All I wanted for my birthday was to go to the Giglife show Wednesday night at Mr. Smalls. It was mostly to see Set Your Goals but Grave Maker, The Swellers, Fireworks, and Four Year Strong were also on the bill. I had spent most of the day helping Alisha move into her new apartment (conveniently located five minutes from me so now when I need to run away and find myself without a car, I can just WALK to her apartment and throw rocks at her window like I used to do to my friend Lisa in high school, what?) and to be fair, she did way more work than I did (is anyone shocked) so I was expecting her to say she didn’t want to go.
BUT SHE WENT and hoo-boy did she have a stellar time!
A breakdown of the bands and what I thought, because my opinion is surely what will make or break them:
- Grave Maker: LOVED IT. Like, goosebumps-sprouting-on-my-arm loved it. It was the best stress-reliever, all that bass and shouting and mad testosterone filling the air. If I was a dude, I’d have murdered someone in the circle pit. But as it is, I’m a wimpy little girl so I did my best to avoid the pit and stay unbloodied. Although, my t-shirt would have probably looked hot with some rips in it.
Alisha said she liked the music, but that every song sounded the same. I served her with friend-divorce papers after that.
Also, during their set is when I began to question if I locked the car doors or not.
- The Swellers: according to my tweets, they were friendly on the ears, but they bored me a little. And obviously they weren’t memorable if I ha dto check my tweets to remember my opinion. They were Alisha’s favorite. I think probably because this was when her boyfriend, affectionately dubbed Jolly Green Giant, stood directly in front of her and barricaded her view.
By this point, every time I thought about the possibility of my car being unlocked, the blood would rush to my face and I would tug at my collar a little.
- Fireworks: Straight up pop-punk. They were fun and I could think of worse ways to waste time before Set Your Goals finally took the stage, but occasionally the singer sounded me a little bit like Isaac from Children of the Corn. This was around the time the big circle jerk began for Grave Maker. Evidently, it was their last night on the tour and every band made the hugest deal about it. I’ve been to A L OT of shows and have never experienced that level of ego-massaging. The boys in Grave Maker must give amazing reach arounds.
Music aside, I had some complaints about Fireworks: THEY TALKED TOO MUCH. And it was all inside joke bullshit, like we were supposed to stand there in awe and wish that we had even an iota of a clue what they were talking about. And what was infuriating to me was how they started talking like it was the end of their set after the third song, so I was getting my hopes up. “Oh goodie, Set Your Goals time!” And then they’d play two more songs, thank Grave Maker again, play another song, give a shout out to the other bands, dedicate the next song to Grave Maker, ramble incoherently in an auctioneer’s voice, play a thirty second song. When it finally was their last song, I didn’t believe them.
Their songs didn’t keep my mind from wandering back to my car and wondering if it had been jacked yet. Or towed, because did I park in a legal spot? Did I? Why couldn’t I remember? What if my car gets towed?
(In between sets, “Spooky” by Classics IV came on the soundsystem and I got so amped. I shouted, “Oh shit, it’s my JAM” and then I was pantomiming along to it and pointing in Alisha’s face and for some reason, she DID NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL. She told me to get away from her and I cried a little, but really I think it was just from sweat getting in my eyes. It was awesome, spending the whole day sweating and then voluntarily going to a crowded venue to sweat some more.)
- Set Your Goals!: Oh my word, they were just so amazing. They opened with “This Will Be the Death of Us” and I wanted to elbow Alisha in the ribs because that is my universal sign for “OMG I’M SO EXCITED AND I JUST CAN’T HIDE IT” but we made eye contact right before my elbow touched base and the look on her face alerted me to the fact that perhaps I should keep my hands to myself. She was standing in that prime spot that every show has which acts as the entrance to the circle pit. Sweaty guys kept shoving past her, sliming her arm with their glandular juice. At one point, she was feeling generous enough to transfer some to my arm, too. It was like a bonding moment, I think.
Apparently, there was some gigantic ogre who was windmilling in the pit, causing everyone to rush backward into Alisha. I remained unscathed because I was more on the side, against the divider wall for the bar area. Alisha did not find that amusing at all, and she really hated the guy in front of me, too. She said she wanted to punch him in the back of the neck. I myself found him to be quite adorable.
In fact, the only problem I had all night was when some doofus shoved him way through thr crowd, only to plant his lame ass right in front of me, and then proceed to look around like he was lost. And when I say “right in front of me,” I mean that his back was flush with my front. I could see each individual bead of sweat glistening among his albino pubed head. But I mean, it’s a show; people are bound to snake their way up closer and stand in front of you. Whatever. But please don’t stand so close that if I were a dude, my penis would totally be pressed against your ass. He was so close that our body heat was beginning to fuse together, making it at least 15 degrees hotter where I was standing. On some planets, I might have been impregnated by that point. THAT IS HOW UNCOMFORTABLY CLOSE TO ME HE WAS. Luckily, his thirteen-year-old girlfriend turned around and caught me scowling, so she tugged him away. He wasn’t even watching the band!
Shit goddamn, was their set high-energy. I wanted to repeatedly punch a wall. Or a nun’s crotch. And I didn’t think about the car dilemma once.
- Four Year Strong: I was looking forward to seeing them headline. Their set was also high-energy and very pleasing. I really felt a strong alliance with the keyboardist, Josh Lyford, who was totally hardcore and busted out amazing jumps.
(NOT MY PICTURE, OBVS! It’s that Dan Lebo guy’s.)
Alisha was all, “Yeah, he was cool, but I liked that dude with the beard” and I was like, “Shut up, you’re stupid” and then she cried.
However, at that point, the silent hysteria regarding the car was building up and by now, I had made a mental list of who I could call to pick us up in fifteen minutes when I discovered a vacant spot on the street that once cradled my sad Focus.
Luckily, Alisha wasn’t about lingering around after the show to get her breasts autographed, because I think it’s safe to say that the day’s events had thrown its final blow and we were both completely exhausted. And thirsty. And hungry. So we left and as we walked down the street, I filled her in on the swishing turmoil that I had dealt with during the entire show. “Um, well, your car’s right there,” she said. I cheered, and then we went to Taco Bell. The best way to end a great stress-relieving pre-birthday night.