I went to a hip hop show in Spokane last weekend. The show was slated to start at midnight. It was Som’s birthday. It was a joyous but somber affair, nearly everyone in the crowd there to support Flying Spiders as they paid tribute to their emcee.
People hugged and laughed and consoled one another. Young adults break danced in a circle in front of the stage. The Flying Spiders’ human beat boxer provided the beats for them to drop and spin and flip to. A young white man with dreads hopped up on stage and freestyled.
At 12:00, we sang “Happy Birthday” and raised our glasses in a toast to Spokane’s finest.
The show went on, a lone mic adorned with a red bandana standing at the front of the stage.
Was it the late hour, was it the alcohol? Was it the energy pulsing through the crowd as we chanted and clapped and sang and cried? I don’t know. It eludes me at any show I’ve ever gone to.
The set was over as quickly as it had started. We mingled, made new friends, helped our friend with the band pack up, and left for his place where we stayed the night.
This past weekend, I also went to a show in Richland, this time to support another set of friends at their first plugged-in gig. There was no sadness at this show, no somber tone. Just dim lighting, loud amps, drinks filled to the rim and sloshing onto the floor below as we jostled around from bar to table to pit.
The crowd was different from Spokane, but familiar with its mostly-white, flannel-adorned, hipster-indie aura. I bumped into a few friends at the show, each one expressing the same general sentiment as they looked around at the room of familiar faces from our older Red Room days: “I’ve missed this.”
Our friends started playing and we stood at the stage, swaying and tapping and nodding along. It was beautiful. Trite though it sounds, my spirit needed it after some recent trying times.
The next band played, then the next, and then it was over and we were making our introductions and saying farewells and “thanks for playing here!” again as we so often do.
I’ve missed the music scene and the familiarity and familial tendencies it brings with it. There are rumors twisting in the wind of a new indie venue being planned. I hope the whispers are right. It would be nice to have something new but still the same to look forward to again.
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