I didn’t think much after the first mosh pit started and some sweaty guy’s nose smooshed into my skull. I didn’t even bat an eye at the headbanging or the angry, growling vocalists. But when I got a load of the guy in the corner, sitting on a stack of boxes and wearing a “Smoke meth and hail Satan” shirt, it was obvious: We weren’t in Ormond anymore.
I had strayed too far from city lines.
Last weekend, a friend invited me to a free heavy metal show at a Daytona Beach record store. And because I had been brainwashed by society to believe that exploration is a good thing, I agreed to go.
You see, somewhere down the line, people got this crazy idea that, in order to grow, they need to leave. They started thinking that by simply hightailing it out of their hometowns and experiencing a new way of life, they just might learn something about themselves and become more rounded and cultured and open and interesting.
Let me assure you this is preposterous.
Allow me to set the scene — for the full effect, you might want to shut off your air conditioning now and, once it gets nice and sweltering, invite over hundreds of your smelliest friends to stand inches from you and form a body-wall in front of your newspaper, so that you only catch occasional glimpses of the page.
If I’ve learned anything from the outside world, it’s that this is an essential Step 1 to making any concert experience a success.
Next, relocate to the narrowest room of your home and begin violently tearing down anything in it that makes the space even remotely presentable.
Fancy light fixtures? Chuck ’em; replace with strands of broken Christmas lights.
Tile flooring? Rip it up; install a carefully drizzled layer of spilled beer over concrete, instead; allow to dry till sticky.
Textured tray ceiling? What a joke. Switch it out for cheap, classroom-style tiles; then spray tiles with a gentle mist of a brown substance we in the industry call “God-knows-what.” Do this until the tiles peel halfway off the roof, creating great ambience.
Now, and only now, you’re ready to rock.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m a young and, I’d like to think, extremely hip guy. I’m all for spontaneity and adventure — just last week, for instance, I considered buying a Steak N Shake meal after midnight (I didn’t go through with it, of course, because who needs that 12 a.m.?). But I just wonder why can’t we have adventures right here in the safety of town?
Sure, maybe there’s a girl out there you’d never meet or a dinner you’d never taste if you stayed here forever, but is it really worth the risk? Everything we could ever want is here: We’ve got lots of parks; we’ve got Publix; we’ve got ... parking lots at Publix!
So I say, let sleeping dogs lie. I say, what mama don’t know won’t hurt her. I say, never leave the city. Ever. For any reason.
Citizen of the world? Really, don’t be silly. Why would I ever go to another rock show outside city lines when powerhouses like the Palm Coast Swing Band play right across the street, at the Performing Arts Center?
Sure, we’ll let outsiders in our theater from time to time. But make no mistake: after show time, it’s go time. I mean, this is Ormond Beach. We can’t very well have our streets crawling with meth-smoking Satan-hailers, now can we?