Playing music for the sake of playing music is a beautiful thing, even after an artist is still recovering from a small defeat. So, Dia and I booked ourselves a gig on a Saturday night at The Electric Theater without the Jade Harbor band backing us up.
We packed our arsenal of songs and sang our hearts out for an audience of about 20-30 preoccupied students. Although we enjoyed performing, the excitement for us took place about 10 minutes after we finished when the headlining band began their foot-stomping set. A display of musical theatrics that our small town had never experienced before. Do you guys remember Limbeck? They used to be a Doghouse Records band. In my young eyes Limbeck was the real deal.
They tumbled out on stage, belligerent, sweaty, road—worn in all the right ways. They just sounded so together and smooth, like a real rock n’ roll band. The lead singer even had that “thing” that all lead singers seem to possess. At that moment I stole a sidelong glance at Dia and then up at the singer on stage, secretly scheming how I could rip a few holes in her jeans without her knowing and perhaps get her to stop brushing her hair for a week or two.
Back then I would have given an arm and a leg to be able to travel in their beaten-up, 15-passenger van, heck I’d give up half my limbs to even sit shot gun around the block with all of the band members hanging their arms out the window, cigarette smoke hot-boxing our conversation. (A decade later, I feel slightly different about traveling via van and even more intense about cigarette smoke, but back when I was 17, those smelly bench seats called out to me with a vengeance!)
After Limbeck finished their set, Dia and I took our places behind the merch table, arranging a few demo cds and two horrible t-shirt designs on the folding table near the entrance of the venue. The task proved difficult because a pair of ankles clad in worn sandals kept stomping around in our very compact space. I looked up at the man hopping around on the table. His giant pirate mustache muffled his hollering, “Limbeck CDs! Two for 10!” With every hoot and yell his head dramatically swooped back and his auburn, curly-hair waved around excitedly. I didn’t know if I should be concerned for his safety. He looked as though at any moment he might slip on a cd or t-shirt and fall to his doom…
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