OCS – Wyandotte – Dom Polski Hall, MI – 2002-04-13

Where: Wyandotte – Dom Polski Hall, MI.

When: 2002-04-13

This, my friends, was a strange, strange experience for me.

Let’s start with the fact that I was the oldest person at this show by at least four years, and the only reason it wasn’t a bigger age margin was because I took my 20-year-old friend Jessica with me. I felt … SO … OLD. It was odd, because there was a bunch of b.s. macho posturing and fighting at this show, which I’m completely not used to anymore. A few years ago, that didn’t bother me much. Nowadays, though, I’m used to bar shows with big ugly bouncers patrolling the venue. Still, no one got hurt or anything, although everyone was deathly afraid that the cops were gonna bust things up.

Still, musicwise, this was a worthwhile endeavor. I missed most of the first band, whose name I never was able to catch. What I heard of them sounded alright – a decent mesh of different emo styles, a la Hot Water Music/Penfold/Camber. The last song of their set was pretty much mighty, but with the throng of kids that showed up for the show crammed in the hall in front of me, I had no real way to weasel my way around to talk to the band to find out anything about them. One really young girl (probably not even 14) was telling me that it was her boyfriend’s brother’s best friend’s cousin’s band (or something to that effect – I’m old, and my memory just ain’t what it used to be), and that this was actually their first show out. On the off chance that anyone who was at this show happens to read this, I’ll make the public plea for someone to e-mail me with any info about this mystery band.

OCS followed with a scattershot set that went from indie to ska to screamo to emo and beyond from song to song. Most of OCS’s stuff was pretty catchy, though, even if the singer really couldn’t be heard unless he was screaming. I snickered a few times as the band would close up a song with a destructive barrage of power riffs, only to have a guy walk up on stage with a trombone right afterwards for the next song. OCS was young, but I’m guessing these guys have played together for a while, since their set was pretty tight. Much like the previous band, OCS closed with an absolute barnburner of a track that sent about 40 or 50 kids to the front to scream along with every word. It was quite possibly one of the coolest things I’ve seen/heard at a show in a long, long time, to say the least.

By this point, I was INCREDIBLY uncomfortable being surrounded by 14-year-olds, but thankfully The Ghost didn’t take too long to set up and get their set going. In what I thought was a very cool moment, Brian pushed the crowd to stop all the ignorant fighting and petty crap while also stressing how cool it was to see kids booking shows and actually having somewhere to have them. Another bandmate chimed in that all the fighters were just screwing themselves out of being able to get more shows later. Everyone cheered and the guys smiled, and then they decided to just flat-out rock. From the opening track, “Death By the Bay,” The Ghost went full throttle with an energetic set of dual-guitar, half-screamy goodness. Thankfully, the mix for this set was a bit better than the previous bands, although it was hard to make out Brian’s vocals when he wasn’t screaming. Still, the drummer sent beats all over the place in a major way, and the guitar players pretty much shredded out thick rhythms for half an hour. I felt bad not pushing my way to the front for this set, but I’m old and I just can’t handle all that slam-dancing and such anymore. Still, I felt the rock of The Ghost even from the back of the room, so all was right with the world.

Man, this show was really, really cool, especially considering that it was put on by a bunch of local kids. I could’ve done without all the fighting in the crowd, but by the time The Ghost started playing, most of that had died down and the kids were just enjoying the music, which is all you can ask of an audience. Next time, though, I hope the age range skews a little more towards my demographic.