It was raining, which was odd for Southern California, but not in January. It had been a cold day and the clouds never really burnt off, they just lingered long enough to notice that is was indeed a cloudy day. The house was small and hard to find despite the old unlit signage overhead. It was stuck between an old 1960’s stucco 2 ½ story building and another little bungalow that might have been inhabited 15 years ago. There were kids on the porch and kids in what was supposed to be the drive way, kids walking thru the low chain link gate. The music seemed to make the whole house pulsate even though the music itself was inaudible. They were the typical Saturday night Orange County crowd. Kid’s aged 15- 30 all dressed in their own subcultures uniform. The guys with too tight jeans and rolled up pant legs with girls wearing polka dot dresses and bandanas around their pin curled hair. The baggy jeaned, dickies jacket wearing guys with tattoos and goatees, the girls dressed all in black with too much eye liner, and then the few South Orange County girls who didn’t know what to wear to a show and just showed up with their work clothes on fresh from their jobs at a mall. Inside the room was all people. There was no end to the edge of the people and the beginning of the stage and the band. The walls of the room were sweating with the breath and the heat of too many bodies in too small of a house to see too big of a band. People mingled in and out of the house trying to see everyone that had shown up. The humidity from the rain had gotten everyone to strip off as many layers of clothing as possible inside the house. There were tattoos and piercings and sweaty limbs moving in every direction and bumping into and tangling with all the other kids. The walls were dark and the ceiling too. The woodwork was unpainted and the floors were creaky hardwood. The back of the house was a maze of small rooms converted into a merch room; the kitchen was selling water bottled and peanut butter cups. There was a couch that was so overcrowded with people you couldn’t see where it started or ended. It was dark, but there seemed to be light coming in from somewhere, probably from the streetlights. Faces were hard to make out, and details were impossible.
When the music started people seemed to stop their wanderings and feel the hum of the band. Heads started to bob and hands went into the air. More clothing came off and the music made the crowd start to wave like a sea in a room that was only 12x20. The band was hidden, but the music was bigger than them and who they were and what they looked like didn’t matter. The drops of water on the walls and the windows started to slide down as the kick drum shook the whole house. It was music that took over the whole body. There was no ending to the sound and the body. They were wound together and the beat shook the lungs. People were not their images. They were just all equal kids in a room sharing an experience like no other. It was the solidarity they were looking for by going out. In the parking lot they would be enemies and blood would be spilled, but inside that tiny room it was all about the music and they all wanted that same escape, to feel like part of the music.