Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Alex's Hardcore Show

For the past two months, Alex has been busy booking bands and promoting a Hardcore show. It was last night. It was held at CMFA (Columbia Music Festival Association) on Pulaski Street.

Alex booked two bands from western Pennsylvania. He saw them perform while he was there visiting his grandparents over the summer. He booked three local bands too, but one of them had some sort of "fit" last week and refused to share an evening with one of the other bands.

Alex contracted with some kid in Slippery Rock, PA to design the concert's flyer. The first personal check drawn on Alex's brand new bank account went to pay the $10 for this service. Alex went to all sorts of local shows and passed out quarter page fliers for this event. He posted thousands of messages all over MySpace. He got Steve to donate $80 to cover two of the bands. He got his Aunt Sonya and Vipin to donate $40 for another band. I guess when a "gig" only pays that amount, a band can throw a "fit" at the last week and cancel. Going to such a show cost $8. Most of the bands actually make money from the sales of T-Shirts and other merchandise.
Anyway, the event actually turned out fairly well for a Monday, school night. John Whitehead hired two police officers to patrol the place. They looked utterly bored. Many of the guys "danced". In Hardcore, that means they leap, throw punches into the air, spin, and exert tons of raw energy. It looks something like macho-Karate moves mixed with skateboarding tricks (sans the skateboard). Girls wisely don't dance! The music is mostly LOUD. The lyrics are often obscene (if they can be understood) and are generally screamed. Yet, many of these bands actually "sing" about the evils of drugs and alcohol. This is called "Straight Edge" and the symbols for it are "XXX".
Alex was in a full body sweat when I arrived to take a few photos. The bands from Pennsylvania had already played. They were selling T-shirts in the CMFA lobby. They seemed really, really happy. Later Alex said they were elated to have made $50 per band. Some of their other "gigs" on this "tour" had been in coffeehouses with no audiences and no money at all. This is a hard life for the young and hopeful who are committed to their "scene" and can always go home!
Unfortunately, some one found a can of black hair spray and "decorated" the bathroom. Alex will be cleaning and scrubbing this afternoon! In the end, he made $53. He split proceeds with friends that helped set up, clean, and promote the event. Steve and I will delay telling him the "facts of business life". Without family donations and remembering other expenses (like the $10 check and the money Mathias donated from a forgotten piggy bank that was then used to purchase sodas), the event really broke even. Still, for a first show, this was an excellent result!

1 comment:


Wonderful! So glad I could see the photos...I am sure it was an awesome experience (for you too Susan...sure you just dug the music!! hehe) Way to go Alex! - Aunt Sonya