Last night a world opened itself to me. Re-opened is probably a better term. It was the first time since I moved back to San Pedro back in 2010 that I went out and saw live music performances. I went over to the Complex in Glendale to see a bunch of projects perform in the Renegade Hardware 2 benefit.
I actually feel ashamed it had been that long. For the first several years I was busy with the Dodgers and the Kings and whatever sports came my way. Then, of course, there was The Grandmother. But now that I’m unshackled by these restraints real and imagined, I realize I can do these sorts of things again.
It really was a night of revelations, that with each passing second I was in there little bits of information embedded in the air in the sounds would transmutate into the energy waves and implant themselves in my brain. For the first time in a long time, I’m truly excited by music, excited by the sounds being made, excited by the journeys these artists are taking.
When I walked in Artifact Corruption was onstage performing. It is really breathtaking to see a shirtless lithe figure on stage banging away on an oil barrel and other assorted metal bits augmenting his beats. Immediately I remembered watching a band play a tiny upstairs bar in Santa Barbara back in 1998 or so called Fifth Column Fetish where one of their instruments was a big 5-gallon water jug filled halfway with broken glass and smashed with a microphone. While that was simply noise, Artifact Corruption incorporated that into the beats creating an aggro-noise wonderland.
Next came on Dimensional Dryft aka Falling Skies which really reminded me of the stuff cEvin Key was doing in the late 90s with Download and his solo project. It made me sad that I couldn’t appreciate it back then. But here I was bobbing around to the beats and completely engrossed.
Databomb made me wish I had taken some acid and was able to sit down right in the middle of the floor and just let everything blanket me. Actually I envisioned everyone just sitting around communally all on acid/shrooms/whatever just tripping to the sounds in unison.
But of course I came to see SOLVE. It’s very rare that I get to watch something live that I just discovered in the very recent past. Even when I was going to shows all the time at the Smell in the mid-00’s, that never happened. There it was on stage, the chants, the beats, the music, the sublime. One thing I missed about going to live shows is how the entire building shakes in the onslaught of sound. What was more evident in person was seeing how the music was a journey of transformation.
It was just past midnight by the end of his set, and my ass had already turned into a pumpkin. I left and unfortunately missed Fractured Transmission and WASTE vs. Vuxnut.
It took me a couple of hours to calm myself and finally fall asleep. I really feel like I’m in my early adulthood again with the same doe-eyed naivete. I’m almost sickened by myself.