It’s a quiet backstage at load in.
For a change, there’s not a bunch of young guys running around trying to scam extra wrist bands, no yelling over the lineup due to sold-tickets status.
Everyone works with the quiet efficiency that comes from decades of humping anvil cases in and out of sheds on countless Saturday nights.
Lots of gray hairs and crows feet smiles: hushed greetings and hugs are exchanged, as if we are all reveling in the brief calm before the lights drop and all hell breaks loose on that stage and in the pit.
This is a solid lineup of working bands, the combined age of the players tonight approaching millennial status!
First up is The Vermin, old schoolers out of Vegas.
They got a nice crowd going early, and after the set Bad Ink boys Dirk and Rob eye my trusty straight edge tattoo and think it might be fixable….hah!
We’re up next to do the damn thing one more time for the year:
Usual Santa Tbone has to work late, so we go with the only suitable replacement, madman Paulie!
Paul comes out for Blue Christmas, and proceeds to provoke the crowd with his white trash stripper moves and extreme liberal politics.
But that all blows over once he brings out the sack and throws a few shirts into the crowd!
We get the hell off stage and change into sensible holiday sweaters, then head up to the balcony before the mighty 7 Seconds comes on!
The crew up yonder is in the holiday spirit, drinks are being tossed back, drunken promises are made, sloppy kisses are avoided…..
See? We have office Christmas parties too!
The 7 Seconds crew sounds just great, the whole joint is all Whoa and Oh like a singular beast.
There be a fearsome pit brewing down below!
There’s time to run backstage to pester our pals The Adolescents
while they’re trying to get ready to play.
They shoo us away, though not before we’ve swiped most of the good beer out of their dressing room!
Adolescents: No Way!!
The Adolescents kill it once again, and when the lights come up on the room it looks like a bomb has gone off.
A sweaty, happy bomb.
Again with the backstage shenanigans:
And just like that, it’s all over.
The night has sped by way too fast, too many people we never got a chance to talk to and too many things left unsaid.
This wraps up the year for us, and what better way than with a bunch of fine folk.
We load out into the December night air with that twinge of satisfied sadness that the year end always seems to bring.
Now get the hell out of here, and Merry Christmas, ya nuts!
additional photos: thanks to Jesse Naber, Max Gardener, One Punk Army, Rob Simundson, Videos via Sex_N_Violence channel