September 29th, 2006

The Death of the Venue; the Birth of the Sound.

For the last few years, my perspective of these things we call "shows" has been tainted and nasty. There wasn't much in the world that I disliked and avoided like I did live shows, regardless of the music, regardless of the band, regardless of the people, and I blame this on the deterioration of the Burlington scene years ago. My entire life used to revolve around the venue we called 242 Main, and all my many friends and acquaintances that played there weekly. Back then it wasn't about popularity or where you were seen by certain people; it was about going out to support your friends, and support bands whether they were good or not, and most of all, it was about the music. The music seemed so much more genuine, fulfilling, and entirely able to get inside your dome and make you feel it. Even though I wasn't a huge fan of hardcore music, being at shows was an experience I compared to no other because of how great it made me feel when I watched it performed live right before me.

Perhaps it was just my own perception of things, but the music scene became a popularity contest, and eventually 90% of the people there weren't there for the music, but there to be able to say they were there when it all went down. It became a matter of "who will be the one to stand on the side of the stage when the band plays," and few people screamed lyrics of old My Revenge songs into the microphone when they played, or moshed the way moshing was meant to be performed. The real founders and legends and veterans of the venue were practically nowhere to be found, and although I don't claim to be one of them, they were important to me nonetheless. More so it was just stupid tweens playfully punching each other all night and trying to carry on conversations while a band was playing. A good band at 242 became a rarity, and the scene became a fit of dirty elitism that frankly I couldn't stand to be around without feeling anxious. I didn't know what to do with myself at shows anymore, because I felt like just listening to the music and tapping my foot wasn't enough; I had to know someone, be with someone, or be a legend of sorts to have the nerve to show up at a show. Not having the energy for the anxiety the new vibe gave me, and not feeling like enough of a superior being of Burlington to merit my unpaid and infamous access, I stopped going. Unless some band came to town that missing the appearance of would lead to a absolute emptiness and the ultimate missed opportunity, I stopped going to shows entirely.

After an hour and forty minute conversation with Damian, this piece of writing is gone. I'll get to my point later; I have some amazing things to say.