"Honestly, I don’t know if we’re even trying to spread any ‘message.’ We just hope that people enjoy what we think is cool, and to maybe inspire other musicians to make the music THEY want.."
~ Kenny Carkeet, from ALLACCESS
|Carkeet (left) & Collins|
Photo credit: ALLACCESS
pre-dinner w/ Laura
Dina w/ fanny pack
OFF TO THE SHOW
Please Don't Touch The Curtains
(yes, that means you)
Right at 8:45, Fitness took the stage. Lead singer, Collins, came on and greeted us with Thank you for coming out early tonight. Little did he know that it was fifteen minutes before bedtime for me. Yep, I'm a winner. The minute they started playing there was an immediate shift in the atmosphere as Collins has a very big presence as well as a very loud voice and he threw both right at us in full force. His head was inches below the ceiling and as he jumped around I couldn't help but feel that he was on the verge of knocking himself out. His energy was amazing and he poured it into his singing; his passion for each song almost tangible. The band has a fresh, hard-angled sound; very intense but also digestible.
Carkeet plays guitar, keyboards and "basically everything else", Collins' words when he introduced us to his bandmate. He is the melodic springboard, if you will. Up until this point, I've only see him in his role as a drummer with AWOL. So, it was really cool to watch him display his talent in a different way. One of the main reasons he left AWOL is so he could do his own writing and producing without all the limitations that have been placed on him in the past. You can tell he's thrilled about this new role and the direction they're going on the whole. Sadly, we only got to hear about 5 or 6 songs before the next band took the stage. No encores at the Once Ballroom. But I heard enough in that hour to know that this band is at the start of something big and they are undoubtedly destined for acclaim, both critical and beyond. Personally, I am really fired up to follow their journey.
post show w/ CARKEET
After their set, I made my way over to the merch table to re-introduce myself. Fortunately, he remembered our conversation on Instagram and me as RWM so it didn't look too weird that I was standing there waiting to say "hi" and get a picture. Or maybe it did and he's just a super nice guy. Either way, I let him know that I'd loved what I'd heard and that I'm really looking forward to seeing them in a bigger venue where it doesn't look strange for me to talk to those around me, stand up or maybe even dance a bit. We both laughed at that. He told me they were really just getting their project underway, trying new things out and experimenting with the songs they picked and the show in general. I could tell how excited it he is about the whole thing as we talked. That was also really cool.
After the show, we took some time to explore the Once Ballroom a bit more. I mean, this place was...I'm struggling to put it into words. Apparently, according to Alex the bouncer, it used to be a mob hangout. Not a shocker. We spent some time in the back half of the room soaking it all in. Pink walls, gold chairs, skull and feather headdress on the side table. So much to take in. We also discovered big piles of things like books and games....
Connect 4 anyone?
...and this thing which looks like a shrine of some sort. Or maybe a torture device. Hard to say.
I won't even get into what we saw in the basement. Yes, Alex took us down there to check it out. Very bizarre, all of it. Don't ask why we went down there. I have no idea.
Post-show with Alex, the bouncer
Getting out to see live music is not as easy as it used to be when I started this blog. Life is busier, both for myself and for my kids, my training is more intense and, well, let's just say I'm not quite as motivated to get out on a week night as I used to be. Tranlastion...I'm older. But, that said, I'm still managing to find the time and hope I always do even if the shows are few and far between. And a live experience, even a small and rather bizarre one like this, is always work the trek. You just never know what you'll hear and see but you'll undoubtedly never forget it.
Listen to this:
Karate by Fitness