Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stay Afraid

With the new work schedule requiring a 4am wake-up call Monday through Friday, there is a desire to get into bed around 9pm. Like a lot of people, it's very hard for me to function off of a couple hours of sleep. Plus, I still think about a tidbit I heard in high school health class: a regular lack of sleep will take years off your life. However, we when we think about our lives in the past, we don't often remember how many hours of sleep we got; we remember what we did during the waking hours. With that in mind, I decided to head on out to see Brooklyn's Parts & Labor play last night.

After just a few months of hearing about them and digging into their records, I wanted to see the band whenever they came through. I missed them a few months ago when they opened for Adult., so when the Big Slavinsky called me about the show yesterday afternoon, I really had no good excuse not to go. Sure, I might be a little sluggish the following morning, but the possibly amazing experience of seeing the mighty Parts & Labor outweighed everything else. In short, my gut instinct was right.

Following a brief set by Ghosthustler, the band wasted no time to get all their gear set up. There was no stage and there was just a PA, some vocal mics, and a monitor. But something felt like this was the perfect setting to see these guys: right up front with barriers or high stages. Personally, I've always liked the danger of being right up front while a band rips away. While it would suck if a tuning peg slashed your face in the process, at least you had a much more personal experience compared to seeing a band play miles away in an arena.

Make no mistake, Parts & Labor is LOUD live. Take all the screaming guitar lines, twitchy keyboard lines, wide open singing and pounding drums from the records and raise the volume level to near-submission. However, that doesn't mean their anthemic, melodic tunes lose their power in the process. Far from it actually. It's the exact kind of experience that translates into a great live band.

For a solid thirty-five minutes, these three guys shined. I've seen bands play much longer sets that never reached the same kind of emotional climax. Opening with "Great Divide" and closing with "Fractured Skies" (two of my favorites, no less), things never dragged. I place a lot of credit with powerhouse drummer Christopher Weingarten for this. His attack never let up, thus allowing his fellow bandmates to drive the songs to the top. This was good reminder about how a drummer can effectively make or break a band live.

With the show coming to a close around 11:35, I was relieved I might get some decent sleep. I did and felt fine this morning. But I can't get this show out of my head. If I missed this show, I'd probably regret it for years. I didn't want to add this missed opportunity with the time I missed Horace Pinker with Miguel Barron on bass and vocals. My geology test the following day made me think I should place academics over the show, but when I got a C on the test, I wondered why I decided to stay home. I could've seen them perform the Barron-sung "Pop Can Park" -- a song they apparently haven't played since he left the band.

So my words of wisdom is this: if there's a show where there are some cons, but some very possibly life-affirming pros, go to it no matter what. You may feel sluggish the next day, but you'll probably remember the show way more than the exact number of hours of sleep you had.


Random Kath said...

Amen, Eric! Life is much too short to miss out on potentially awesome experiences . . . even bad experiences can lead to interesting stories later on.

Paradeofflesh said...

too bad you left early. P & L played another 15min at around 12:30am for the few fans and us who put on the show...

nice review, we will link to it on our site.


Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Agreed. I missed an REM concert to write a paper. What an awful choice.

stonedranger said...

nice review eric.