Friday, June 25, 2010

We are all meant to be doing lots of things

(you might want to read this after reading this, to get the background information :)
And so it begins... We had done this before, we knew the roads and had heard the sound track. The only thing between us and an epic weekend was common sense, and we were fast getting rid of that with some brilliant illogical arguments.
Doors opened at 8, and Kill the Messenger + The Dead Will Tell would only be on at a much later stage, but we are students, and the cheap price was at 8, so we planned to go at 8. However, this was a saturday, and none of us could wait the whole day for it. We left Grahamstown at around 4pm. Malls are great places for killing time, even if all the shops are closed...
The gig was great, butofcourse.
Kill the Messenger were Awesome.
And so were The Dead Will Tell.

A fun time had by all :D

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What Happened Next

(This continues from this)

When you pack a whole lot of awesomeness into one night, chronology loses it's significance. The exact order of events has been forgotten, but however it occurred, it was awesome anyway. We went to the gig, super excited to see all of The Dead Will Tell guys again, and also curious to meet the Brand New Guitarist, and the Guest Vocalist. Also, with Kill The Messenger being The Dead Will Tell's favourite band, we were convinced that they had to be good, and it just added to the excitement. With such a line up, the night could only be Epic.

This being Grahamstown, you know everyone that is there that is from Grahamstown. Therefore the band people are easy to pick out. Although, Band People always are. We recognised The Dead Will Tell guys (well the ones that we knew) straight away, but as previously arranged we decided to not act completely like the creepy-stalker-fan-girls that we are, and wait for them to come say hello to us first. So we walked right past them and pretended to just watch the band without even noticing them.

For some reason people think we are cool. For some reason, band people think we are cool (maybe the creepy-stalker-fan-girl thing actually works for us). So Lloyd (bassist for TDWT) came up to us, tapped Sharlene on the shoulder and said "Hi!" holding out his arms in a "good to see you" type of way.

"Hey!" said Sharlene, giving him a hug. They exchanged pleasantries in a "I AM TALKING VERY LOUDLY BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE BANGING INSTRUMENTS AND SCREAMING THROUGH SPEAKERS INTO MY EARS AND I CANNOT HEAR YOU" type of way. Then Sharlene asked the all-important question, "who's your new guitarist?"

"Benj, over there." He replied, pointing to a tall skinny-jean-clad guy hiding behind long hair. Sharlene turned and waved, but Benjamin, having misesd the fact that Sharlene's attention was turned on him by Lloyd's directing, and not knowing who we are, did not know how to respond to some random girl waving at him in a crowd, and an awkward moment ensued.

"So, um," turning back to Lloyd, "who's your vocalist?"

Lloyd turned, beginning to say "that guy --" but stopped because "that guy" was no longer in the vicinity. The Guest Vocalist would remain an enigma, for now.

We were a little late for the gig, so we only had one opening band to listen to before the Bands of the Evening were up. I, being newly introduced to this thing called "metal music" and also having a tendency to get tired really quickly, did not want to use up my live-music-watching quota before TDWT, and so I bailed on the first band. Kill The Messenger, however, I was not about to miss. And it's a good thing I didn't, for they played a pretty good show.

Between bands we spent most of our time around the T-Shirt Table, checking out the merch and chatting to the band members. By the end of the night we had met Jarred, who turned out to be the vocalist for Kill The Messenger; and Jeremy, who turned out to be the Guest Vocalist; and acquired two TWDT shirts, a TDWT CD and a sticker.

The TDWT show was briliance in itself. I knew that getting into metal music was a good life choice. Not missing this show was an even better life choice. To have lived my life without experiencing an epic metal gig, that would be tragedy. Tragedy. I thanked Sharlene for dragging me along despite the hecticness of my week, let the dreads loose and head-banged like tomorrow didn't matter.

When the music stopped and the encore had been called for, we turned to each other and we all knew - how could we miss out on another show? I do not remember who mentioned it first, but someone put the question out there - "so, PE right?" Whoever said it, said it loud enough for Jeremy to hear, and it was he who convinced us. We were going. It was crazy, but it was happening.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The First One

I have a lot of crazy ideas, mainly because I don't like rejecting any that merely sound impossible before checking out whether they really are impossible. Now, for once, I and the amazing crazy friends I have actually followed through on one of these ideas, which led to an epic road trip weekend away.

It started in a smokey upstairs bar on the edge of a student's knowledge of Grahamstown, otherwise known as Slipstream. This venue has a small stage and dance floor that has been home to many an awesome band evening. There have been great nights spent with skanking Slovenians, dub-step dj's, and a local lark or two, to mention a few. Some bands love it so much they come back for more. Some fans (cough Something Epic cough) love the bands so much that one small gig in Grahamstown is not enough.

This is the setting, but we have not yet explained how we got there, and who we came to see. The bands on this particular evening were Kill the Messenger, and none other than the band that started it all - The Dead Will Tell (if you do not know this story, you will have to, um, ask. It's way too long for an aside). They were coming down from Joburg for another three gigs - one at SSS, and two in Port Elizabeth. It promised to be rad.
As should be expected, various obstacles arose to threaten the Weekend. The first of these was the fact that one of the original members of our group was missing. The second was that one of the original members of the band was missing. And the third was that Exams got in the way and both Sharlene and I would not be able to make one of the three nights - the Friday. Easily resolved problems, to be sure; they merely threatened to thwart a tradition before it was made. We could have our weekend, it could be Epic, but in a differently new way.
Ah, but what is an adventure if obstacles are so easily overcome? I mentioned impossibility. I am yet to fully explain why.

A missing guitarist from The Dead Will Tell was already a miserable contemplation. It happened to be the person that had spent the entire evening chatting to us, and the only one I had spoken to. I barely remembered any of the others, having only been to one of the three gigs. However, our misery was to be compounded by the news that the front vocalist would not be able to make it either. 2 out of 5 members of the band - that's practically half of them. And the vocalist happened to be the reason we (we being Sharlene) liked the band in the first place.
These issues, plus the looming exams and lack of funding, caused us to decide that a weekend away was not the best idea. We would see the two bands in Grahamstown, enjoy the show, and go home.

But before we get to where this story began (that smokey bar), there came another threat. On Monday evening I fell sick. It wasn't life or death, merely a cold, but the fact that I had a voice exam on Friday made me bundle myself in layers of warmth, gulp down vitamins, and hide from the outside world whenever possible. Come Thursday evening, the night of the Grahamstown Gig, I was almost recovered but not quite. Going out for the evening was definitely Not Wise.
So I compromised. I would meet up with the Crew for supper beforehand, then see them off to their musical pleasure, and retreat to my room to sleep. Steers was the rendezvous, and seven-thirty the hour of meeting.
Ah, but my carefully laid plans were thwarted, almost before they were made. I was trying my best to resist the contagious excitement (no, I wasn't), when Sharlene walked in. Well, actually she limped. Here follows her story:
You see, she also got sick that week. She also had a voice exam the next day (2 in fact). And to top it all off she had pulled ligaments in her back and legs. Yet here she was, ready for what was to be a crazy evening. How do you enjoy a gig when you cannot dance, and show your enthusiasm when you cannot scream? Ask Sharlene. Pro.
So with a generous amount of guilt and FOMO heaped upon my head, I made the decision to go anyway, and suffer the consequences. And boy am I glad I did.

So, FINALLY, we arrive at the beginning - that smokey bar on the edge of Town. It is here that the real adventure begins.
But, consequently, we also arrive at the end of this blog post. The rest of the story will have to wait for another day.

*miss jess

(p.s. this blog post is for sharlene. cuz, you know, blogspot captcha thinks she's cool like that :)