going to shows?

I have this thing about going to shows now. I see that a band I like is coming to town and I get excited. But then the night of the show draws closer and my enthusiasm wanes. Maybe it’s that I heard their latest stuff and it lacks an edge it used to have. Maybe I try too hard to picture myself there, and fail miserably. Or maybe it’s simply that I’ve been burned too many times before and don’t want to waste my time and money again. Leatherface was playing tonight. I found my favorite album of theirs available for download today and bought it. I’ve been looking for this album for years. It’s typically only been found as an expensive import or listed on eBay for a ridiculous sum. While I waited for the songs to download I listened to snippets of songs from the brand new Leatherface album, the one they’re touring in support of now. It lacked a spark. The roughness I loved before sounded too polished. It wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t bowled over, either. Don’t get me wrong. I have much respect for Frankie Stubbs. He’s a punk icon who rarely got his due. He’s smart and hard-working, and DIY to the teeth. His lyrics and music consistently ring true in a genre choked with cookie-cutter copies and commodified horrors. Leatherface is still putting out good music, but maybe it’s just not for me anymore. I fully admit to being a flighty fair weather fan of many bands. Maybe that’s why I fall in love with bands that put out few albums, and play even fewer shows. I still remember a few years ago seeing Wilderness play at Floristree. That show was transcendental. It was one of those shows where you feel your soul leave your body and float around near the ceiling. I don’t often feel that way during shows anymore, nor did I even really ever feel that way. Mostly in the past it was drunken flailing around…a primal reaction. Visceral, yes, but different from that floating at the ceiling feeling. Live music is special; I won’t deny that. But these days, it often seems less important to me. I know I can get what I need just by sitting in my room with headphones. I don’t have to navigate the outside world, with its coarse unpredictability. It’s more personal listening by myself, with no distractions, and as such, takes on that much more meaning.

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  1. I often do the same thing. This also reminds me of an argument I always had with an old friend — Apparently he would rather go to a show alone. Not talk, stand there and close his eyes; only letting the music in. I stopped going to shows because the people got in the way of the experience for me. I irritatingly notice people and their social habits. This friend would always say, "That's your problem!" Perhaps, but I now enjoy opening my window and listening to music in my music room!



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