Back at the end of June, Darth Husband, The BFF and I went to House of Blues to see an school lineup of local music: Lucky Boys Confusion, Penny and the Loafers, The Waiting Game, and Inept with the new (as in new to me and younger) opener, Steve Knecht. (I use “old school” as a term of endearment since I have many fond memories of years of attending local shows.) I have loved live music for a long time but having it be a band from your area, or in some cases somewhat your area, makes it different. The following was rattling around in my head after the concert and the weeks following.
Since the days of the kid version of me blasting Poison on my Care Bear tape player, I’ve grasped that music is powerful and the concept that music connects people. As the tapes moved to CDs, I still kept my love of hair metal (a guilty pleasure even today) but then as bands like Nirvana, Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, and Soundgarden blasted from my CD player, local music entered the mix. There are lots of bands that are somehow located in or near Chicago, but I am talking the local bands: The kids that played in garages and church basements. The names on the high school battle of the bands lists and the hand drawn show flyers. The bands that played to three people in a local bar but still played their hearts out.
I have great memories of going to shows of friends’ bands. It was one thing to go see a great show but knowing both the performing and non-performing side of the people on stage made it even better. I was the girl in high school with the show flyer stapled to her band-patch covered green Jansport backpack (that logo, of course, covered with a patch) and the one making flyers for upcoming shows in college. I loved doing my part of help out my friends and finding great new music as well. It was exciting to be part of that era of local music.
I use the word “era” on purpose. When I was in high school and college, there were a number of local all ages venues: Oak Lawn Ice Arena (or OLIA if you were “cool”) The Coffee Lounge in Palos Hills, Cafe Nisa in Oak Lawn, Sputnik in Homewood, Mojoes in Orland Park, Lighthouse Cafe in Burbank and others that I can’t remember anymore. Plus add the local high school battle of the bands to the mix. Of course, when I turned 21 that meant I could see shows at numerous bars, including Champs in Burbank, but this is where it started.
The days of me painting blue streaks in my almost Bettie Page style bangs and putting on my plaid pleated skirt with combat boots are long gone as is the brand new age 21 driver’s license but all it takes it a song to step right back there for a moment. That moment when you hear a song and immediately start singing along as if you are in some sort of memory induced auto-pilot. That moment when you start dancing and don’t stop until the set is over not even thinking that you aren’t as young as you used to be and might be sore in the morning (or motivated to go to the gym even more.) That moment when the concert ends but you still have a mix-mosh of the nights songs stuck in your head for days.
Now that is an earworm that I don’t mind at all.