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.