Wednesday, November 16, 2011

REMEMBERING NXNE: Fucked Up (pt. 2)

I'm visible in this picture directly to the left of Damian, at least the side of my head is.
This is a continuation of last week's post. Part 1 can be found HERE.

Going into this show, I can't say I expected it to feel like a club show. I observed  how far away the stage was and knew that wasn't going to work for Damian and he'd likely be on the rail some 50 feet from his band-mates for the entire night. What wasn't expected was that Damian was going much further than that. He would perform more than half of the 40 minute set directly inside the mosh pit of his own show. 

Speaking of that mosh pit, it's difficult to explain exactly what a Fucked Up mosh pit is like. There's contact, but it's not all that violent really. Damian doesn't allow it to be, he doesn't stand for stuff like fights and kids throwing flying elbows. In fact, when I saw Fucked Up here in Buffalo Damian actually stopped the song when 2 guys started to fight and hugged the perpetrator, telling him that he loves him and to: "be chill".  There's a level of respect there that you don't see in a lot of punk mosh pits. The general rule is to have as much fun as humanly possible without hurting yourself or somebody else. At the Toronto show, someone gave Damian his hard hat to wear... before the set was over Damian made sure that guy got his hat back "NOBODY gets fired because of Fucked Up!" he exclaimed. 

What was most interesting about Damian performing from the crowd had to be that he was not stationary at all. Damian moved throughout the large public square and at one point he was performing more than 300 feet (an american in Canada!) from the rest of his band. This resulted in a large mosh pit moving around a public square. This could have been dangerous, but as Damian moved the pack he made sure to make hand gestures for the unwilling to clear out of the area they were in before chaos ensued. This kind of roving mosh-pit might not be entirely unique, but it sure is a hell of a lot of fun. I don't think I spent more than 20 seconds the entire night looking at the band. The visual of Damian slamming against people and performing music with a cord wrapped around his head was too interesting, often I was the person doing the slamming.

The band behind him ripped through 10 or so songs with precision as far as I can tell, but honestly. I'm not sure I was listening with too much scrutiny because I was too busy trying to survive. I was too busy sweating on a hot day and being sweat on by hundreds of strangers. I did get to make my debut on vocals when Damian shoved the mic into my face, as did dozens more. Thrilling isn't even the right word even if nobody will remember it 10 seconds later. Eventually the short set hand to end so Off! could go on, but in my mind that set never ended.

I later caught a few bands at a club show (including PS I Love You!), hours later I returned to the square where all of that carnage had occurred hours earlier to find a guy power-washing the ground near the stage. I had a feeling I had something to do with that mess of sweat, garbage, and unclaimed items. So I screamed "SORRY!" and caught my train(s) back to the hotel. I don't think he understood why I did this, and he might not have even spoken English. I could barely walk for the rest of the week as I was vacationing in Toronto.

was it worth it? FUCK YES. (and I have YouTube to prove it).

did I mention it was my birthday?

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