Here at WVRockscene, we appreciate the simple things, like the outdoors on a Sunday afternoon, with some rockin' local bands, some beer, and a skatepark thrown in for good measure.
Such was the scenario as we embarked to the Coonskin Amphitheater for the latest installment of The Empty Glass concert series they're hosting. Quite the lineup, headlined by a Noizbox reunion, featuring a rare local show for The Heptanes, with Orlando (via Charleston) ska band 69 Fingers. Oh yeah, local horror core punk band The Big Bad, and our punk rock friends in The Concept were also on tap.
All these cool bands weren't the only thing on tap; the Glass set up a concession stand with food, grilling, and oh yeah, the most American of choices: Bud or Bud Light.
Sensing that there may be extra time, I took my recently acquired Steve Caballero skateboard (bought @ Pawnshop) to see if I could skate the park down the road from the stage.
So I get dropped off at right after 4 p.m., the original start time, show my board to impressed Glass door guy (and longtime friend) Jon Moss, and get my 21-and-over tape bracelet to let people know it's okay that I drink. Good deal.
Once inside, I instantly run into the THC dudes. I don't know Mike, Ross and Dave (and now, recently added guitarist Bryan Flowers, whom I'd never met) that well, but those guys are killer, specially Dave; we talked about the Columbus trip, and I let Ross get on the Stevie Cab board with his huge feet. We ALL know what they say about dudes with big feet; they wear big Nikes.
Well, I got a beer, and was instantly confronted with a tough choice: should I really start drinking and then go try to skate the park? My answer, after a minute, was in the affirmative. 69 Fingers, I was told, had to pull out at the last minute due to an unforeseen residential change down in Florida, so there would be time to kill.
So I skate down the low grade hill from the amphitheater, pass RFC Rudy and wave, and was now en route to the skate park and a bunch of nice, polite children there with their parents. Now, I'm no professional, but I skated the ramps and didn't wreck once. That should've proved ominous at the time, but it did not, as I was unsure whether it was the alcohol or my lack of recent skate park experience that made it so interesting.
A little background: I skated (not only with Jon Moss) growing up. More recently, when I played bass (as I do about as well as I skate) in a nascent four-piece punk band with Mark & Matt Totten and Luke Young, Matt worked at Outdoor Extremes in Kanawha City and we practiced there after hours. Sometimes we drank. Most of the time I skated in the downstairs area. Sometimes, the two were combined with moderate results. So I was not unfamiliar with mixing drinking and skating, long story short.
So I return to the rock show and purchase "several" more beers. I did indeed get to catch The Heptanes open with their rocking version of psychobilly. It's a shame that they don't get to do more local shows. And it's a shame their bassist didn't get his cookie at Subway, which he talked about a lot.
The Heptanes rock though.
After talking with Mike, Dave, and RFC Rudy for a while, and buying several more beers just to support local music and the Glass, I was "ready" to catch The Concept.
The Concept: "Ye to the 10th Degree"
The Concept with the fireplug of a guitarist in Flowers were impressive. They had ample room to run around the stage and play songs off their recent CD "The Empire Penguin Strikes Back" and some of my favorite covers, including "Linoleum" by NOFX. Mike had told me they were trying to play "The Decline" and if they ever do, I just may have to go ahead and get that THC tattoo.
"Last of the Emohicans/That’s the One"
By the time The Concept finished it was around 8 p.m., and I was "ready" to leave by this point, hoping to avoid another case of CRAFT Syndrome. It's a shame I didn't get to catch The Big Bad; I did indeed buy their bassist a beer (that makes two) and he got me a sticker to make friends. Very cool dude, and I look forward to seeing those guys out again.
But no, the whole point about me talking about me skating is that, after all the libations, as I attempted to skate down that same low grade hill to the waiting car, the board shot out from under me, I scraped flesh to concrete, and was bleeding more than I'd care to admit here.
Maybe you shouldn't drink and skate. Or maybe you should, I won't judge you.