I'm going downstairs to see what the vibe is - be right back.
Okay, that was not what I expected. There was some type of action at the front, but not much. Maybe it's just being in a new, unfamiliar venue, but there was not the vigor that I had hoped down there. I remember going to my very first hardcore show, aged fifteen, and the music and the kinetics pulled me into the maw of unbridled teen expression as if against my will. I was a classic rock kid - I didn't even know it was a hardcore show that night. Nevertheless, I found myself drawn into the vortex even though it wasn't "my kind of music". We all shuffled and milled around to the unnaturally quick beat like the infected of some viral pandemic movie and at the end of the night, we all left as friends and felt, somehow cleansed through our physical exertion and emotionally vulnerability.
This crowd has not these things, from my vantage point. Anger aplenty, but the soul-wrenching vulnerability of honest teenage angst seems to be vacuously absent. I'm not putting these kids down, I just sense a lack of genuine commitment to what's happening down there. Maybe I'm caught in the, "we did it better in my day" fantasy. Maybe I'm not. Maybe the scene isn't delivering what it used to and maybe that disconnect deprives the kids of the release they are here looking for at seven dollars a pop. Maybe they just need a heavy dose of Blue Druids and Hot Water Music. Maybe it's something else altogether.