browsing all posts in "riot fest"
Saturday was The Big Day of Riot Fest, 11 bands on the bill, doors at 1430. Let’s not talk about what time I arrived at the sidewalk. I’d hurt my shoulder at the Danzig show the night before, and I hadn’t gotten much sleep, and it was difficult to talk myself into leaving the house, but leave the house I did. And I’m so glad.
Okay, look. First I was going to be like, I will write reviews for individual shows and stagger them so it’s like I have regular content! And then I was like, fuck that, that sounds like work, I will write one wrap-up post like I usually do and pretend it’s because I don’t want to make you read many posts when you could read just one. I am saving you time!
But then what happened was that I showed up to work on Monday and a friend asked me about the Misfits set that happened on Friday night. He wanted to know what they played. ‘Hybrid Moments’? No. ‘Static Age’? No. ‘Teenagers from Mars’? No. No, no — ‘Bullet’? Yes! Yes, that one they played, and I remember my arms in the air and my head thrown back and I could hear the music fairly well but no vocals because the roar of the crowd was overwhelming, a few thousand people shouting the lyrics back at the stage in sheer bliss.
You guys, I love Danzig. I know he’s a tool who takes himself way too seriously and has no sense of humor. I recognize that he is a caricature of himself. I totally understand the people who make fun of him. I make fun of him! Often, and with much glee! (Although I will say that for every Danzig Is A Tool story I have heard, I’ve heard two from some fan he was nice to about how he’s a great guy.) I am not ever going to lecture you about how you don’t take Danzig seriously enough. I am not the person defacing stop signs.
But I love Danzig. I love his music and his stupid giant belt buckle and the way he holds a microphone and gives his water to the pit and his weird werewolf thing and his comics and his sometimes-collaboration with Hank III and his gross nonsense lyrics and his pile of motherfucking bricks.
Actually, before I start talking about Riot Fest, I think we should talk about how I went to see D.R.I. on Sunday at Reggie’s. (It was an excellent show! The singer of the first band gave me one of his beers, hit himself in the head with the mic, picked me up by my hoodie, rubbed his bloody face all over mine, and was a very nice guy. I watched over his glasses for him. Here are the pictures.)
I felt fine when I left the house. My throat starting hurting about halfway through the show, and there were a few minutes when I got home in which every inhalation literally felt like my lung tissue was being ripped apart inside my chest. It was excruciating, and familiar: pneumonia. Sure enough, I woke up the next morning sounding and feeling like I had swallowed a rusty chainsaw, I couldn’t breathe, I had no energy for anything. Next day was the same. I had planned to go see a show (Malajube and The Besnard Lakes) that night but couldn’t do it — plus my mother always said that if I am too sick to work, I am too sick to play, and I thought that was bullshit at 7, but north of 30, it’s a little more reasonable — and on Wednesday, although I was feeling a little better, I was still having trouble breathing and so I did the responsible thing and went to the doctor. I was right: pneumonia.
Also note that Wednesday was my birthday, and X was playing that night. Pneumonia: NOT ACCEPTABLE. The doctor loaded me up with antibiotics and steroids, and I went home and crawled into bed and slept slept slept. I almost didn’t go see X, but… I mean. It’s X. I love X so much that it makes me ache a little, they are one of my very favorite bands, and with these old punk bands, I never know when I might get another chance to see them. Plus they were playing Los Angeles start to finish, which is basically one of the greatest records ever made in the history of music. Which is to say that I really, really, really wanted to go to the show, and I thought it would be okay. My breathing had gotten better, I could sleep on the train on the way there and back, the “opener” was a movie — X: The Unheard Music — and I could sit down for that. I didn’t think the pit would get too rowdy, and if it did, I could go to the back, or go home. I took my inhaler and my throat drops and my hand sanitizer and my camera and I got on the train.
x at bottom lounge, 2011-10-05
And X, oh, X. They looked great. They sounded great. Exene in her beat-to-fuck cowboy boots and nonstop dancing and John Doe tearing it up with his long hair flying and DJ’s goofy gap-toothed grin and Billy Zoom’s creepy fucking smile and those rockabilly licks. I smiled and danced and sang at the top of my lungs and a few hours after the show I felt fantastic. I don’t know if it was the antibiotics or the music, but I like to think that punk rock saved me once again.