By Venice Bayrd 08 Nov 2004
…was me for a span of time earlier today. at least in the following respect:
after tea in the sun on the back porch this morning i decided that it would be worthwhile to scope out -dead to fall-‘s list of tour dates, if any. i really wasn’t expecting much. i was both pleased and frustrated however to find that not only were they playing pennsylvania, Lemoyne to be exact, they were playing this very day. ‘where is lemoyne?’ and ‘how the hell am i going to get there?’ simultaneously coursed through my head. i’ll spare you the detail here and just say that a little creative problem solving can go a long way. (anyone who’s ever lived in a quasi-rural area without a car and without public transport in the near vicinity will understand the quandary…) after jumping a few fences and passing a fair amount of time traveling i finally found myself in a rental car and on my way to the lemoyne area of harrisburg (about 2hrs away).
this was all well and good except for the fact that it had taken so long to pull everything together that it was now 6:30, the time the doors were scheduled to open. i didn’t care. i felt so ingenious for procuring myself a car without having to bike 30 miles that i was full of hope right up to my eyebrows. really though, knowing the way these shows typically work, i figured that the opening bands would be taking up my travel time and that hopefully i’d arrive before dead to fall took stage. luck and traffic were on my side i guess, because i arrived at 8:30 just as the penultimate band took stage. i never really caught their name, but they were decent. i guess it was their last show though.
here i should take a moment to describe the venue and the crowd. considering how high on my inspirational listening list -dtf- is right now, i was expecting beatific crowds just dying to see them. instead i found the champion ship venue (located next to machine head tattoos,) barely alive with a very young group of what appeared to be mostly hardcore kids. i thought maybe the masses were just waiting somewhere else before crawling out of the woodwork, but no, that was just all there was when dtf took stage.
and just one more side note about the crowd. i guess i haven’t been to many hardcore shows, but this was one of the more curious groups i’ve yet seen. the mosh pit was less like a pit than a line dance. people had their own little spaces where they kicked the shit out of the air, but that heavy-hitting contact that’s so lovely and quintessentially mosh-like was totally lacking. it was odd.
the place itself was brick on one side and concrete block on the other. after getting slammed into the wall at one point i decided that the show venue of the future commune should maybe go more for the psycho-ward look instead of the garage feel. you know what commune i mean.
and then…the show began. they started off with torn self off the new album, and led into master exploder. i think. well, here’s what i remember anyhow: tu se morte, gates of hell, a cover of something (fire of the soul? fire and ice? i didn’t recognize it); and then closed with villainy and virtue off the new album. the set was only a half-hour, which was disappointing, but they were really fantastic. words are lacking here. at a few points the crowd rushed the stage, and the total lack of security allowed several people to jump up on the stage, grab the lead singer, and sing along. several others joined in, pig-piling on top of each other in front of the stage like mad. a couple of kids did running jumps onto the backs of the others, it was nuts. and everyone sang along.
and then it was over and i was sad. but as i was driving back two things happened/occurred/were noticed. 1st: listening to opeth on the way back through lancaster county, i heard the following words: “follow your instincts, they usually take you home;” and i thought, yeah, that really cinches it. 2nd: before finishing this thought, looking out the driver side window i saw what i thought at first were just some odd-looking city lights. here’s where the lancaster county ref. is relevant: lancaster opens up into huge wide fields with a correspondingly huge sky. the street lights kept getting in my way, but finally i had to pull over outside of town because i realized that yes, those lights were still there and the city wasn’t. it really was the northern lights! i was psyched. the crystalline shard characteristic is one of my favorite points, and the way they shift. a couple must’ve been at just the right angle, because they shot halfway up to cassiopeia. but anyhow, to finish that thought, it just kinda came together for me in that moment that throwing sensibility to the wind and instinctually and methodically pursuing last minute chances is where i live most happily. home.