Saturday, December 11, 2004

Presidents of the USA, Mountain Con

No Friction in My Life
Showbox, Seattle, WA

I believe mosh pits are simply football games with fewer rules and more alcohol. They both feature ritualized, condoned violence and offer sanctioned venues for straight men to touch each other. A mosh pit at a Presidents show is the best of all worlds - its participants are full of love for the band, they help up the drunkenly when they fall, and they give wide berth to the more crazed. The band manages things a bit too - at one point Chris alerts the security staff with "we have a situation here," and encourages the instigators to step back and think about their feelings.

Openers Slender Means do a great job warming up the crowd, but BOYS IF YOU ARE READING THIS you need to reverse order of the last two songs of your set - leave the crowd with the freakout song, not the future single. I try to find the lead guy during Mountain Con's set, but since he is off the stage and so normal-looking there's no way to find him again.

I'm not sure if they are friends or if Mountain Con really has started to achieve the level of success that I dream for them, but there is a pack of people at the front SCREAMING during their entire set. It makes me SO happy to hear this, and happier still to see that the music is encouraging ACTUAL MOVEMENT in the bodies of the audience members.

(So I didn't mention that at the Karaoke show last week I went up and shamelessly gushed all over the Iron Composer guys. Tonight astonishingly one of them recognizes me and of course because he is out of his UNIFORM on which I RELY, I do not recognize him. Sorry!)

The Presidents draw out of us the joy that we've been saving up for them all night long. The new stuff makes us happy because we feel current and they are great songs. The old stuff makes us feel like we're back in college or high school and those memories are good unlike the ones dredged up by James. We place ourselves in the thick of the crowd, we bounce, we sing along (and OH how I love the singing along), and we follow Chris's instructions to a T. Every once in a while I turn around and look at all these beatific faces directing their good juju to the boys on stage.

Listen, I really want to tell you about the drama and hatahs and incidents other than ill-timed stage dives, but there are simply none. We scream and jump when they play Peaches, we bloody freak out when they do a medley that culminates in Video Killed.. It's a night where we are back to being those teenagers, not cool enough yet to hate everything, still in touch with our bodies enough to know they need to move once in a while.

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