October 22, 2010 I saw Bad Religion play at the Starland Ballroom. It was seriously one of the most gnarliest nights I've ever had. It was just me and my brother. We spent the past couple weeks prior to the show listening to Bad Religion. We were amped! We've also been listening to The Aggrolites; they were playin too that night. It was Off With Their Heads, The Aggrolites, and Bad Religion.
We left the house at 5, went to Lens Crafters to get my glasses adjusted (like that helped! I'll explain that later), and off we went to the Starland Ballroom in Sayerville, NJ. We got there quick! In two hours. Hey we got there on time!
So we get to the venue. Last time I was there it was PACKED! Streetlight Manifesto was playin and if one more person got into the place, it would've exploded like an over-filled water balloon. Anyways the show didn't start yet and people were still comin in. We're walkin around and we see Brian Baker's guitar case! We were stoked! It had his number and his address. I didn't know he still lives in Washington DC. For those of you who don't know, he was in Minor Threat (DC band). I thought he would've moved to LA or something.
The first band comes on, Off With Their Heads. The place was still half empty. The people who didn't arrive though missed a good band, cause they friggin rocked! My only regret that night is being ignorant and not looking them up. They were really good! They kinda sounded like The Explosion to me. My bro said They sounded like Squirtgun. Whatevers though, I tip my hat off to them.
They finish their set and my bro and I go by the stage where they pick up their equipment. I yelled, "YO!" The bassist saw me and I gave him a thumb up and a hang loose for an awesome job. I see him later that night and shook his hand. He was cool.
The next band started to get ready, The Aggrolites! My bro looks at the stage and freaks out. We approach the stage and there he is, the lead singer/ lead guitarist, Jesse Wagner, gettin ready. We yell for his attention, he gave us a thumbs up. That night we turned into little girls about to see Justin Bieber. They were fun! A pit breaks out where I was standing, I join in. I was singin along with the songs I knew. Oh yeah! I saw this small chick with patches and a bullring piercing. She was friggin cute! One of her patches was a Less Than Jake patch, I thought that was pretty cool. And my bro thought she was a lesbian. So she was in the pit also. Everyone was havin fun. They finish and go to bring back their equipment. We call Jesse over again and he waves at us again but runs back with his guitar in his hand. But he comes back out and goes to me and my bro. We got to shake his hand! " Thanks for comin out guys!" And we got to meet the bassist Jeff Roffredo too!
Next up Bad Religion! A tall dude with white hair comes up on stage and starts messin around with the guitars. We thought it was Greg Ginn (founder of SST Record and Black Flag). But it wasn't. Greg Hetson comes on stage, he was literally right in front of me! Then everyone else comes in, except for Brett Gurewitz. "WHERE'S BRETT?!?!" I yelled a thousand times and got no response. It turned out he was working back at Epitaph.
BOOM! They play Sinister Rouge. "Coming back for more!" My mind was goin nuts! Then they played We're Only Gonna Die! Next song comes up, I run into the pit. My heart was pumpin and I was amped! I run in and DOOF! I get punched in the face and my glasses fly off. I catch it, run back to my brother, and run back in. It was a crowd of 6' 5" people. And I'm 5' 6". It was craaaaazy! Pushin and shovin in a circle. Even just tryin to stand, you were constantly bein pushed. But how can you stand still when Bad Religion is playing? I see that chick again! She was in there too! She had to be at MOST 4'10". And her glasses were still on!
I was singin along with the songs, singin my lungs out. Everyone was goin insane. It was chaotic where I was chillin. They end the set and go off stage. I go to my bro and get my glasses. They come back on for an encore! A dude makes a run for it and hits the stage. He jumps off! But gravity and his fat ass kept him from jumping far and high and ended up landing close enough for the bouncers to grab him and escort him out of the venue.
The show ends, and it's safe to say this was the gnarliest concert I've ever been to. The bands playin played just as good, even better than they sounded on the records. People pay $100+ for tickets to see bands play from a distance. I was standing right in front of them. They were no more than 10 feet away. For $35 for a ticket. For $35 dollars I got to see legends play. Even though I didn't really know Off With Their Heads, they kicked ass too. And when I was there, there wasn't a worry in my head. It was all about having a good time. All the stupid little things that I worry about wasn't there. I felt great. Music blasting in my ears, goin crazy to the songs, singing along, it's therapeutic for me. The sound of great music, washin away all the worries, all the insecurities, the stupid bullshit that runs around in life, for that 2 minute or 3 minute song. That's the power of music.
We head out of the venue, thank God I didn't leave my sweater in the car like i wanted to. Plus probably would've gotten sick. My shirt was soaked in sweat, 40% of which probably wasn't my own. We get in the car and head to White Castle. Split a sack of twenty with fries and onions. It was one of the best nights I ever had.