Let me start this off with what should seem like an obvious statement but one I need to make: hard core dancing really worries me. I mean, I am all for moshing and pushing people around but once body limbs start getting flung about like they do for hard core dancing I get a little put off. The first band that opened for the Cancer Bats was hard-core enough that dancing ensued and it got fairly violent. So violent in fact, that I was pushed into the Cancer Bat’s drum set and earned a stern stare from the drummer himself as he rushed over to rescue his prized possession out from under me. I felt really, really bad and I even tried apologizing for something that wasn’t even my fault but he kind of just looked at me. So I just moved closer to the stage and lo and behold, it was And XeDgE playing drums! I was so excited I rushed up to him as soon as his set ended to shake his hand. In classic XeDgE style he kind of just brushed me off and proceeded to put his drum stool in the middle of the mosh pit for the next show. So obviously he presented a very easy and tempting target to get moshed into. When the first gullible idiot tried though, XeDgE wasted no time in proving his dominance and threw his soda all over him. The look of shock on the perpetrators face versus XeDgE’s look of fury was easily won by XeDgE and for the rest of the set, people moshed around the kid on the drum stool. It was one of the most impressive things I have ever seen and still to this day do I enjoy telling that story.
As it got closer to the Cancer Bat’s set, it appeared as if they had taken over what music was played on the speakers as equipment was changed on stage because they were getting really into it. The best part was though, was that it was good kid m.A.A.d. city that was getting played. So here were these clearly punk to the bone individuals rapping along with Kendrick Lamar like they were straight out of Compton themselves. It was one of the coolest things I had ever seen and I grew more and more happy as they kept asking for the music to be cranked up louder. I honestly was most excited about the fact Kendrick was on the loud speaker than what was going on stage, and I could not wait to see what kind of transformation would take place for the Cancer Bats to transform from rap lovers to what I thought would be super punks.
The next act was a bunch of coked out guys who thought they were Black Sabbath. So of course when people were hesitant to mosh to their music they grew irritable and began calling out the crowd. I think they had picked up on the fact that I was more into the Kendrick that had been playing only moments before than their mediocre excuse for metal because they started shit talking hip hop as a genre and looking directly at me while they did it. I took offense and began to move towards the door almost immediately as they continued to shit talk the crowd, hip hop and just act like utter ass holes in general. I had no reason to stand for that so Patch and me went and sat on some couches until they were done. It felt both good and wrong to do that. Normally I feel the obligation to support anyone that gets up on a stage, but on the other hand I was very please to essentially throw my middle finger up at them for being ignorant pricks.
With my blood still boiling, we walked back out onto the floor for the Cancer Bats and the transformation from Kendrick lovers to punks was so cool. Their laid back, chill vibes had been replaced with vicious, aggressive screaming and rocking: the essence of punk. Their music was easy to get into and the moshing was held to a minimum after a request from the lead singer who really just wanted us to sit back and enjoy the show. It was so intimate as they made the decision to not stand on the stage, and being two feet away from the band, feeling the sweat fly off their faces and seeing their tattoos glisten under the spotlight really made me feel the power of their music. I worked up quite a sweat myself and by the time they ended with a cover of “Sabotage” by Rage Against The Machine I was about as into the show as I have ever been for a good ol’ fashion punk show.
I think what really generated such strong emotions in me all night was seeing that band enjoy such a different kind of music than what they normally play. Too often these days in music people refrain from broadening their horizons and ignorantly talk shit about kinds of music they know nothing about. I was just so impressed with the Cancer Bats for being that open with their listening, that hearing that coked out band get so offensive really just brought all my good vibes crashing down around my ears. There is never a reason to hate on a certain kind of music and seeing the willingness to expand genres shown in the Cancer Bats really just reminded me of that fact and really excited me to see that at least somewhere in the world, there are people out there willing to enjoy any kind of music. Punks listening to rap is one of the most beautiful sites I will ever see, and I can guarantee that.