Monday, May 19, 2008

Doctor! Doctor! It hurts when I head-bang!



This past weekend, my husband, daughter and I went to see our sons, David and Jon and their metal band, Erebus, perform in concert, then move David home from Madison, WI the next day following his graduation ceremony.


To prepare for this journey we needed to rent a trailer. Without the measurements of various large items Rick asked David multiple times for, he reluctantly brought home a gigantic trailer, longer and taller than our Suburban, which would certainly accommodate his needs.


We got to Madison and dropped Jon off at the Orpheium Theatre. Now we have to park….in downtown Madison…on graduation weekend….with a truck/trailer combo the size of a Brontosaurus. Rick gets the idea to scout out a parking garage. “Are you out of your mind?” I thought and said, “They don’t have spots big enough for this thing.” Many tense minutes followed, ending with us ditching the trailer in the hotel parking lot.


Then began a series of cell phone calls from Jon asking,

“Where are you guys?”

and making helpful suggestions from the theatre,

“No, you head down RITZISMITIFUSS street and turn left.”

“What?”

“RITZISMITIFUSS Street”

“Where’s that?”

“It’s past AUGHIBALIHOOT Blvd? Yeah? Then you missed it, turn around.”


Erebus’s show is billed as “Free” and for “All Ages.” This sounded friendly and welcoming to me. What that actually means is that you don’t have to be 21. It doesn’t mean that they want 43-45 year olds with their 8 year old daughters there. Case and point the minute when our son David sees us, he says not, “Hi, Mom” or “Hi Dad”, but

“I can’t believe you brought Krista.”

“Why? It said all ages.” I say.

“Yeah, but I use the “F” word about 17 times.”

That in itself is not an issue. Krista has heard the “F” word. Not on a regular basis, but occasionally enough that the word itself is not going to burn her ears off. But more importantly, you can’t understand a THING David sings at a live show.


Rick, Krista and I sat in the back of the theatre in the dark waiting for Erebus to go on. There are about 50-60 people in the theatre, some seated as we were, but most waited near the stage in the Mosh Pit area. Rick was trying to set up his video camera in the back and attempted to “oomph” himself onto a stool when he accidentally put his hand in someone’s chewing-tobacco spew-cup full of drool. Even over the commotion, I hear Rick cry out, “OR-UCHG!” and then rapidly find somewhere to wash up. Krista reported that the theatre seats were prickly, so I let her sit on my jacket. My jacket was covering up my BIG, BRIGHT-RED polka-dotted, bandana shirt, I remembered, so I slouched.


Once the band started to perform everyone starts head-banging. To head-bang, your head literally bows violently to the beat of the music. It’s stunning to see. It’s animal. It’s exciting. And it HURTS! I can only half-head-bang from a seated position (to FULLY head-bang you have to be standing). Rick is excused since he’s holding a camera still. When David says, “Let’s hear it, Madison!” we “WOOOO” and scream. We make the “Rock on” sign with our hands—only your pinkie and forefinger are up—all other fingers are tucked in. It takes me several moments to position my fingers like that, but I do it. It was a spectacular show and Erebus rocks!

(Shameless plug: www.erebusband.com)


At one point, David tells the crowd to form the “Ring of Death.” Krista looks like she’s going to cry. The "RING OF DEATH" is where on his orders the Mosh-ers to run INTO HIM in the middle of the circle. I was very worried about this last year. What if he were hurt—would the band keep playing? Jon and the rest of the band discussed this and decided if they heard David say the “safety word” they would drop their instruments, abandon their drum set (in Jon’s case) and go help him. They picked the word "BANANA." So when my wild-haired, screaming metal singer son yells "Banana” everyone is supposed to come to their senses and help him?? Yea--Right. But I find myself listening for the word “Banana,” primed to leap up and break it up if necessary.


When it was over, we went to the lobby. Krista was hungry and we saw some people dressed in metal-fan garb operating a popcorn machine below a ceiling hanging with water damaged tiles and what looked like fluffy, asbestos flowers dangling from them—“I think I have some gum in the car,” I told her.


I’m rubbing my neck as I type this, but the memory of the Erebus show is worth a series of cortisone shots, don’t you think? Who says Moms can’t head-bang?

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