Wednesday 13 June 2012

August Psalms: My Doltish Grin

8:00 AM, my cell phone rings. It is sitting on the wooden bedside table, and set on vibrate. It makes a loud noise and I am shot awake. Half asleep I answer the call which happen to be one of my best friends, Scotty. The sunlight shines through the window, only interrupted by the curtain in front.  I mumbled "hello?" while still dazed. "Are you still going to the show tonight?" he says, and I reply with" Uh... Yeah, I suppose". I get up off the bed and stretch out one of my arms as Scott retorts with "Good, I talked to a guy at the venue just now, he needs two guys to help unload the bands stuff". I am dumbfounded and in disbelief. I have plans with Danica later but I cannot pass an opportunity like this. I again mumble "Uh.. hell yeah man, just.. uh... just let me nap and shower, i've only been asleep for like.. uhhh" I look at the clock, "two, maybe 3 hours?". "Ok, sweet man, don't be later than 2 0'clock, at the Distillery" he affirms.

I wake up about a half hour later, look at the window which is a little more illuminated now,  and stretch again. I step off the bed, one foot at a time and slunk over to the washroom. I stick my arm into the shower and get the water going, as I like the sound of the water falling from the shower head and crashing on the tub below. After relaxing and getting clean, I dry off with my red towel and get dressed. Black shorts, ripped up at the knees, with an Abigail Williams band tee. I adorn my brass bullet belt and brush the mess of a faded red mohawk before searching for my socks and signature bandanna that I tie around my neck. I assure my wallet is in my pocket by checking for the chain draping from my side. I have a uneventful scramble with the microwave to warm up some home made mac and cheese and mix some iced tea while it warms up. After eating I search for my keys and head out the door. I am on my way downtown from 17th Ave when I whip out my phone, and I call Scott. "Hey?" "Oi!, I wasn't dreaming was I? I was barely awake." I tell him. He informs me it wasn't. "Holy fuck! You're serious. This is awesome!" I say with exuberant enthusiasm. He then states "Haha, rad man, I am too, I'll see you there at two".

After a brief phone call with Danica, we decide we are meeting at 4th street train station, Scotty is on his way there too. We hang out with Danica for a few minutes before we realize the time, and have to get to the venue. She accepts and we go our separate ways. Scott and I get to the venue while discussing how I was the first one he thought of when he found out and the only one to get back to him about the whole ordeal.We are informed that the bands will arrive around 2:00 PM, and as we are a bit early, we help clean the bar. Bottles here, glasses over there and put the cans and plastic bottles in this bin after emptying the left over liquid into this bucket here.  I cut myself on something, I have no clue what, but I wash up and and continue. Time passes and near 4 O'clock the bands finally start to show. It dawns on me half way through unloading all the drums, guitars, amp heads and cabinets and looking down at the florescent orange tape on the case I am carrying, that it is labeled "1349". My heart skips a beat. I am holding equipment that belongs to a band I thought would never come to Canada, let alone Calgary. Not only am I going to see them live, but I am helping them set up! I hear Scott say that Marduk is off to Starbucks for some coffee and my heart skips another beat.

After unloading, Scott and I make a trip to McDonalds' and when we get back, we unload Withered's equipment. Danica tries to get a hold of me, which I do not catch onto, perhaps due the fact I was carrying a bag of cymbals that I swear weighed as much as one of those big grey elephants with all the rugs and golden chains and bells on them, with the Persian emissary on top. I see Danica outside, and give her the last cheeseburger we had, as I was thirsty, not anymore hungry. After relaxing in the alley behind the establishment, on the ground in between Marduk's and 1349's tour bus and Weapon's van, we head back in. Scott and I have had about two ciders, on the house, by now. I find a poster for the show and take it down to get signed later, while the bands finish setting up and go through with their sound check. The band members, bar staff and people helping out all just relax together before the show starts.

People start to arrive and the show slowly comes to start. I go to stand in the what was then a small line-up at the merch booth, when I get a tap on the shoulder. The owner of the bar came to collect Scott and I for a shot, on the house. I am pretty positive it was Fireball Whisky with a bit Captain Morgans Spiced. I spend most of the time offering more help that goes unneeded, and conversing with Tessa, new friend and girl at coat check. Reverend Kill begins to play and it is pretty good. After Weapon, whom was also good, plays, Scott and I head out back so he can smoke. We come back and stand stage side and watch/ listen to Withered play.

Scotty taking a picture of myself with my iPhone while Withered plays in back.

It was not long after the moment the above picture was taken when it finally and abruptly kicked in. Out of the corner of my eye, behind a half ass curtain, I see something. I turn to get a better look and I was right, my eyes hath not deceive me! A face covered in corpse paint. In a moment of pure excitement, perhaps a little drunken for I have had something like 3 ciders, 2 beers and a shot. One of the beers was complimentary of Reverend Kill. Anyway, at this moment a doltish grin grows on my face. I am sure if I could grin any wider, it would have become Chelsea. Scott smiles as I hold a giggle of joy to myself, while I unsuccessfully try to wipe that insensate anchored on my face. We watch 1349 from side stage with utter glee, wondering down to the floor to mosh twice. I could do nothing but hold my head high as I was from behind stage and look at all the people catching glimpses of me coming out from an ara I am sure they can only dream of wondering to. Near the end of the last song they play, Scott and I run back stage, and stand await in the back hall. The band comes off stage, It feels like my aorta is trying to crawl up and out of my throat. We greet them, tell them it was a great show. They tell us that they hand fun, and the will probably be back because "the crowd behaved". You always hear about bands saying they really enjoy the show in your city, but I will tell you know... it is completely different when you yourself hear it directly spoken from their mouth, addressed to you with remnants of Norwegian tongue.  I get my picture taken with them and ask them to autograph the poster I have, and they happily comply.

Ravn, Archaon, Seidemann and Myself in the hall behind stage.

After talking to 1349 a bit more, Scott and I head back to the side of stage to watch Marduk. It was other moment when that fiend of a grin appears again, not on my face, but Scotty's this time. We watch the show from the side of the stage and after the second encore song, we again race back into the hallway and await for this band. The same thing happens, autographs and talking to the band.

I hit up the merch booth where the guy told me to come after the show to get a discount. I get a 1349 shirt, as it is all I can afford and thank the merch guy before heading back to help the bands pack up. I do not see a face, I only hear a voice that says " Hey, can you put all the drums in their cases?" It feels as if I received a shot of pure gaiety. I blithely do so, and once it is all packed, I help carry things out to the trailers. I catch Frost outside and ask if he has a moment for an autograph and picture. While he hands he stuff he is holding to Scott to hold so he can sign my poster, I tell him that we have met before but did not get a chance to talk or snap a picture. He smiles as he signs and then we were all off to finish packing.

Myself with the man I first believed to be Frost. However, after looking at the picture, I find it to be Jon Rice from Job For A Cowboy. Apparently Frost could not make in the country.

While we were waiting in the back hall for instructions on what do to next, we began talking to the bands again. It was about then that some chick bursts her way into the back hall. I have no clue who she was or how she got back there. Frost is busy in the hole-in-the-wall washroom, wiping off his corpse paint when this woman kicks him out of the washroom. He stands there trying to comprehend what just happened, with only half of his face wiped clean of the now what looks like black, white and grey abstract smear on his face as the red washroom door slams shut in his face. "Are you serious? I thought you worked here, why don't you go and use the provided public washroom that would be illegal not to?!" he shouts at the door. I turn to him and inquire " Did she really just kick you out of there?", he nods as we both utter "What a bitch".

Scotty and I carried some more stuff out, I with a roll of carpet and a stool, hand the stool off to Scotty as the carpet is shredding and I am trying to prevent it from getting caught on anything. I stayed in the alley to help organize things, as Scott runs back inside to clean up in there.One of the member of Withered and I played a game of Tetris with their equipment, trying to fit in all in the trailer. After joking about it and saying "who said video games didn't prepare you for life?", we laughed and it was then that Scotty came on got me. "That's it! Lets go talk to Mark and see if we can go home". We find Mark and he shakes our hands as we offer to help like we did anytime it is needed. He infers to a date when Anvil is coming and then buys us both a Jager-Bomb.

Scotty runs off home as I wait for Roscoe who graciously offered to pick me up, as my feet are rally, really sore. I walk to where the Roscoe is picking me up and a show him the poster with all the signatures on it, as we drive off into the moon-light night, home. That is the end to a wondering day, and an amazing night. It was by far the best show I have ever been too, and one hell of an experience.

The poster I took and had signed by Marduk, 1349 and members of Withered, Weapon and Reverend Kill.

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