Monday, October 3, 2011

valhalla here I come

I haven't roadtripped to another city to see a band play since I was a lowly undergrad, but tagged along with my other metalhead homie and one of his friends for a trek down to Columbus. It's starting to make sense to me why there's a lot of acts skipping Cleveland, because almost any Columbus venue that books heavier bands seems to be infinitely nicer than Peabody's.

I-71 is a terribly dull stretch of highway, but it was enlivened by the small car driving next to us covered with decals of horses and puppies and an action figure glued to the dent on the rear bumper. I did want to take a picture, but Sam was driving fast and the guy driving looked creepy as heck anyway. After an incident a few years ago with a decidedly more clean-cut posse in which some driver thought we were the Devil's spawn and waved a plastic cross at us all the way down 480 to about Twinsburg, I didn't want to incur the wrath of any crazed soul in the boonies once more.

I am so accustomed to Cleveland venues, which are usually grungy and sometimes in parts of the neighborhood where you hope your car won't get broken into, so it was weird to get off the highway and drive through some industrial by-ways only to find the venue off of a main street next to a Kroger and across from some very upscale-looking apartments.

The interior of the place reminded me of the kind of place that has glammy drag shows but I guess it's a goth club, though it was nice to see that there were couches and places to sit down and chill to get away from the noise, and the room where the bands were playing was nice and big. Soundgarden was being played over the PA between sets which was strange given the acts on the bill but not entirely unwelcome either.

Really enjoyed Junius, because I'm a sucker for angst and shimmery shoegaze guitars with an extra bit of crunch. It's nice to have openers that are actually enjoyable as opposed in fifteen minutes this will be over because it's gone on way too long.

I didn't know the first two songs Alcest played (I think they came from the EP) but I felt damn near euphoric when I heard the opening chords of Ecailles de Lune and Solar Song. Two of the dudes next to me where screaming out "FUCK YEAAHHHH!" at the most transcendentally beautiful moments, which was just weird to me, because this is the sound that washes over oceanically though I possibly don't understand the inner workings of the metal bro psyche so maybe I'm missing something. Their other friend with them who was wearing a Burzum shirt looked both surly at the lack of troo kvltness (as this kind of thing is more Faerie than Satan) and the antics of his friends, though his time to get his inner berzerker on was coming.

As came up in the conversation in the car, I'm not really much of a metalhead. I dip my toes in, but I will probably never swim out into the deep end of the Fjord of Viking Testosteronia anytime soon. Props to Enslaved though, for having actual songs and not taking themselves too seriously, and such, even if I did duck out and chill outside and people-watch.

We went looking for food, found none, drove home, and I slept in the backseat, waking up to see an incredible night sky, white clouds, Orion on his side, so beautiful.

And now it's back to the daily, but I feel alive again.


Randal Graves said...

Junius really does have that Katatonia+Alcest+post-punk shoegaze Frankenstein thing going on.

As an metalhead but not a metal bro, two entirely different ways of being, I cannot approve of such jawing dumbassery.

Devil's spawn, I've had an inkling this Jesus trip of yours is nothing but an act, Vizier of Baal.

I hope you at least made one proper metal face.

thatgirl said...

I wasn't sure how that translated over onto CD (though I'd see them again if they came through these parts) but a quick look at the music library revealed to me that their albums are up at the station.

Hey, the Mighty JC was similarly labeled, so I think I'm in good company.

I think I was too busy being blissed out to make any metal faces, though I know I've made them elsewhere.

word verification: clarm. Clamoring alarm, loud charm?

Anonymous said...

icelandic blood dispute settlement at the "Thing"

Randal Graves said...

Well goshdarnitthen, you need to borrow them.

I think the Vizier of Baal needs to make an appearance in one-half-act play, though I'm saving JC for next December 21.