Morningwood (the musical kind)

First of all… NO. I am not talking about morning wood.  Get your minds out of the gutter!!!

I’m speaking, of course, about the band Morningwood.  Lead singer Chantal Claret, has got to be one of the coolest leading ladies I’ve ever seen perform.  She actually pulled a guy dressed as a horse out of the audience during the set and rode him around during her song “Why Do Boys Love Horses.”

Let’s start from the beginning, so I can explain how this delicious adventure started:

I was in the office last week and my boss was complaining that she had no one to go to a show with the following week. I inquired about the show and she told me that she had VIP tickets to Morningwood and Mindless Self Indulgence in Worcester, MA.  I have been a fan of Morningwood since 2005 with their hit, “Nth Degree.” So naturally… I was bouncing off the walls with excitement.

(FLASHBACK) I can remember getting up for high school in 2005 and turning on VH1 to watch and listen to their morning videos when this band called Morningwood came on the screen.  I was immediately encapsulated with this strange glam pop/punk sound that came out of my television.  I couldn’t believe this band with a chick lead singer could have not only a great sounds, but have the balls to call themselves Morningwood. (If you don’t know what morning wood is, you probably aren’t old enough to be reading this.)

(BACK TO REALITY) So, my boss and I headed out Worcester around 5:30 pm on Saturday, not exactly sure what we were getting into.  The drummer of Morningwood used to work with my boss, and this show was going to be their 7th-to-last before the band would dis-band.  We HAD to see them one last time.

As we pull up to the venue and immediately notice that there are about a billion security people with white STAFF shirts outside, a marquee that has missing lights and the entire Crayola spectrum of colored-hair fans waiting to get inside.  It was chaos.  As we walked into the venue with our tickets, a severe-looking security woman patted us down and made sure everything was emptied out of our pockets.  I had a terrible flashback to a time a TSA pulled me aside because I had forgotten to take a bottle of shaving cream out of my suitcase. He violated my teddy bears, pulled out a few pairs of underwear usually reserved just for my boyfriend’s eyes, and searched all my prescription drugs.  I thought they were going to take me into one of those little rooms and put me on a no fly list until they found the shaving cream and yelled at me.  I had been to New York (on a bus) the previous week and forgot to take it out of my bag.  OH NO!!! THE EVIL SHAVING CREAM!! LOCK ME UP AND TAKE ME AWAY!!! (Ughhh… the TSA…. that’s another blog post all in itself. I’m doing quite a bit of traveling in the coming weeks, so I’m sure I’ll have much MORE to say on the subject in a few weeks.)

Once we were done with the rape portion of the show… we walked inside, and that’s when the spectacle truly began.

To name a few characters: Robin (minus Batman), man dressed like a horse (as mentioned before), several chicks in Alice-in-wonderland stockings (usually accompanied by some sort of mesh shirt), a 4’0” girl dressed as a bear (we called her Baby Bear), people dressed as Pikachu, lot of chains and bondage apparel, and a plethora of teenagers who were trying to score drink bracelets.  Everyone’s Chuck Taylors were getting stuck to the floor of the carpet that looked like it hadn’t been redone since 1969, and that’s being generous.  The place smelled like a combination of B.O., baby prostitute perfume (which many girls drenched themselves in), cigarette smoke, stale beer and vomit.  YUM!

Initially, I thought I might fit in this crowd with my blue hair extensions, but I wasn’t even close to the caliber of some of these get-ups. Honestly… who has time to look like that!?! Not me… I put minimal effort into my appearance whenever possible.

Don’t get me wrong here… I am NOT making fun of this culture.  I actually think it’s pretty bad-ass! It was just so funny to walk in and see so many punks in the same room.  And come on, if these people didn’t want to be looked at and talked about, they wouldn’t be wearing some of the things they were wearing. It was like every single person was trying to outdo each other. Similar to the way kids in Martha’s Vineyard try to see how many pastel colors they can pair with the Sperry boat shoes for a garden party. (Sorry… it had to be said)

When the show started, my boss and I went to the VIP area and we were better off for it… THIS CROWD WAS ROWDY.  Not to say I don’t enjoy a good mosh pit from time to time, but I was drinking a whiskey diet and would have been pissed A) if someone spilled it on me and more importantly B) if someone knocked it on the floor, preventing me from drinking this delicious alcoholic concoction.  (A word to the wise: don’t get between me and my whiskey.  It’s bad news for everyone).

Morningwood came out and blew the house down.  I see A LOT of shows (working for a venue and all) but this show made me feel absolutely ENERGIZED! I was singing along to my favorite MW songs, dancing, drinking, cheering… it was just heaven.  When Chantal sang “Take Off Your Clothes,” she jumped into the pit and it was just crazy to watch everyone (men and woman) who just grabbed her boobs ever so vigorously.  (She didn’t give a shit, she loved it!) This show was also a wonderful treat after working 40 hours last week in addition to 14 hours of class.  I was finally able to let my hair down and not care about anything except what song was coming up next.

After MW, my boss and I met up with the drummer and chatted with him about the show.  Then I went to the merch table and met Chantal.  She was not only running her own merch table, she would take the time to personalize and sign merchandise AND take pictures with fans.  For someone who has been doing this so long, it was incredible cool to see an artist who wasn’t wrapped up in celebrity bullshit.

Mindless Self Indulgence was next up on stage and this is when shit got REALLY crazy.

Fist of all, if you haven’t heard of Mindless Self Indulgence, you need to look them up to get the full effect of just how insane this show was.  In the VIP section we could look down at the pit below us.  It seemed to be moving like one giant wave with the vortex, of course, being the mosh pit where in general fashion, people were smashing into each other in a giant circle.  Some of the moshers scared me, but then I noticed the others were helping pick people up off the floor.  What a friendly mosh pit!  Besides the mosh pit were the crowd surfers.  the bouncers at the front of the stage were HARD CORE.  The biggest one stood in the middle and carried everyone from 100 pound teenagers to 250 pound men dressed as fairies out of the pit after a good surf.  One girl attempted to jump on stage after the bounces pulled her out and another bouncer swiftly grabbed her and threw her out.  It was kind of magical to see these big, gorilla-like men snatch up these crazy punks in attempt to control them.  What a crazy life those bounces must have.

All in all, the show was fucking fantastic.  But the night was not over.  My other boss grew up in Worcester and told us we needed to go to Ralph’s Diner up the street to grab burgers and chili.  When we walked into the place, I felt like I was stepping back in time.  The place felt like it had probably been built as a simple diner in the 50s and then expanded into a bar/music venue.  I thought we perhaps took the Delorean back to the late-70s/early 80s.  It was kind of awesome.  The original Godzilla film was playing on televisions that looked like they were duct-taped to the walls, the whole place looked like it might be rotting from the inside out, but it was one of the largest and best burgers I’ve ever had! The rustic atmosphere made me feel like I was hanging out in downtown New York during the years of Dylan and Hendrix. There are no words.

The whole ride home, I couldn’t help but reflect on how wonderful the past few months of my life have been.  I feel like I’m actually starting to get a grasp on what living in the music industry as a business person and a performer is all about.

ROCK ON! And remember… cover up your lady business before you get patted down!

Shannon

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