Source Tags & Codes really became a staple of my teenage years and I don’t really remember why. It might have been because Ruben didn’t like it too much, or it might have been the first hipster thing I ever tried on my own or it might have even been because it was given a 10.0 on Pitchfork. Whatever the reason is, the fact remains I could listen to that album all day at any time for any occasion with anyone. I have always wanted to write a review of the album but it has always baffled me so much as to why I like the album so much in the first place. I mean, it is a punk album with rock influences with little screaming but high amounts of emotion and guitar riffs. I really cannot put my finger on why it is such a powerful album for me because I don’t even have a specific event in my life to associate with it. …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead and by extension; Source Tags & Codes has just always been my go to album when I needed something to listen to.
So. Moral of that intro is that I was beyond pumped to see the band live. I knew they were older and I knew that they had released other material but frankly I never really got into it simply because of the fact that I didn’t want Source Tags & Codes to be ruined for me (not to mention the rest of their music had been reviewed fairly poorly). In fact, I had planned my whole day around this set, making sure I left Parquet Courts early, a band in any other circumstance I would have stayed until the end for, and essentially building all my anticipation for Saturday to this point.
Of course it seemed like we didn’t get there in time to get a good spot due to the general milling about of the crowd but as we slipped and slinked through the crowd we realized it would be fairly easy to rush the stage if a most started. I nervously was bounding on my heels just ready to go wild, when I started looking at the crowd around me and realized it was a lot of older people. I wasn’t too worried at first but I really should have been because when the opening notes to “It Was There When I Saw You” dropped and I started going ballistic and jumping around as high as my body would allow, the old people kind of just looked at me with disdain. At that point though I was too far absorbed in the opening track off of Source Tags & Codes and had started rushing to the front a little aggressively when I noticed there were people moshing without me towards the front. I almost couldn’t control my body that’s how taken I was by hearing those notes that had been playing on my headphones for over 4 years. I don’t think I have ever jumped that high or smacked my chest that hard and I just remember being so thankful I was wearing contacts because my glasses would have been launched from my head the moment the music started from all my head banging.
Me and Patch reached the front and immediately started banging bodies with the woefully small mosh pit. What we lost in size we made up for in heart though and we went wild almost the whole set. “How Near How Far” was the next song and it was the first time of the weekend that I was able to look to my neighbor and we both would be able to sing along. Well, I knew the melody at least, the shocking part about this show was that I came to the stunning realization that I do not know the lyrics as well as I should. Asides from that, it was so cool to finally be surrounded by other people that liked this fairly unknown band with me, and as the rest of the set progressed and only two more Source Tags & Codes songs were played, it didn’t really matter because for one, I was moshing, and for two I was seeing this fairly mythic band for me in the flesh and they were honestly just as happy as me to be there. They clearly had seen their better years but seeing people like me moshing I think really brightened their day and they put just as much energy into the performance as I could have wanted.
Once the set was over I was exhausted and only then did I really realized that they played only four songs off of Source Tags & Codes. I was honestly surprised I was not more displeased but the show was so high energy and I was moshing for most of the time, hearing at least one song I knew probably would have been enough for me. I can check something off my bucket list now; because I can now say I have seen one of the most important bands from my teenage years live.