It was ROT Rally weekend in Austin, and as the loud roar of bikes could be heard across downtown…none of those sounds could compare to the growl coming from within Red 7.
In a weekend where my body detracted from months of pushing itself to it’s limits, and reflecting on all that had occurred, I had spent most of the weekend in a dreamlike state, partially instigated by the rising temperature and humidity making lethargy set in. As I left my apartment for the first time that day at 11pm, it was like swimming upstream as I proceeded to the familiar, dingy depths of the Red River corridor.
As I entered Red 7, locals Night Seige were taking the stage. I would equate the transition from my previous 24 hours until the first minute of their set with someone throwing a bucket of cold water on me. Their punk / metal meld awakened my senses; one of the main reasons I love live music is that it forces me to live in the now. When I listen to music, my mind wanders into the past and skips to the future…but here at Red 7 in front of Night Seige I was THERE. My ears throbbed, by nose inhaled the cigarette smoke next to me, my eyes focused on the water/spit hybrid coming from the lead singer’s mouth onto his mic every time a song began. Their impassioned performance was admirable, between the growls and the guitars I felt like myself again.
Minutes before Landmine Marathon took the stage I witnessed an exchange between a patron of Red 7 unfamiliar with the band and frontwoman Grace Perry that probably epitomizes what she has to deal with on a day to day basis. And from the second they begin and I watch Perry in ‘the zone’ and remember the chills I got the first time I saw them back in 2009 at Thee Parkside, it fills me with mixed emotions…which is why I like LM so much. I’ve had the performance itch lately, and watching her up there dredges up a deeply buried memory for me this time, when I had to drop out of choir. I used to love to sing. I brush it aside and snap back to the now.
The usual deadly force of LM seemed even more assaulting with new drummer Raul Varela from Impaled on the kit. As the cacophonous wave of sound from the guitars kept permeating my skin, I let every note take hold of me. My favorite moment from the set: when Perry jumped off the stage and a couple of guys started a circle pit and she side kicked one of them in encouragement.
As I walked home amidst the drunks, the ickiness of the real world did not affect me. My life is mostly what happens inside music venues, and the rest is just noise.
And in 2 weeks, both Landmine and myself will be at Orion Fest. Ride the Lightning.