My daughter is a sophomore in high school, and is absorbing that accelerated high school experience with enthusiasm. Apparently, one of her classmates is in a band called “Seconds From The End.” They actually landed a gig at a seedy little place called "Uncle Lou's," and my daughter excitedly begged us to let her go. This is the flyer announcing their appearance:
Because members of the band are only 15 or 16 years old, the bar had an “All Ages” policy for the night. After a few phone calls, my daughter convinced one of her girlfriends to go with her. There was the expected awkward phone call between the parents, in which we assured her mother that we would go along and sit through what was sure to be a painful evening of high school death metal.
We drove in the rain to the address, and couldn’t find the place, because it’s literally the size of our family room, tucked between a tattoo parlor and a dry cleaners. When we entered, my wife and I slipped to a table in the back (which meant we were no more than 8 feet from the front), and the girls hopped on stools in the front.
The crowd, such as it was, consisted of a few high school kids, a few twenty-somethings, a few older alcoholics permanently attached to barstools, and a bunch of musicians who were all in the bands that were going to play that night. It was like they were playing for each other.
“Seconds From The End” played first, and I have to say, in all fairness and honesty, that they sucked. They even admitted that they sucked and played one song twice, because, as they said, “we sucked the first time.” I kept praying that their name was an indicator of how much longer I’d have to endure it.
During their set, I amused myself by sipping on a beer and watching the Yankees lose to the Cleveland Indians, putting them 2 games down in the playoffs. The bartender was a Red Sox fan like me, and we were high-fiveing each other when the Indians won, laughing at the prospect of George Steinbrenner having an aneurism in his luxury sky box.
When “Seconds From The End” finally finished, another band called “Back Alley Brawler” set up. They were all older guys, late 20s – early 30s with “day job” haircuts. Within 3 chords, I could tell they were good. The music was polished, the musicians were accomplished, the songs were actually interesting. Of course, it was loud and fast and barely intelligible, but within a couple of minutes, my daughter sent me a text message: “They’re good.”
After “Back Alley Brawler” finished, the headliner, “Modern Day Arcade” set up. Within 30 seconds, I sent a text message to my daughter that said: “This band SUCKS.” She responded, “Maybe just this song.” Just after the second song began, she sent me another: “Maybe not.” The song wasn’t very easy to understand, but I think the lyrics went something like:
- Die! Die!
Everybody Die! Die!
On the way home, my daughter was bubbly from the experience. Despite her enthusiasm for seeing a classmate perform, she reluctantly agreed that “Back Alley Brawler” was a much better band. Now she wants my t-shirt.