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Entertain and Be Entertained
by Michele Christopher
One of the things I love about playing in crummy little bars, and I'm a people watcher so this is just perfect for me, is the crowd out on the floor. I'm there to make them dance. They are there to make me laugh. Fine guy alerts. Drunk chick alerts. Angry venue owner alerts. Someone's getting busted outside alerts. All that. Then the one night when one of the bikers in the local club came in to tell us one of theirs was just killed a block away in a wreck. That's altogether something else. "This next set's for Frankie! Goodbye, my friend!"
Onward, though, the crowd. There's the White People Dancing thing, of course, especially out here in the Whitebread State. You know, some days you're out and about and you see a not-white person, and you go "Holy Shit! I just saw a black dude!" not in a fearful way, but because the damn town is
You're onstage and you just get to see people get hammered. Some women start practicing for the stripper career they'll fortunately never have. Some men dance like wooden marionettes. Some folks line dance to everything, including Metallica and Aretha Franklin. Some folks just cut loose and spazz out on the floor, and those people I always went out of my way to thank, because it was fun to watch.
I've gotten to see people piss their pants and face plant, walk into columns and drop like a ton of bricks. Little blonde chickies take out dudes three times their size. I have been so trashed myself on more than one occasion that all that saved me was that there was a giant speaker to lean on. Our drummer fell into his own set a few times. Going outside and puking between sets, and having more drinks sitting on the stage for us when we came back in. Those drunk lesbians that had to go halfway through the night that stopped at the stage for a kiss from the bass player.
Not very many pictures of our band were taken, but I got plenty of the people who were at our shows. I swear I was just as happy to stand up there and watch the craziness as the crazies were to be drunk and stupid.