Thursday, January 05, 2006

I remember my first "punk rock" gig.

I think it was my friend, Sandi, who suggested we go see The Enigmas, GoForThree, and Slow do a gig at the Commodore. I was very excited, nervous about what to wear, how to behave, all of that stuff. We got duded up and drove into Vancouver.

The Commodore, as I learned later, is a beautiful, fabulous place to see bands play, and this night was no exception. The place was about full, and every person was so different from who I was usually surrounded with at my Christian college campus, it was like a sparkling adventure. Spiky black hair, the smell of sweaty leather, the boots, the eyeliner!! It was probably 1984, but I'm not sure of the year.

The first band, GoForThree (or however that's written) weren't very exciting. The next band, Slow, was amazing, really energetic and creative. The final band of the night was the Enigmas, a garage-type band.

Sandi took me by the hand and dragged me right up to the front when Slow started, and we stayed there, squished up against the stage as the slam-dancing (that's what "moshing" used to be called, kids) raged at our backs. The press of bodies against us, the "accidental" groping, began to be overwhelming, so we hopped up on stage and sat cross-legged to watch the music. Nobody stopped us! We had a fabulous view of Paul Mackenzie, the lead singer, going through his mad gyrations and contortions. As the show really heated up, he grabbed a knife and pretended to disembowel himself--he must of had a bag of raw liver taped to his stomach--and it spilled out all over the stage. Sandi and I figured this was punk rock, so we grabbed it and started hurling it at the rest of the crowd. Really, there was no other course of action even worth considering! You would have done the same thing.

I remember looking over the sweaty, young crowd, looking at the mad bands, and thinking "This is where I belong! This makes sense to me." By 1987, I played the Commodore, opening for the Scramblers. As I stood on stage for the sound check, I vividly remembered the gig a few years before where I had decided this was where I should be. And there I was. It was quite unfulfilling, actually. Maybe I should have brought raw liver, maybe that would have helped.

7 comments:

Spoke said...

My first Punk Rawk gig was at Carson Graham Senior Secondary School in North Vancouver BC during 1980/81. Three bands came thru, local "talent". One I don't recall their name.The other 2 were Burnt Toast (later to be No Exit) and DOA. My buddy Jimmy-Jo from Burnt Toast gave me a case of tomatoes and told me to gather other "greasers' and throw them at DOA after a few songs...I actually hit Joey Shithead in the side of his shithead! Joey remembers the gig, and the vegetation. I nearly got kicked out of school for that afternoon. I used to wear a jean-jacket vest over my leather jacket that said "Punk Sucks" in sparkly letters like you see on fishing lures...all in fun! "They" even spray-paint graffitted the outside front of the school with cusses and my name one year. Ahhhh, yung rivalry.

Kim said...

What? You mean there was a time when liver at a concert was not the norm? Wow! What was it like? My goodness I even remember a little while ago, that concert at 'the tab' where the pastor jumped on stage, pulling a carving knife wearing that black/white mask....
Seriously, though, liver, got to love it, every time people get together to sing or perform, it should be there, you should talk to Darryl about his liver-free worship times....I think God is glorifies in liver...I mean, he made them, right? Umm...yeah, I just woke up from a nap, I'm not responsible for what I say...

EarthForAliens said...

I was in like grade 2 that year. I don't think I had even heard 'rock' music or seen liver...

Not to make you feel old or anything...

papa herman said...

The first show I saw was 'Tex and the Horseheads.' They played in a closed down niteclub, which the owner's son was putting on shows at --without his Dad's knowledge to my understanding. The cops showed up and so we went to this guys house, he had multiple TVs one which gave the picture, another which gave the sound.

I later got to see 'Tex and the Horseheads' play at Fender's Ballroom with no interference.

Scion of Cerebrus said...

I've never been to a show like any of those described. I feel left out. Although I did get to see Simple Plan for free, and talk to the guitar player from Hedley on my cellphone. Actually, Hedley was better than Simple Plan anyway. Check them out if you haven't yet.

canadiangirl said...

that would have been fun!!!! but the raw liver..... yech. and no one got mad @ you for throwing liver around at the audience?!?!?!?!

Paula said...

You obviously don't understand punk rock if you think anyone in the audience would be mad at us for throwing raw liver at them. We enhanced their experience, gave them something to talk about...

...nobody was mad at us.