Life got all messed up and as such, I had to miss a lot of shows I wanted to see in April. But the one that was non-negotiable, can’t-miss, had-my-ticket-since-January was Basement, a totally underrated, recently-reunited band from the UK. Even though this completely threw a wrench in our vacation travel plans because Henry wanted to leave that morning and now was going to have to wait until the show was over and DRIVE THROUGH THE NIGHT, hahaha.
I’ve never seen Basement before. I think that by the time I had started to like them about 3 years ago, they had already broken up. Turns out though that this was their first time playing in Pittsburgh anyway! I really started liking them even more once I became obsessed with Tuesdays with Tay, which was a weekly Q&A thing on YouTube set around one of the guys at Run For Cover Records, but it was Basement’s guitarist, Alex Henery, who filmed it and often appeared in the episodes too. HE IS SO CUTE AND FUNNY.
“Should I wear my Tuesdays with Tay shirt tonight?!” I screamed into Henry’s slumbering face. He was trying to sleep all day on Saturday so that he’d be ready to drive all night, but of course Chooch and I kept waking him up to involve him in our constant revolving door of issues and drama.
Henry mumbled something that sounded like, “God, you’re so fucking lame” and I couldn’t find my Tuesdays with Tay shirt anyway because Chooch and I share each others merch (the family that merches together…?) so god only knows what crevice of the house it’s been stuffed into.
Obviously, this was another Goin’ Solo show for me, which I’ve begun to accept is the new normal for me until I start making friends.
Or get a cooler boyfriend.
This show was at Altar Bar which for some reason always stresses me out because I always find myself surrounded by assholes. But as soon as I got in line outside the venue, some girl yelled over to me that my purse was cool as shit and I was like, “INORITE” because hello, it’s shaped like a ray gun. That set the tone of the night for me and I later found myself surrounded by pleasant people on the balcony.
Specifically, a couple from Cleveland who chatted with me in between Colleen Green’s and Defeater’s sets. Sometimes I welcome small talk at shows when I’m alone because it’s easy for me to fall into a self-loathing pit of sadness otherwise, as I look around and see all of the people enjoying music with their friends, like normal people are wont to do, I guess.
I’ll save the whining for my DIARY. BIG SIGH.
The opener was Colleen Green, who I was actually expecting to be a band because I’m always fooled by docile-sounding female names and then they end up being fucking viking metal or some shit. But this was actually a girl named Colleen Green, alone on the stage with her guitar and laptop band. She was OK, but I found myself drifting off numerous times because you know how picky I am with chicks.
But then Defeater came on, followed immediately by an onslaught of windmilling on the floor below. This is why I stand upstairs for these shows! My old lady bones are too brittle. I wasn’t trying to spend five days walking around theme parks with a broken nose, you know?
It looks like there is barely anyone there, but that’s just because everyone moved the fuck out of the way to let the hardcore dancers have the floor.
This was my first time finally seeing Defeater. I stood on the balcony with my eyes closed and let the healing happen. I’ve always been a huge believer in the “music heals” belief, but actually going to a show while being in the throes of trauma or suffering any sort of loss really reinforces this notion. For the first time since 3/30, I felt normal for a moment.
And then I opened my eyes and watched the people on the floor below experiencing this same phenomenon, screaming back the words, trying to climb onto the backs of the people in front of them, and I thought, “THANK GOD for this outlet.” The best way I can explain it is by telling you that it is literally akin to plugging myself into a wall outlet and recharging my heart and brain. It’s like having a good, hard cry.
LET IT ALL OUT, YOU KNOW!?
Turnstile was next and I was bracing myself for the worst, knowing what I know about them. I love a lot of hardcore bands, but not enough to put myself in the crosshairs, so again, I was happy in my safe spot on the balcony. One of the guys next to me yelled to his girlfriend, “I’ll be right back” and then ran downstairs to throw himself in the mix and we all just stood up there laughing at him and also kind of hoping that he wouldn’t die.
Maybe that’s just the mom in me.
The singer was pissed that there was a barricade so he kept coming off the stage and throwing his mic into the crowd, letting everyone else do the screaming for him, sometimes for almost the entire length of a song, while he windmilled his face off on stage, nearly taking out the rest of the band several times. It was full-blown pandemonium down there, and actually kind of hilarious to watch the horror on the faces of the girls in the front who were just there to see Basement and likely had no idea that there were two hardcore bands in the line up. They were getting fucking obliterated down there.
It got really bad at one point when some asshole decided to jump off the balcony straight onto the crowd below. He was taken down almost immediately by security and the girl he landed on was guided away from the stage by her girlfriend—the girl who liked my purse!!!—but luckily she came back after that and seemed to be OK. It was pretty scary though. Why can’t people just be chill?!
Aside from watching people nearly die in random stampedes, I thought Turnstile was fantastic, would watch again. Preferably from home, on YouTube. I’m a delicate flower.
Finally, it was time for Basement. My heart started fluttering when I saw Al!!!
I texted Henry this picture and all he said was “lol.” Fuck you, Henry. Don’t act like you don’t love him on Tuesdays with Tay!
ROTTEN TO THE CORE. My apple tattoo tickled a little bit during this jam.
All the girls along the barricade seemed to have moved past the trauma of being trampled and punched by hardcore bros. Basement was clearly worth the abuse. I was absolutely giddy during their set, so fucking happy to finally being seeing them. I want to just scoop up their perfect British accents and eat it like clotted cream. DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? They really were just what I needed.
Everyone should at this point pause their life for a few minutes and watch this video for Aquasun. I promise you, it’s just beautiful rock music and no screaming. (BARB!)
Afterward, Henry came to pick me up, at which point we embarked on our billion mile drive to Orlando, while my whole body was buzzing with Basement adrenaline. I kept trying to tell him about what a fabulous show he missed, which he answered by glaring directly into my soul.
So good. Go buy their latest record. I DARE YOU.