It’s 9:10pm. If I was going to be on time for the show, I should have left half an hour ago. I’m still squinting in my bathroom mirror, attempting to fix my eyeliner. My hand slipped and went too heavy on the tips, but I would have to cut my losses and live with it, for the sake of the reader. I run out the door and manage to avoid my talking to my neighbor on the way to my car.
I swing up to the Pour House and park on the corner. Then, as is my custom, I waste 5 minutes trying to find my ID at the door. I’m only wearing one ear plug because it was all I could find in my purse. I just bought this vintage purse on eBay a few weeks ago, and I’m finally getting to use it. Now that I think about it, I don’t remember tossing an old blackened ear plug in here. Is it even mine? It is now. And I know I’m gonna need it. Walking through the alleyway, I can hear the drums of the opening band thumping through the bar door.
He’s screaming until he’s blue in the face… or maybe that’s just the stage lighting. It’s hard to tell.
PROMM is music made for thrashing. It’s chaos. They’ve got the sonic likeness of a truck full of musical instruments crashing down a hill. In the nicest possible way.
“First… we’re gonna drink 100 beers, in the foyer of the SECU building… and together, we’re gonna complain about how much it costs to park your car at the PNC Center for WWE.”
Local Band, Local Beer, Local Banter.
I wonder what the vocalist’s lung capacity is, because he’s really getting it all out. Likewise, pretty impressive cymbal work by the drummer, Ethan Allen (like the furniture company, but assuredly not). The breaks are pretty chill by contrast, laden with groovy drum fills and echoey guitar loops. The rhythm section sets a different mood entirely from the rest of the songs. In conclusion, the band takes a break from waking the dead for the vocalist to deliver a motivational speech.
“There’s still lots of time to be what you want. There’s still plenty of good in this world!” I guess I needed to hear that today. Parting words from an unexpected source.
The second band sounds completely different, despite sharing half of the members with the previous one, with Dylan Turner returning on bass and Owen Fitzgerald dropping the mic for guitar.
The bass lines grab my attention immediately. It makes me feel… loose. Even the crowd is becoming less statuesque and gradually resigning to soft headbanging.
I squeeze the orange slice into my Shock Top and immediately knew that I had made a big mistake. That gross old orange nearly put me off my beer. I chug the remainder so I won’t have to deal with the taste.
A brand ambassador for Newport comes up behind me and gives me a $2.00 voucher for a pack of cigarettes. Upon asking them what being a “brand ambassador” entails, they respond that they generally go to public places and conduct surveys, asking young folks what cigarette brands they prefer. I tell them that I don’t smoke Newports, but know someone who does (The Editor). I will kindly put the voucher in the mail for her the next day.
Now that the set is over, I gaze around and see that the crowd has dispersed a bit. It began with maybe two dozen people in the room, but ended with about fifteen. The rest of them are probably outside. I figure they must be onto something, and went outside to get some fresh air myself.
NO ONE MIND
The first time I saw No One Mind, it was at King’s in 2016, and I snagged the last remaining copy of their ‘Born Again’ single on vinyl. It still holds a special place in my record collection, like a trophy. Spinning it for the first time, I was sold. I’m a sucker for a 4/4. Maybe that explains why I’m so enamoured of disco. I haven’t had a chance to see them again in the 2 years since then, but I was pleased that tonight I was going to hear some new songs for the first time, mainly ones from their full-length album, and hopefully I would get some good photos of the band so the Editor wouldn’t have to “finagle” anything.
But alas, my phone dies about 2 minutes into the set. I couldn’t say I’m disappointed, though. I get to stand there and listen, without engaging. I love the spacey, synthy melodies, and make a mental note to remember to buy the album on vinyl before I left.
As the house lights return, the Pour House becomes only slightly less cavernous. I make a beeline to my car for a smoke break. I’ve been sitting in the same spot outside for 5 minutes and already observed three different people walking around asking passersby for money. I’m parked right across from Moore Square, which has been barricaded for “renovations” since October, the chain link fence plastered with the billboard “committed to stopping and preventing homelessness”.
My munchie-mode sets in and I debate whether I should double-time to Cookout on my way home or to go back inside and buy their album first. I decide to support local artists and go back inside, but the Square wasn’t working at the merch table and I didn’t have cash. Going home, I guess
Featured image is an original photo of The Pour House by The Editor.