Punk Rock Shows and Black Cigs

I found myself lost in Youtube for over an hour and ended up where I always do, watching old Side Project videos. Then I started thinking about how much I miss going to those shows. Sure, there are still shows in Ashland and and a few of the same bands played, but it’s just not the same.

I remember my first Washburn show and how I only knew 4 songs the entire night, but it was still amazing. It was the first time I had seen a real pit, the first time I smelled Djarum Black’s, and the first “party” I ever went to. I miss the days when people didn’t care about how they looked at the shows and actually went there to have fun. Believe it or not, people used to dance, jump, and mosh at shows. Now you’re lucky to have 4 perfectly straight lines of people looking at you with their arms crossed and their heads tilted to the side.

It probably doesn’t mean much to the few people that read this because they weren’t there and it’s just another show to them. To me it’s more than just the bands and dancing though. It used to be a very different experience than it is now. I was always with the group of kids that shows up early for the show, but that group of kids doesn’t exist anymore. After waiting on the front steps of the Civic for sometimes an hour, Ben would show up and let us in, and we’d pay our $4 and go upstairs.

There was always a certain feeling in the air at shows. There were the kids that everyone knew and the new kids that were clearly scared to be there. Back then I didn’t know every person that was there because there was more than just one group of kids that went. Now you basically have to beg your friends to come to the show, and it wasn’t even to see your band. You have to beg them to come so that you can get their $5, so you can pay the touring bands enough to make it to the next city.

I didn’t mean to make this a comparison, but there are a lot of differences between the shows now and how they were then. Back then I would leave every show sweaty and thankful for the cool summer air. After a night of rocking out and screaming my lungs off, I would go to the gas station and buy the first drink that I could get my hands on. Everyone would be looking for something to do because it’s 10 on a Saturday night and nobody had made any plans because of the show.

This is going to sound deep, but it’s very true. The shows really changed who I am as a person. I discovered my favorite band, I found music and people that I could relate to, I found something to look forward to every month or two, and it gave me  reason to learn how to play bass. I made friends,became a much more confident and outspoken person, not to mention I learned to appreciate certain things a little more. Who needs a big stage, a pro sound system and a lighting rack? Sure we had to tape mics to stands sometimes, but at least kids had fun and looked forward to shows. Don’t have money to pay for professional shirts? Paint your band’s name on a Goodwill shirt, I’ll buy it.

I know I missed the start of the Washburn pop-punk scene, and really I was only there for the last part of it, but I still miss it just the same. Now that the music scene has moved to Ashland and I have to book the shows, it just doesn’t have the same feeling of excitement to it. It’s almost more of a sense of responsibility  than anything. I hope someday  there will be a few people and a few bands that start caring about music in the area again.

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3 Responses to “Punk Rock Shows and Black Cigs”

  1. Amelia Says:

    I’m glad to see my pictures are being used for good.

  2. tyisnotahero Says:

    I didn’t know who took them, but I hope it’s cool that I used them.

  3. Amelia Says:

    It’s fine, they’re not copyrighted or anything.

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