he put his nose up Derek's nose (... on second thought, I don't even know that Derek dude...), made his way back to his cage where he rattled the bars and looked at us menacingly through the window.
We fell asleep watching It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, which Dave and I (who live in South Philly) had never seen, and we were amazed to see our neighborhood and hang outs all over the show.
We awoke hot... which was weird since it was February 2nd, and made our way over to Mean Pete's for breakfast. Pete had warned us that he lived in the ghetto, which very well could have been true (bad neighborhoods look vastly different from city to city) but struck us as hilarious nonetheless, because the worst thing we saw was an old paper plate stuck in a palm tree. ("Oooh, rough neighborhood!")
Pete made us pancakes and told us how he hated almost every song off our Eulogy Record and thinks we should only play our old 7" and our new 7" live ("But dude I love 'Fire Born'"!"... "Man I hate that fuckin song!") is his signature way of bashing and complimenting, and then John Warden and John Warden's famous dog came stumbling out of bed and joined us. John listened to the conversation for a second then added, "Don't listen to a word he says. If I listened to him I'd never play drums again."
John Warden's dog had been a daily topic on our '09 tour with Bishop. There is a bitter rivalry between John Warden's dog and Mean Pete's dog, both of whom are big, a little scary (Pete's dog bites people she doesn't know, John's dog is a jumpy giant with open bleeding wounds), a rivalry which rages on today, and even as we ate breakfast they talked shit to and about each other's canine companions. In the end we all decided that Lulz was the worst dog/creature on EARTH, and as we all settled into a collective "That creature is going rip Derek's face off some day...", the dog dissing eased down to nothing (heyo!)
(Mean Pete's dog, Dave, John Warden)
We finished our pancakes and talked shit, made fun of each other and everyone we know, and Dave did imitations of the weird moshing that we'd seen in Florida (which had become the instant favorite tour joke.) Mean Pete asked Dave to show him how it was really done, to show him true, hard moshing and refused to let us leave until he did. So John Warden put on Hatebreed, and as we all fell over laughing onto the white tiled floor, Dave brought the br00tal m0sh in the living room. With that, we gracefully bowed out.
Just a day before I’d reflected on Kingdom being the kind of band that found its place in Daytona, but at the Pembroke Pines show I realized that wasn't true. I don't know what our place is. It's not Daytona, it's not Pembroke Pines. We're not from Philly anymore since only 2 of us live in the city, so it's not really Philly either. We're just... a band from the east coast. And our place is... hardcore, which I guess is why most nights feel like reunions and most places feel like home.
On two nights as different and friend-filled as these, I feel I should touch on scene diversity for a sec. People really get their, uh... gender neutral undergarments in a knot about certain types of people/bands and getting along/playing together. (As if we should all be enemies and every scene should be insular. Sounds super fun right?) Hardcore's not just a place for politics or for moral and ethical stands to be made, it's also a place for a bunch of friends in costumes to inspire stupid fun. A community is not just a blueberry muffin from a swell pal, it's also a jaded old shithead of a friend who won't bring you chili... but will put out your record. It's all of it together, all of us together, the costumed, the nervous, the serious, the awkward, the self righteous, the weird moshers, the stands and the stage dives taken, the shit talking, the laugher. The things that set us apart aren't bigger than the things that bring us together.
It's like Diecast once said:
Skinhead or not
Straight edge who cares
Because hardcore still lives
Immortal fucking words, amirite?
Thank you South Florida, all our old friends and new, HIVEMIND, ONE TO BLAME, 40 WINTERS (who have a new song! CHECK IT!) for an awesome night... as always. See you real soon. <3