The Sword, Big Business, O’ Brother
March 20, 2014
San Francisco, CA

Sword-of Tragic…But Not Really 

            The night was ripe with the fruits of potential. Two of our favorite bands were sharing a bill at the illustrious Slim’s Rock-N-Roll Dance Hall. The Sword and Big Business. Two masterly groups of legendary roar. Yeah we’ve seen them both several times, but any night in the past that either band glowed in our future, we had officially seen them one less time than necessary. Including the night in question. Hence the tragic distortion of both of our faces when the lady at the ticket window gave Candice’s ID a puzzled and blank look. They didn’t have any tickets under that name. It was impossible. It was a travesty. It was like watching the iceberg rattle on by, leaving liner shrapnel afloat in its wake. Only instead of ice that slithered past us, it was an unending line of metal enthusiasts, each more excited than the last. And each of them had a fucking ticket in their name. Unlike us. I tried to be strong, but it was hard. I had on my gameface while inside I was completely falling apart. The guitar strings that held my soul in place were quickly unraveling. I could see Candice’s lip quiver in anxiety and confusion. Then I said, “Why don’t I just go up and act like I belong and give her my ID. Maybe my sheer confidence will urge her to hand over two tickets.” Candice agreed. It was worth a try. Anything. Any trace of a glimmer at the end of the tunnel was Something. And Something was better than the lonely sound of wind blustering by, probably with tickets. So I did it. And, well, it turned out that it was me who had bought the tickets after all. It had been so long ago that we had both forgotten and just figured it had been Candice for some reason. Probably because I’m broke? Well either way, our night was looking up. We flitted our way into Slim’s like a couple of drunk-ass butterflies.


And that would have been sufficient to make us both love life. And we did. And we do. But then, it got taken up a notch, bro. At the Big Business and O’ Brother merch table stood Scott (first name basis), the mind-boggling guitarman for Big Business. He was just hangin tough and it was early enough that there weren’t really…well enough distractions to smother both Candice and my own intentions to fan out all dorky. He was rad too, he snarled and made faces for Candice’s phone camera thing, then commented on my Lowcard hat. Told me he really liked that mag. I then blushed while Candice jovially informed him that I write for Lowcard. The music page! Hint hint. Anyway, it was amazing. I love Big Business and they just seem like, had they gone to Lyman Gilmore Middle School in the 90’s, they totally would have hung out with me and my crew of ragamuffins.


The night continued to leave our jaws a-drop as O’ Brother opened, playing an amazing set of burly songs, generating all kinds of different styles. One of their guitarists had a drum in front of him that he would wail on whenever they wanted to really scare the neighbors. Two drummers rule. Ask the Melvins.


Speaking of which: Big Business came on next and bon-fired our world as always. Making jokes and playing music that makes you happy to be alive and demonic. Coady Willis (not first-name basis yet), their drummer is so fucking incredible. I always love watching him slaughter his skins. Candice and I verbally fantasized about them playing at our wedding in November. I don’t ever want to wake up from that dream.


Then The Sword closed up the night. They are one of the most entertaining bands to see live. They have such a crazy presence that I just marvel at them. They really get shit astir in the old mosh pit too. If they were a part of Thanksgiving Dinner, they would be moshed potatoes. We love The Sword and Candice and I make sure we see them every time they come to town. These guys hark back to a day when things like Limp Bizkit couldn’t even have been possibly conceived of. I find purity in that.

So yeah. The night was almost an unnatural disaster, but ended up being one of the greatest gifts that music could bestow. Thanks to he who had the strength to try and fake out the ticket lady. You’re welcome, me.


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