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New Year's Disaster (For Me)

On New Year's Eve I went to a show at the (new) Shop. The original Shop was a place that I liked going to. The name and style, bare concrete and white walls, always made me think of places I had only read about like White Columns. I was excited to see the new version of the Shop and the punk show that was happening there. Mostly I just wanted to see friends though.

I got to the Shop before anything had started. The new location is very close to my house, even closer than the old one. It's located near me in Lawrenceville at a place I passed weeks before and thought, "wouldn't this be a cool, old-school punk venue?" And then it was.

I liked the gritty inside - it was dim and still industrial, a true Pittsburgh kind of place. There were a lot of people there already. I was still able to get to the front of the performance area before the first band, I think, started.

CHOIR is a band that a lot of people like here in Pittsburgh. Somehow, I had never seen them before. Similar to Silence, I routinely intend to attend events that they are playing but always miss out. CHOIR has a noise-rock/no-wave/punk sound like Flipper. The singer thrashed around with wild nihilism, but everything appeared well-rehearsed; they were not sloppy. It was an awesome noisy rock performance with a lot of energy and stage presence. I think we need more stuff like this.

For me, it all went downhill from here. I did say hello to some friends, but I really didn't enjoy the other bands. I saw Substance, who were from Texas and alright, and I think Concealed Blade. I don't really like hardcore, and I especially don't like people spitting, throwing beer cans or moshing and pits. I'm way too small and concerned with taking pictures to get anything out of that except pushed over and feeling gross. On the whole, I don't find the idea of slamming into people very interesting. I don't like it, even when I'm not carrying a camera, and I don't think it is necessarily "radical" like some people make it out to be. Essentially, it reinforces the status quo; large guys get to show their strength and be tough. There's definitely a lot more of a community thing to it than that, but it's really just not for me. I ended up leaving after some large pieces of styrofoam started getting tossed around. Everything was all covered in dirt and beer and whaever else. That was enough for me.

My friend Brian saw me on the way back, and I got a ride from him the few blocks I needed to go. It was pretty cold, so I appreciated it. We saw a really interesting fireball in the sky right above my block as we were turning the corner. We weren't sure what it was, but I think it might have just been a paper lantern. It was New Year's Eve after all. When I got home, I put my camera away and rested for a bit. I ate some food. Then I decided to go back to the Shop to catch the last band and hang out before midnight. Interestingly, the door was closed when I got there. It didn't seem like anybody was there, and I saw some posts online that made me think it really was over. I had to go back anyway to grab my bike, so it's all good. When it turned midnight, I was just riding around in the cold. I felt alright about that.