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Outside in the yard, Thomas Williams, Bummer's drummer, struts around in a cutoff tee in the 40-degree weather, and the crowd collectively wonders if he possesses the brain power to know that his band will just be delaying us from seeing the band we came to see.
The delay was worth it, though. Bummer ruled. A fun thrash-metal act, Bummer blasted the basement and continued yelling at one another between songs in a brash, suburban kind of way. Everyone got into it, bouncing around as much as the 7-foot ceiling would allow.
Alcohol being what it is, I missed all of Faultfinder before realizing that I'd want to write something about them (alcohol being what it is, I think most of the audience did the same). After all, there was a fire to stare at. All I remember of Faultfinder is that they were all pleasant to talk to.
After describing what they did as "not really metal," I got to appreciate the Body in a noisier light than I had before. The Body pushes heavy sound in a specific way, and their performance last night was no exception. They reached thundering lows that rattled our chests and knees for the whole set, and had we not been in a basement, I would have feared for the walls. I found myself wondering how many of the punk kids knew about the Hyatt Regency collapse and if it would receive similar coverage if it were to happen to us there in that basement, and if they'd even care, as elated as everyone was to be there.
While undoubtedly the loudest band I ever get to see, the effect of the Body does not assault one's ears until after it's done and tonal perspective sets in. As the crowd retreated back to the fire, I found myself feeling twice as drunk as I should have and unable to carry on any conversation, partly because I couldn't hear anything.
The Body dragged its merch into the yard and then disappeared, the way they always do when they come to town. It's the way you remember how powerful music can be for an evening, and you want to be sure to see the band that leaves that effect again in six months, so that you can hold onto that feeling.
When the Body leaves town, what's left in its wake is an underground scene inspired to make better, heavier music. Last night was not just a metal show, but a focused gathering of forward-thinking people, albeit in the microcosm of backyard drunken fire hangouts. My ears still hurt, but I'm ready to go to the next one and see who turns it up a notch louder.