When we were sorting details for this show, I asked Jeff, the promoter (and Passengers drummer), a few things about the scene there (like if there was one), the likelyhood of kids showing up, and a key question about the venue... which was a living room.
"Is it uh, big enough where people could um.. 'move around'... if they were so inclined?"
"... kind of?"
In the mayhem of the moment I didn't even see the foot coming to my face. Two dudes cartwheeled in opposite directions, straight slumping people out (I say slumping because there was no room for them to fall down so they just kinda... slumped.) A dude dropped from... outer space? and crawled across the room, falling nearly on top of Pames, who, along with Dave, had been knocked out of tune over and over and unplugged repeatedly. A circle pit erupted. Faces around me screamed along, laughed, or grimaced in mid-mosh exertion. Pames flew into the bass cab over and over. Dave got knocked into the cymbal stands, his amp, and me... and I, well I stood basically ON the drums, shoving people away so they didn't knock us all to the point where we'd fall into a heap like a bunch of jenga pieces. A boot flew through the air and kicked me in square in the face. Between words I wiped under my nose in case there was blood. I was soaked in sweat and in the darkness couldn't tell, and didn't care anyway, and as holes got punched in the walls and the humidity suffocated and the kids raged and maybe I bled or maybe didn't, I smiled.
It had been a year and half TO THE DAY since we'd played our last show. A lot can change in a year and a half (both in hardcore and in a person's life) and I wasn't sure how I would feel being on tour again or what hardcore would look like (outside of Philly, where hardcore is solidly awesome and unaffected by trends and bullshit, thus reflecting very little on the hardcore scene at large.) When hardcore kids reach a certain age it seems that they start to see life from eyes that dull the shine of what's around them. They lose their ability to get excited, to be inspired, to be amazed. They've seen too much. They've been disappointed too many times. They don't care for whatever reason. It's something more than jaded, it's something so dead and cold that it scares the shit out of me. And it made me wonder... on tour, a year and half older, out of my magical little city where hardcore dwells eternal, do I still believe?
I do. Shows like this one remind me of why, no matter how old I get, I will always be a hardcore kid. I believe because the kids at this show believe, and together we take our faith in hardcore and make it something real. Debelia Debelia (a local band) played a reunion and covered Hatebreed, then Passengers (also local) played and we all watched with our jaws dropped to the fucking floor (if you like heavy metallic hardcore give them a listen), then Refiner (from NoVA) played and covered Tom Petty (!!!), and in the end we all ate (the kids, the bands, the residents of the house- including the dogs) and hung out for hours. Everyone slowly filtered out, and one of the last kids to leave handed me something and said, "From Frederick."
We're framing them.
We layed out our sleeping bags where we had just played and stayed up giggling and telling stories until 4 am. At 9, we were awakened by Alissa (resident and Passengers member) and her girlfriend making us breakfast.
We chatted about the local homeless population (which Alissa works with) and watched King Tut (one of the resident dogs) beg for homefries by LITERALLY putting his paws together in a beg-like gesture, and finally, slowly, left for Richmond.
Thank you Frederick, for a top 10 best ever show, and for reminding us all how fucking awesome hardcore can be.