"Some are like water, some are like the heat / Some are the melody and some are the beat / Sooner or later, they all will be gone / Why don't they stay young?"
Last night, a bunch of us work buddies went out to see the Mad Caddies at the Starlite Room. I had an absolute blast, but I am paying for it today. As is KPAX, whose bright idea it was to go out on a school night. Need. More. Coffee.
The Mad Caddies were preceded by a Canadian-Scottish "Celtic punk" band called the Real McKenzies. Neither of these bands plays the kind of music that I would listen to of my own volition (read: They are too loud and I am too old.), but the show was a lot of fun. The Real McKenzies had a frenetic energy and a bagpiper. How awesome is it that a punk band has a bagpiper?! And also? Ok, hi: SCOTSMEN. IN KILTS. Naturally, the lead singer flashed the bits under his kilt at the audience. Twig and berries go hardcore! Also naturally, I fell a little bit in love with their drunken bagpiper. Tall + wiry = delicious. (Dusty, Ewan - Do not worry. I am over him now.)
KPAX and Sean convinced me to go out on the floor for a couple of songs during the skatastic Mad Caddies set. We found a spot to the side of the stage, so as to minimize the bodily harm upon our persons. Even before the band started playing, and Sean and I were just goofing around with some dance moves, a few boys in the center were already practicing the best ways to hurl their bodies against each other.
As soon as the Caddies came out, the girls joined the crush of humanity, shoving the boys out of their way and rushing toward the stage. For a few seconds, I ping-ponged between bodies as I tried to get my bearings. Sean moved to shield me on my left, and KPAX had my back. KPAX's friend Michie was to my right, bracing herself for the fun. Form up, Spartans! Let's dance!
I centered my gravity, planted my feet as firmly as I could on the sticky, sloped floor, and started elbowing with the best of them. I think I even shoved the crush of humanity back a couple of times -- you know, the way a mouse shoves an elephant. To my surprise, I was laughing and enjoying the madness of this ritual flailing of bodies. I get claustrophobic in elevators, for goddess' sakes! It has been at least a decade since I was that close to a mosh pit. It was violent, visceral, and vaguely erotic. Also VERY, VERY SWEATY.
A few songs in, a kid wearing a Metallica t-shirt planted himself in front of me. His sweat-soaked, stringy black hair barely concealed a killer scowl. He wasn't much taller than I am, and not much thicker, either. Yet he shoved the most violent of the moshers, some of them twice his size, right back into their pit of anger and sweat.
Metallica T-Shirt Kid - You rule! Whoever you are, thank you for helping to keep our side of the "dance" floor safe for the shorties. If I ever go to another ska/punk show at the Starlite, I'm going to stand right behind you.
I know there's an allure to eternal youth, but forever is a long time to be that young. I don't miss that hungry, angry, always-looking-for-a-fuck-or-fight age. It's a fun place to visit, but I sure wouldn't want to live there.