My older brother and our fleet of friends from back home boarded the 62 bus going Southbound late Saturday night for an underground show.
The venue was a large house just outside the stop where we departed the bus. The cover was five dollars, I didn’t have any cash so my brother paid for me. We were directed down a flight of stairs into the basement by a man with a beard who seemed to be wearing some sort of tarp.
Music was already blaring and my heart started to quicken as we eagerly descended the basement steps like children on Christmas morning. The theme of the show was “Mad Science” hosted by a rapper whose album was under the same name. The basement was a collection of rooms entirely covered in black-light paint. Shades of neon covered the floors, ceilings, drinks, walls, furniture, even people. To the side was a professional black-light artist that the venue hired to paint people. She let us use as much black-light paint on ourselves that we wanted. Within seconds we were covered by symbols of several different colors. One of my friends, who is a visual artist, had covered his hand quickly with the paint, making his hand his next masterpiece. The lighting was scarce and faces became irrelevant. What you had painted on yourself became who you were that night.
I soon ventured off to see the band that was playing. My soul ached for the live sound and the movements that correlated with it. I had been far away from it for too long. I entered the room and almost broke into tears at the sound of the snare snapping on the downbeat. My emotions were flooded with DIY shows that the very same friends with me that night and I used to put on in our hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota. This was my life and oh how I have missed it.
After the band had finished with their set we decided to explore the house. We soon discovered that this house was an art goldmine. Upstairs was a large living room covered in unique works. Abstract art covered every inch of the brick space making sure there was always something to look at.
Later on in the night we went back downstairs to watch the rapper DXTR SPITS, the headliner of the night. He was accompanied by a psychedelic rock band and was covered in black-light paint. His paint was almost tribal as he bounced up and down while rapping with such passion and ferocity. My brother and I were giddy. This was undoubtedly one of the coolest shows we had ever been at in our lives and he was one of the best performers that no one knows about.
We left the basement and ventured outside with sweat and black-light paint staining our newly acquired clothing. We couldn’t complain. My brother exclaims, “This wind is like God right now”. We all laughed. I missed these people, together in one place. I wondered when the next time we would all be in the same place for something similar to this night. I tired to not let the thought haunt me and enjoyed the moments I had with them as we searched for our returning bus back home. (Seamus Kreitzer / City of Stories Student)