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we have a date with the underground, chapter 31
by Michele Christopher
Secret shows are always fun. Although, how secret they are is really any ones guess. From what I have seen of them, the only real secret to them is how you are going to get in and get drunk. Most of these things took care of themselves, but every once in awhile you get kinda screwed on one thing or another.
Don't ask me how or why, but a pretty big East Coast hardcore band was headlining a tour and we were friends with them so we were in the doors. No big deal. Besides, this was the West Coast. These guys were New York bred, so they weren't as big over here then they were on the East Coast. I think that makes sense. hmm.... East Coast dislikes West Coast and vice versa. Man, all hardcore needs is a Biggie Smalls and a Tupac Shakur and we be rollin'.
Anyways, back to the story. Tons of people were calling me to get into this show. I don't run the door. People don't call me for this shit. What the fuck? Sold out in three minutes?? What the fuck?
So the next day at the studio, more people were asking me for free tickets. Once again. I am not the door, but, something is going on and I needed to know. After all, the East Coast band wasn't that big. Then it hit me. Who are the other bands. Ok. I knew two of them, but the second slot was an unknown. Well, there's your answer. Obviously, they are someone. Fuck if I knew who. Well, I found out pretty quick. I guess I was the last one in town to find out about it, but still dude. Secret shows can kinda bite you in the ass. I mean the place was packed with hardcore fans and rap fans. Really weird, but whatever. At least they had a lot of free beer backstage. So that one worked out for who ever promoted it. The place, which wasn't meant to hold shows, was trashed. Meh, that's what insurance is for. I think.
But, sometimes secret shows don't work out. In fact, they can destroy a promoter.
Those are the fun ones.
Take a record store owner who is willing to do anything to keep his business alive and have him book a has been band in his record store for free. This band was everything to a lot of people, but the scene got too weird for them, so they left. Have them record a new album after five years and give them a small intimate crowd to practice on before they hit the road. In those five years that the band has been gone, suppose that this band has reached legendary status among the next generation of kids, only the record store owner doesn't know it.
You can see where the fun in this one is coming fast. Small record store with about 3000 people clogging the streets destroying everything as we just stood on the roof with 40's of King Kobra watching the next generation of kids start a mini riot in all the chain stores up and down the street as the roof starts to vibrate. Kids shredding on parked cars as the stench of sweat comes up from the ground. See, those are fun secret shows. The ones where they just didn't know how big it was going to be until the kids packed the place and the parking lots and every store around and the cops came 'round. That's when it gets fun.
I mean, I always felt sorry for the owner. I mean, the other band did too, but no one knew how big it would get. But you take some of these names and toss them around and all it takes is one person to know who they are and you have a mini riot going on. It's just that kinda feeling you get when you see things getting out of control. That "well, this can't be good" feeling as more people flood the streets. I do like that adrenaline rush I get when things get out of control. It really is fun watching all these people go crazy because they found the "pot of gold". They were there that night. "So let's break something!" See, that type of attitude only becomes a mass feeling when you have these people who think they need to leave their mark to show they were there that night. They were there when that all happened.
I am for secret shows, but the moral of the story is, they aren't secret. You just have to read between the lines on bills and you will see where they are at.
Turtle thinks that riots are a great way to introduce your children to shoplifting.
I've never seen any secret shows, but the next time the Rolling Stones have one in Toronto, I hope to miss it again.
Posted by: Dan | November 27, 2006 5:57 PM
rolling stones secret show.
id miss that too
althou it might be fun to heckle the shit out of them
Posted by: turtle | November 27, 2006 6:01 PM
The best secret show I went to was one I didn't know was happening. We just went to some local bar to hang out and Blue Oyster Cult was playing (as Soft White Underbelly).
Posted by: michele | November 27, 2006 6:16 PM