As you know, Internet Diary, Henry is a relatively good sport when it comes to putting up with the music I like*. But sometimes he puts his foot down when it comes to certain shows, and that’s OK because he endures a lot for me. Last night’s Pianos Become the Teeth show at the Altar Bar was one of the times I gave him a reprieve. It used to be that I would beg someone else to go with me or just not go at all, but I just don’t give a fuck anymore. So I bought one ticket and went alone, because after seeing this band at Riot Fest and then opening for Circa Survive last year, I have been dying to see them headline.
*(“Like” is an understatement; I fucking live for music. Even when I’m not listening to it, I’m reading about it, searching for it, talking about it, dreaming about it—Matt Mingus was holding my hand in my dream Friday night!–or flat out just hearing it in my head.)
Henry and Chooch dropped me off though, because that’s the least they can do!
I got there right before doors opened and there were only about 10 people standing around, so that was a pretty good sign that this was going to be a small crowd. Good for me, but bad for the bands. I went straight to the bar and ordered one of those beers-that-aren’t-real-beers (Leinenkugel Summer Shandy) and then proceeded to stand awkwardly in between two guys who were also there alone. One of my Instagram friends commented on my Shandy picture and said “ME TOO!” and I thought she meant she was also at the show, so I got all excited at the prospect of knowing someone there and having someone to stand with, but then she explained that she just meant she was also drinking a summer shandy.
So, still alone.
The downside of being 35 and still neck-deep in the music scene, I guess.
I stayed in the bar area for the first two bands: My Captain, My Sea and Gates. It was the very last show for My Captain, My Sea, a local band whose drummer has accepted a full-time job playing in the US Army’s bands. It’s a super shame because they’re great! But the whole time, I was thinking about how much Henry would have hated them. And that made me miss him. It’s fine once the bands are playing, especially since I can stand wherever the fuck I want, but in between sets I become 1000x more awkward than usual because WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY HANDS OMG HELP. So I texted Henry bathroom selfies and maniacally checked Instagram. Jesus, what did we do before iPhones?!
I was really interested in seeing Gates, too. Their music is just so beautiful and it made me feel like I was floating, but that could have also been because I was on to my second shandy at that point and I am a huge light weight because I drink so infrequently these days. Out of all the bands there last night, I feel like they were the most accessible, so here is a video. DECIDE FOR YOURSELVES, K?
After Gates, I left the bar area and went down to the basement to use the bathroom. The thing I love the most about the Altar Bar is that their bathrooms are on point. They even have a bathroom attendant, so I don’t walk out of there feeling like a petri dish for MERSA and ringworm like I do at Mr. Small’s & Smiling Moose.
On my way back up the hallway after that, I passed what I guess was the green room and made super awkward eye contact with the singer of Pianos Become the Teeth, Kyle. HE IS SO INTIMIDATING! Instead of going back to the 21+ area, I moved closer to the stage. The bar area is really small and there were just enough chatty broads in there to make it intolerable. I might get some flak from other girls for saying this, because girl power or whatever, but girls are the most annoying part of pretty much any show I have ever gone to. I mean, is it that hard to SHUT THE FUCK UP while a band is playing?! Why do you pay money to go to a show if all you’re going to do is make strenuous attempts at conversing with your boyfriend who totally doesn’t care what you’re saying because HE IS LISTENING TO THE BAND HE PAID MONEY TO SEE? I don’t get it. How can you be enjoying yourself if you’re SHOUTING into someone’s ear and they’re shrugging and mouthing the words, “Sorry, I can’t hear you.”
Maybe it’s sexist of me, but I definitely witness this coming from broads waaay more than bros. Just sayin’!
Girls, if you can’t keep your fucking mouths shut, maybe consider staying home.
Then it was time for Loma Prieta and DANG did they hit the spot. Straight-up scream, friends. Straight-up motherfucking screamo.
I was laughing so hard on the inside imagining how much anguish Henry would be in if he was standing next to me for this band.
A little screamo goes a long way. Live screamo is a lot like being exorcised, I would think.
And then it was time for Pianos! This band is a thing of beauty. I don’t even know how else to describe them other than stressing how utterly beautiful their music is. And the way Kyle’s voice quakes, there is something about it that evokes real emotion and it’s hard not to feel anything listening to him sing. They ditched the screaming on their most recent album, kind of reinvented themselves in a way, and believe me — that album is tight. But the crowd last night came alive when they played old tracks. Kyle was the epitome of a tortured soul on that stage and it made my heart strum.
REPINE IS MY FAVORITE! I got choked up.
There were three girls next to me who were seemingly mega-fans and literally were swooning. I’m not kidding, fucking doubled over and fanning themselves. But then they goddamn talked to each other through most of it! DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN!? Why are girls such concert cunts!?
But the crowd was mostly inoffensive. And even though I was there alone, I didn’t feel lonely. We were all there together. Music is great that way.
Aside from inappropriately-timed conversations, it was a great show. I had the perfect spot near the stage (it was hard not to have the perfect spot—there was hardly anyone there!) and I left the Altar Bar with an even greater appreciation for Pianos Become the Teeth. So much beauty. So many feels. I’m glad I didn’t pass this one up!
Go listen to them! Feel the things! Buy their albums! Go to a show!
Then I had to stand outside and wait for Papa H to come and fetch me. When I got in the car, Chooch was “ironically” listening to the Kidz Bop XM station, totally negating my night of good music. Ugh, thanks a lot Chooch.
ETA: it is now Monday morning and I told Glenn my woeful tale of how I had to go to a show alone because Henry put his foot down.
“I could have been kidnapped!”
“I guess Henry was willing to take that chance,” Glenn muttered in his standard monotone.