Mr. Small’s Theater is an old church that’s been converted into a music venue, which is awesome since seeing Chiodos is basically, for me, like getting all hand-waving and tongue-speaking at a church service. They like, touch the genitals of my soul, or some shit.
All day last Wednesday, I was hiccuping butterflies and doing the anxiety pee dance. When Henry came home from work, I yanked his arm repeatedly and yelled, “AREN’T YOU SO EXCITED??” He answered me with a very adult-like frown and said, “Of course not.”
We arrived to the usual double-takes from scene kids loitering outside. Two old folks at the Chiodos show tend to be an anomoly, but I’ve learned to ignore it. It’s easier for me, because I only look marginally older than the rest of the crowd, but it’s also a little embarrassing because Henry looks like my chaperone. I should probably just start going by myself, but I do so love to torture Henry with high-decibel screamo.
Much to my dismay, A Voice Like Rhetoric was nearly finished by the time we arrived, thanks to Henry pissing around at the goddamn ATM down the street. They were the only other band on the bill that I had any desire to see, hometown pride and all. Wait, I don’t have hometown pride (suck one, Steelers). I guess I just wanted to see them because they’re actually good. Who knew.
Henry was happy to see that there was an area cordoned off for the over 21 set. Usually at the shows we go to, it’s all ages and Henry has nowhere to hide. Once the circle pit was officially shaped during Hit the Light’s set, Henry embraced his can of Pabst and took solace in the leftover church pew that protected him from the flailing fists and jutting legs of the aggro teens in front of us.
Someone’s sock landed softly on my right shoulder during Chiodos’ set. I’m pretty sure it was that blue-shirted dude’s. I suppose I could have stuffed it in my pocket to return to him post-show, instead of yelping and swatting it off into the garbage can that I was standing near. 0wellzorz, little scene dude. Send ye mommy to the sock store.
And then finally, after two hours of boring scene kid study (the lack of scene extremity in this particular crowd left me sad and unsatisfied – where was all the assymetrical hair, raccoon eyes, and Skelanimal hoodies?), Craig fucking Owens took the stage, arms spread like a crucified Jesus, bathed in blue light and I forgot all about lame Henry standing behind me and chugging his old man beer. I kept one eye open to make sure I didn’t get pummeled by any more sweaty socks or size 11 shoes. Violence is the only downside of these kinds of shows. You just don’t have to anticipate getting cold-cocked at a Xiu Xiu show.
During one song, Craig decided to make the crowd split down the middle and separate, leaving a wide open area in the middle for everyone to come crashing together on his signal. I was glad to be on the other side of the barrier, and felt sorry for the girl directly in front of me on the other side, who was scrambling to get out of the way. But really, who wouldn’t want to be crushed in a wall of teenaged aggression?? If I was a teenage boy, I’d have been out there. But instead I’m a sissy grown-up trying not to come home to my two-year-old with a bloody lip and ripped off ear.
You don’t even have to see their faces to deduce that the average age in attendance was sixteen. And you know what? I DON’T CARE. Chiodos makes me feel something much deeper than the shit played on the radio, the shit that grown-ups are “supposed” to listen to. And it just so happens that teenagers feel the same way. And I’m OK with that. It gives me something to talk about with Henry’s kid. I like music that makes me involuntarily weep, which I did that night during several songs. I kind of feel sad for the people who don’t get anything out of the music they listen to.
For an encore, they played “All Nereids Beware” which they said they haven’t played live in nearly three years. My legs quaked a little because this was the first song of their’s that I really latched on to three years ago. I remember hearing it and just knowing that this band was going to be really great. I just didn’t know then that they would end up meaning so much to me.
After the show, I hung around and waited for it to clear out a little before attempting to locate Henry, who had run off to the bathroom during the last song. The nerve. I was standing near an older woman who I had noticed several times throughout the night. She was in her forties probably, had the signature Mom coif, and was wearing slacks with sensible shoes. While I was standing there watching all the boys run around trying to retrieve their lost articles of clothing, the woman’s son had joined her and was talking excitedly about the show. “And did you see when Craig pointed out into the crowd, mom? He was pointing at ME because he saw me pointing at HIM.” He went on to give a breathy account of the night’s songs, and his mother stopped him at one point to say, “Yes, I really liked that one.” It made me smile all over, witnessing that. I also felt kind of perverted, because it was such a cool and intimate parent-kid moment, but it made me wish that I won’t lose this love for the scene, so that when Chooch is older, we can have the same sort of conversations.
Eventually, I waded through the pile of ripped out piercings, sweatbands and tears to rejoin Henry. As I was heading toward the door I realized Henry, of his own accord, was heading the opposite way. Toward the merch table. THE MERCH TABLE. The table from which he always tries to distract me, and now here he was, approaching it alone. Because of Henry’s bravery, I now own a Chiodos hoodie, FINALLY. I tried to get one last winter and it turned into the messiest mail order debacle I’ve ever been a part of. This one is ten times better than the one I was trying to get in the first place, thanks to Henry pissing around at the goddamn ATM down the street.
There is absolutely nothing more like heaven than a concert of a band you love. Reading this made me smile, because you kind of sound like me when I went to see My Chemical Romance (well, all the times I’ve gone to see them). I always show up feeling ancient and slightly out of place, but after the lights go down and the screaming starts and they take the stage… god. Absolutely amazing. I’m glad you had such an awesome time. :)
Thank you for not thinking I’m a big gaybo! Sometimes I feel like there’s a fine print in the contract that states once you pass 24, it’s only acceptable to go to Journey concerts and country jamborees.
I really like MCR, too. I haven’t seen them since they were on Taste of Chaos, though, but the few times I saw them before that were before they got really big, so it was at small clubs. Gerard always made me hold my breath, it was so good. “Three Cheers” still gives me chills when I listen to it! Are they your favorite band?
Ha! Journey… that cracked me up. And yes, MCR is positively my favorite. Again, I feel a little old to be so “into” a band that has an average fan-age of, like, 15… but I can’t help it. Their music just moves me (Three Cheers is what made me fall in love with them. And “Famous Last Words” off of Black Parade brings me to tears, like, every time). Seeing them live since they’ve gotten popular is just… wow. They put on SUCH a performance, I can’t even describe it. The last one I went to was for their Black Parade tour, and they actually played every song from the new album, went off stage, played every song from Three Cheers, and THEN played a bunch of songs from their first album. I couldn’t believe it. They had pyrotechnics, confetti, props, and Gerard just has an infinite amount of energy that makes you go wild.
…And wow. Gush much? Sorry ’bout that. lol.
Please don’t apologize for gushing! I feel like I know you a lot better now – it’s really awesome to have this in common with someone.
Sometimes I feel that the reason why bands like that have such a young fan base is because teenagers are more open and more willing to put in the time and effort it takes to really GET what these bands are writing about. It seems like people reach a certain age and it becomes easier to forget about that meaning, and there are too many other things going on for them to have time for it. That’s when they turn to the instant gratification of top 40.
My friend Shawn was my best concert buddy. We used to road trip to see Cold back in the day. Then he got married and had children, got a career and just didn’t have time for it anymore. I was so afraid that was going to happen to me when I became a mom, but I fought it. And I will keep fighting it!!
Such a great entry, Erin. I think it’s awesome that you have such an emotional reaction / connection to the band. I have a hint of what you feel, but not nearly as powerful.
And it warms my heart (such a lame phrase) to think of Henry buying you the hoodie. Glad you enjoyed the show!
Thank you, Lindsey! Sometimes I feel like a loser since I gush about bands so much, so it helps to know that I’m not totally alone in this.
I love your concert recaps! I’m so glad you got to see Chiodos again, that is so wonderful that they mean so much to you. My brother is the same way and I’ve always been kind of envious of that connection.
You should check out Chiodos. You might like them!
i wish more people were like you.
love this post.
p.s i’m so happy about your hoodie!!!
YOU are like me.
Wow! What a great article….. Loved it. I have felt the same during the shows I have gone to in Michigan, being one of the MOM’s on the side. I kinda hide out “incognito”, people thinking I am there with my kids watching the show…well…I guess I am…I am just watching one on stage and the other(Craig’s brother-Travis) in the MOSH PIT….. Glad you enjoyed the show. Thanks for the support!
PS..I am also glad you got a hoodie….
WOW! If this is really Craig’s mom, I’m so honored that you read this and took the time to comment. It’s funny — all the time, I say to my boyfriend, “If I was Craig’s mom, I’d be so proud of him.” He is such a creative powerhouse, and I am so inspired by him daily. His words and Chiodos’ music have pulled me out of some dark holes, for sure.
My two-year-old son got to meet all the guys last winter at a signing in Columbus. It was one of the best days of my life!
I will always support Chiodos, and I hope Craig never stops writing. He is so very loved!
Yup, it really is his Mom.
I don’t mean to be a “lurker”, but I love to read what the “fans” and “friends” have to say about the boys. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful child like Craiger. He is very passionate about his career and we have always supported his dreams. We always knew he was a driven individual spirit and couldn’t be prouder of him!
Your son is adorable! Glad he got the chance to meet them. They are all wonderful guys!
I am also touched that their music has inspired you and has given you hope. My favorite “ink” that Craig has, is a saying that fits when your in a dark place – I beleive it is a SAVES THE DAY lyric… “Stay afloat in shallow water.”
Thank you for your kind words and continued support! It was my pleasure in meeting you, and reading your material. Take care of you and your family!
(aka: Craig’s Mom)
You’ve made my entire week. I gush about Chiodos on here so often, that I wonder if I ever make people puke!
“Stay afloat in shallow water” is such an inspirational line. My friend is actually working on a tattoo for me right now, which includes the line “If your stomach feels weak then my work here is done” because it’s kind of become my motto. I write these dumb little stories that make my friends feel uncomfortable, and I always find the grossest analogies to use when I’m describing things, so that line is so fitting for me! It will be the first time in my twenty-nine years that I felt strongly enough about someone else’s words to have them permanently inked on my body – thanks Craig!
Anyway, I’m glad my love for Chiodos was able to get back to you. I’m always too overwhelmed to tell them myself, can never find the words! So I’m glad that now you know. It means a lot.
Take care, and come visit again!
“I like music that makes me involuntarily weep, which I did that night during several songs. I kind of feel sad for the people who don’t get anything out of the music they listen to.”
Yes, I am with you here. It’s like, LISTEN! CAN’T YOU HEAR WHAT THEY’RE DOING?
But no one does. They cannot be bothered to come away from their televisions, and thus people like you and me are the minority. We may not like the same music, but we react the same to the music we do like. With actual passion.
“This one is ten times better than the one I was trying to get in the first place, thanks to Henry pissing around at the goddamn ATM down the street.”
It is most frustrating when people try to make me feel stupid for it, like that one friend of Janna’s who called me a “teenybopper” and insinuated that I only liked them because “the singer is hot.”
Yes, yes, that’s so true. I have no depth to me at all!!
I’m know you feel the same way about music. I think it’s important to have something like that in life, something that you can retreat with when you’re feeling shitty and no one understands. What would we do without this shit????
It totally wouldn’t let me reply again, so I’ll just post another comment, since I can’t seem to find your email address anywhere… lol. I’m glad I’m not the only one who can bond with someone solely on music tastes! I’m also happy to know I’m not the only one who is moved as much as I am at concerts. I completely agree with you about the age attributing to really “getting” what music is about. And I love how I am always open to new music and always trying to find more. And how I could listen to a song a million times, and suddenly one day hear it in a completely different way and fall in love with it all over again for completely different reasons. And hearing those songs LIVE is just… out of this world. I’m sorry you lost your concert buddy! I had one of those myself. It was my ex-boyfriend. I went to more concerts with him than ever, because he was kind of like my bodyguard… haha. Unfortunately, that’s not happening anymore since we’re not on speaking terms. There are certain people I would definitely go to a concert for no matter what (obviously, like I mentioned before, MCR), but it’s sad that I don’t have a concert-buddy to go with all the rest with. Too bad we didn’t live closer together. ;)
…Wow. Rambling is my middle name, apparently. I think I’ve assaulted your blog enough for now. :-x
If you ever want to chat about this stuff, trade music, whatever, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org!
loved reading this. i’m glad you had such a good time! and i’m so glad i know you!
i cheer henry for getting the hoodie for you. that totally made me smile.
I’m so glad I know you too! When we got off the phone last week, I was like, “Shit, someone I can finally relate to!”
I want to hear all about Buckcherry!
I was grabbing dinner last night when in walked a definite scene kid (I knew this because when I saw him, I thought “is it a boy or girl? I mean, either way, s/he’d be attractive – for his/her age – but I can’t tell!) wearing a Chiodo’s hoodie! Maybe even the same one you got, wouldn’t that be amazing? I thought, “Erin wouldn’t pass up this photo op.” And while I couldn’t capture the sweatshirt as well as I wanted, I did manage to get two shots of him with my (totally lame camera) phone. Enjoy.
Ordering a burger.
Going to get ketchup & act complacent to the world.
OMG Lindsey, you are AWESOME! Thank you for thinking of me!
You know, my hoodie is white too, so it could be the same! I bet he was totally at the show, too.