Bad (and really fucking awesome) Kids

Review by: Missy
So I’ve COMPLETELY neglected my CMW reviews and felt compelled to immediately write this one instead…guess that shows that nothing reeeally blew me away at CMW like this show did. Also there was so much at CMW it was a little overwhelming to tackle…but I will get to those (albeit in much less depth) after this one.

Ok so I’ll just start with…wow. That is a sufficient starting point I think. I’ll throw in a couple FUCK YEAHS as well. Fuck yeah! Sarah and I rocked the Black Lips show (playing with Box Elders and Demon’s Claws) and DAMN it has been too long since I’ve been to a show like it, I miss it a lot. Reminded me of the good ol’ local punk rock show days, which I wasn’t heavily into but a show here and there was always memorable. The frantic energy, (both performers and crowd), the giddy excitement…the rough, kick ass mosh pit…it was all just SO GOOD. I am kind of at a loss for words. Wait, no I’m not, I’m gonna exhaust every adjective I can think of to describe it. So. Caught the last couple songs of the first band, which after some confusion (the line up changed order) we figured out were Demon’s Claws. Can’t fully review them because we didn’t catch much of their set, but what we did see certainly was interesting. The lead singer, long dirty hair hanging in his face, (my heart’s all a flutter..) was finishing up a song with a moan that eventually turned into a lovely cacophony of gagging and retching. Sick. If not a little taken aback by the harsh sound of it, I loved that everyone was digging it and kind of laughing at the same time…and the thought that crossed my mind was “cool, this guy clearly doesn’t give a shit.” Now I do admittedly look at the style of the bands I see, and judge that to a certain extent. Come on, who doesn’t? So some of the member’s attire was puzzling, and therefore noteworthy, and therefore in my mind gave them that extra edge. It was just the right amount of casual I-don’t-give-a-fuck with a bit of bizarreness thrown into the mix. One of ‘em had what looked like a soccer or bowling shirt, popped collar, and a weird large pentagram-looking necklace. Okay… and the bassist was wearing a black coat buttoned once near his collar so he was wearing it like a cape. So yeah, some random and interesting details there. Definitely will have to check out these guys again.

Next up was Box Elders, and again, pretty fucking amazing right off the bat. The first eye-catching detail was the physical set-up – all were at the same depth at the front of the stage, (‘downstage’ for us theatre-friendly people...ha) and the drummer was front and centre. Typically with other bands I’ve seen the drummer’s staging seems to change when he or she contributes more dominantly to the vocals, but this guy didn’t. But he completely blew me away regardless. His manic, bug-eyed, movement-infused performance was amazing. It struck a chord with me particularly as a dancer, because this guy had MOVES that were almost choreographed. I will emphasize the word ALMOST at this point, because after talking to him, he informed me he’s apparently gotten some flak for that and used the word “choreography” in a slightly negative context. This is unfortunate, because for me as a dancer, seeing musicians use choreography dazzles me something fierce. I had to explain to him that for me, the word has no negative connotation whatsoever. It’s interesting for me to think about. I can see what he means, in a certain way the word implies too much preparation and….awareness, I guess, of the brilliant performance he’s executing. But what’s wrong with that? Maybe it just had the right BALANCE of “choreographed” movement with something that happens as an improvisation in response to the crowd and the music. Also, obviously nowadays bands need more than just raw talent; they need a little something extra that makes them stand out. And for me that often has to do with different instrumentation (the drummer also played the organ with one hand, drums with the other for some songs), with stage presence and performance style, with staging, and yes, even style and appearance.

So then we have the Black Lips. At this point in the evening I was already giddy and the headliner hadn’t even hit the stage. So they had a lot to live up to, and I would say they were overall pretty successful. They didn’t have something specific that stood out for me like the other two, but maybe I’m just a sucker for what some people might call a gimmick. So no gimmicks, just amazing sound and stage presence. Can’t ask for much more. What DID add a whole lot more was the crowd, gotta love when people let go of the snobby attitude and just get good and rowdy. I definitely like to get into the mosh pit when I can, and this one was the right amount of rough for me…mostly because when I get in there I am kind of a passive mosher who just likes to be tossed around (for some reason the image of that makes me giggle). There was much crowd surfing to be had, and close to the end of the set a bunch of hot (but YOUNG) kids rushed the stage and all hell broke loose (especially during Bad Kids) with some onstage makeouts and much unnecessary “I know I look hot” hair tossing and gyrating. As much as I felt my age a little bit at this point, I couldn’t help that big shit-eating grin from being permanently stamped on my face. After the encore, I raped and pillaged the merch table, buying my first ever legit piece of vinyl in the process. Stoked. Box Elders invited us to a loft party after, which was actually the after party at 751. We decided not to go. Tempted, but I DID actually have work in the morning…and Sarah and I decided not to be THOSE girls. Not that night anyway. Haha. So overall, a fucking fantastic evening. Insert one more unnecessarily exaggerated adjective (preceded by an f-bomb) here to describe the night. That oughtta do it.

Missy.