Ahh, what a night. Every inch of me feels amazing, except for my bitterly complaining knees and thighs. Mosh pits - relatively good exercise!
It was really great to release all that pent up tension. I had the rush-job morning from hell, featuring a stupidly early wake-up call (eight thirty! shocking!), a "finished" essay in which I quoted Kant a lot and despaired, and a meeting in the library to hammer out what BS Nathan and Michael and I were going to go on about in our class "facilitation." Then I got a cheeseburger and we went to the incredibly boring lecture given by the shiny-headed professor whose speech impediment inserts unexpected ... pauses into his sentences, led a discussion of global poverty, Castells and the internet which apparently impressed the tutor so score one to us, and I immediately rushed off to finish my Narrative Writing exercises and drop them in my tutor's pigeonhole somewhere in the maze of twisty passages that is the Arts faculty.
Then I applied eyeliner
to my face
in a university bathroom and headed off to Manning Bar. There was a slight detour to Hermann's bar thanks to my spotty memory of Sydney Uni, so I was a little sweaty after walking across the campus in the sun, but I figured I was going to get sweatier at the concert, so whatever. It turned out I could have taken my time (and gotten something to eat) because the Dwarf's concert times are... less than accurate. For some reason it didn't occur to me that five pm was an unlikely time for a concert to start. A-heh.
Everything was closed so I got a bag of pretzels, and hung around nervously waiting for the concert to start. And waiting. And waiting. And being redirected to the correct place to wait. And waiting some more. And chatting with some random scene kids from Melbourne who were apparently following the band to all their Aussie shows and had also apparently arrived this early on PURPOSE. Later we were joined by their friends from Sydney, who had come in corsets as their wench costumes for Talk Like A Pirate Day. They brought plastic swords to give to the band. One of them had a silver skull and cross-bones in glitter on her chest. The major thoughts warring for supremacy in my head there were "Can you breathe? Are your ribs deformed!?" and "I cannot stop staring at your tits." which I am told is the usual response to corsets on other people.
Eventually the doors opened (with difficulty, they kept jamming) and I went inside, checked out the merch I couldn't afford (well, I could have bought the handmade vegan soap but... you know.) and sat down gratefully in an actual soft chair bemoaning my idiocy in spending an hour cross-legged on concrete for want of anything better to do, ow. I passed the time eating an apple and checking out the scenery until the internets arrived in the form of Jenn (astridthemighty
) and her friend Mish, recognisable by their purple and pink hair respectively. Hairdye is a very handy landmark - there were a few other dye jobs in the place but none in that combination. They on the other hand recognised my by the hat
combo. The internets thinks I was cosplaying as Ryan Ross but I actually just really like hats and scarves. and... drawing on my face in eyeliner. But honestly that's mostly because I kind of fail at applying it to my actual EYES.
We hung around sitting on uncomfortable (but at least carpeted) steps through the first opening act, Callorway. I saw them at the Oxford Art Factory opening for Something with Numbers (you know, that time I forgot to blog about... hey, maybe I still will now that it's midsession break!) and they're still pretty decent, but nobody was dancing. Also the vocals - somewhat incoherent. At least on this stage they actually had room to move. Next up was Mission in Motion, whom the internets assured me were douchebags, so we took a breather on the landing to gossip and play with Jenn's Batsignal flashlight-pen. I sat on a windowsill until a venue staff member told me to stop. Then I took advantage of the relatively open space to try and whack my back into some semblance of non-rebellion, but alas - not much help. It had been a while since the pretzels, so I went up to the bar to see if they had food. They had just run out of crappy pizzas, but the bartender directed me to a bizarre contraption that automatically dispensed hot fries. Which I ate. Because I was hungrier than they were freaky and unnatural.
The Matches finally came on at nine fortyfive (FOUR HOURS after I arrived *nuclear facepalm*) and I wormed my way into the moshpit. all I can say about this stage of the proceedings is that it was AWESOME. I took some mobile phone videos but I won't post them because they are crappy and pixelated, but rest assured that the band had energy up to HERE, and the music was amazing. There were a few songs where the vocals got drowned out by the drums a bit, but the audience made up for it by screaming the words back. I was in front of Jon
, the lead guitarist - not right at the front but close enough to see him sweat, so the mosh was pretty tight. I've never been in a proper one before and I absolutely loved it. I only got my feet stepped on a little bit - I did get an elbow to the face but not very hard. At one point I ended up behind a tall dreadlocked guy which was annoying as the hair kept flicking at my face until I squirmed out of reach. It was a good crowd, despite a few chicks whose major contribution was yelling out "you're so sexy shawn" to the singer a lot. To be fair also at least one guy. To be even fairer it's not like they weren't right
. At one point Shawn came over to our side and leaned into the crowd, which was pretty awesome, although I did get slightly crushed in the mass of people reaching up to him. He was we>aring a hilarious
ruffled shirt and a vest (all the bands I love have bizarre fashion sense, lol) and Jon had on a ninja headband, presumably in protest of Talk Like A Pirate Day.
Can I just say that Jon played like a madman with THUMB AND INDEX FINGER because the rest of his hand was in a splint
!? That is why I'm so disappointed at how crappy my cameraphone is, I wanted to post a video of one of his solos. PLAYING WITH BROKEN FINGERS. THAT IS DEDICATED. He also had some wiring problems, a tech had to run out and reconnect
him a few times. The new bassist
Dylan looked a bit nervous still but the other two were very supportive and kept going over to his side of the stage to give him little ~pep talks or something, idk, it was cute. The drummer
, Matt, was either bored or just concentrating really really hard because he spent the whole gig going :| except when one of the other guys went up to him occasionally. Shawn made mention of the fries machine before playing "Yankee in a Chip Shop" - I hope somebody went and bought him a box after the show, he seemed fairly incredulous at the concept. He also brought out a massive black guitar at one point that he referred to as the "transformer
" guitar... IDK. It did look a bit robotic. Maybe it doubles as their bodyguard. Oh, oh, some lolarious fail - Shawn tried a microphone trick involving wrapping the cord around his neck and then putting the mic back in the stand. I can see what he was going for but... he sort of forgot to put his guitar on first. ...so he had to undo it again immediately. He looked appropriately sheepish.
Afterwards the internets and I hung out on a grass bank for a bit and then went for sandwiches. A couple of drunk guys walking the same way as us were amusing - they commented on Mish's pink hair, and one kept insisting that I had an American accent, telling me to say "supercalafragilisticexpialidocious" to prove I didn't, etc. "Lies and slander!" says I - "I swear you totally have an American accent!" He cries. "It's American! American! ...or maybe English, actually, I can't really tell." "See!" I said triumphantly. "I totally have a chameleon accent." "Yeah, yeah." he grumbled, as his friend gently drew him off in the other direction. Anyway, I had a toasted beef cheese and tomato sandwich at midnight and about a zillion glasses of water, then we went our separate ways. By this point I was starting to come down off the concert high and mainlining stolen sugar packets to get home awake.
Today my legs are not thanking me for the experience, but it was so very worth it. And now I have two weeks of holidaaaaays, woo!