After our worst show, the massacre at Frank’s garage in Montgomery County, I had real reservations about being in a punk band. I left that show pretty convinced that we were, at best, a bad band that shouldn’t keep playing shows. I strongly considered quitting the band after Frank’s garage.
After most shows, like our recent run at the Voltage Lounge or the Lit Lounge, I come off stage thinking that we at least deserve the right to continue being a band. These shows, which are 90 percent of all out shows, leave me hopeful about our chances of developing as songwriters and confident that we can find a way to write songs that we like (and that, hopefully, could appeal to others).
After Saturday’s show at the Trocadero, far and away the largest and most-attended show of Science Club’s brief and stupid existence, I felt not only that we should keep making music, but that we were a good band. Science Club is a good band, and I’ve got the proof because I was there.
From a technical standpoint, the show was kind of a disaster. About five seconds into our first song, Nick blew through his bass strap, almost dropping his instrument right out of the gate. Our friend Joe called it “the most Science Club thing that could have happened,” and he’s kind of right. I’ll touch on that more in a second.
Not long after that, I myself blasted through my own guitar strap. So, for those keeping score at home, that’s two guitar straps in less than 10 minutes. Later in the set, my guitar pedal died mid-song, leaving Nick and Joey to play a bass-and-drum version of one of our new songs. After that, I blew through yet another guitar strap, bringing our band total to three and making for our most error-ridden show to date.
Here’s the thing about all that, though: even when everything started going belly up from the jump, we were never out of control or panicked. I don’t say that to brag, but just as a statement of fact. We were too jacked up about playing a real stage, too excited about our songs, too practiced to let something as little as “not being able to stand and play our instruments” hold us back. We had a plan and we followed through on it, and nothing short of physical harm was going to stop us, because this wasn’t just some other show at a dive bar. This was a chance to prove that we belonged, that we could entertain a room full of strangers, that we are a thing. We acquitted ourselves nicely. Call it bragging if you want to, but fuck it: we’re a real band, and we’re good at what we do.
A great deal of thanks has to go to any number of people. Steve from Mantis, the promoter / booker for the show, was an excellent guy to work with. He was up front and professional from start to finish, going so far as to scramble to help me find a guitar strap when my second one blew off my body. I would book a show with him and Mantis again in a heart beat. Thanks must also go to Mobius Trip, who volunteered to let us use their drum set and was very supportive while we were on stage.
The most thanks, of course, has to go to our friends and family, many of whom came from parts far and wide, who supported us at this show. A very, very large part of why this show was successful can be directly attributed to loved ones offering up their money and their Saturday night to watch what very well could have been a train wreck. I have rarely felt more supported in my life. To those who could make it out, I thank you a hundred times over. You are noticed. You are appreciated.
Breaking a strap seconds into the first song of an 11 song set is, in fact, the most Science Club thing ever. For a while, being Science Club meant trying to have fun, not taking ourselves seriously, sloppily fucking up and trying hard to not be boring. It still means all those things, I think, but after Saturday, it means something more. We’re not like we used to be. We’re better. I’m going to keep breaking strings and straps. Nick and I are going to sing flat and out of key at times. Joey is going to miss his fills on occasion. It isn’t going to matter. We’re going to be fine.
I’ve never been more excited to be in this dumb band. Our tour is going to be great (oh yeah, we’re going on tour. More on that later).
Science Club forever.