Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Devil’s Dance Floor!

Her breath began to speak
As she stood right in front of me
The colour of her eyes
Were the colour of insanity
Crushed beneath her wave
Like a ship, I could not reach her shore
We're all just dancers on the Devil's Dance Floor

Well swing a little more, little more o'er the merry-o
Swing a little more, a little more next to me
Swing a little more, little more o'er the merry-o
Swing a little more, on the Devil's Dance Floor
Flogging Molly~

I am completely and totally in love with the band, Flogging Molly. They are my favorite thing in the world right now—I listen to them over and over again. I have three CD’s in my car and pretty much all the time I am singing along and trying to dance while I’m driving. Many a traffic-jammed and gridlocked night have I gotten through with a smile because of the Mollys. Their brand of Irish Punk is just the thing to touch my heart and soul.

I recently saw them at the House of Blues in Anaheim—my second concert alone, and both of solo jaunts have been for the love of Molly. This time I wanted to get close to the band so I could watch them play and see their faces as they were working their magic. I decided to stand at the fringes of the pit, right against the sound booth. It had been a long time since I’d been in any pit—since the 80’s to be exact! But I wanted to feel the closeness and the passion of the music. I wanted to live and breathe the music with the crowd around me—dancing and flowing with the rhythm.

I had to wait almost 3 hours in my spot while the two opening bands played but it was worth the wait. Finally the show started. I was hot and dehydrated by then, but I didn’t care. The center of the pit swirled with madness, like the eye of a hurricane. The serious punks were dancing and gyrating to the music. I saw flashes of people before my eyes—like a movie where they show the heart of battle with all the noise and confusion. It was hard to focus on any one thing; there was so much going on at once. Through the whole thing my compatriots and I kept things moving. Push, push, PUSH! to keep from being crushed under the weight of sweaty angst-ridden fans. Dancing when I could, I spent most of my time pushing the punks back into the fray and let out the occasional “oomph” when someone crashed into me a little too hard. I was glad I had the wall at my back and this was a fairly tame crowd for a punk band.

A lust for life and love for the music filled the room. Push, push, OOMPH! Sweating and laughing the whole time as I pushed, I was in another world filled with wondrous hard-hitting Irish jigs. My face was red and I was sweating from exertion, but I felt alive and ready for anything. I felt a bond with every one there, especially the ones working the wall; I felt like our exertions served to keep the band playing. It was hard to dance but I managed a few steps now and again whenever I could catch my breath! Push, push, JIG! I could make out glimpses of the band as I was screaming along with the lyrics. The room took on a dreamlike quality as I saw the punks dancing and circling in slow motion to one of the ballads; they never stopped their expressive, almost violent movements; just slowed them down to match the beat. Push, push, LAUGH! As I smiled and felt the true joy of the music empowering me, I felt drunk from the pure joy of it all.

I enjoyed the camaraderie with my fellow-pushers. Some of the punks we’d let rest near us for a few moments. Then their time was up and they were ready to go back to the whirling steps of the melee. Some punks we tried to push back immediately—we wanted no part of them in our little haven. A small man with curly dark hair kept pushing against us. I christened him “Carrot-top” for his long shaggy bush of a head. The girl next to me and I both grimaced each time we had to push him away because we hated touching his sweat-drenched hair. Her boyfriend aptly re-named the guy “Chia-pet” and we all tried to keep him away from the wall. We gasped when a huge man came into the pit. He looked like a Sumo-wrestler and we knew we could never push him back into the circle. Luckily he didn’t come close enough to put us to the test. We quickly pushed away “too-drunk-to-dance” guy, hoping he wouldn’t lose his whiskey before he got away from us. We helped “tattooed guy” off the floor. We pushed and pushed and pushed in time to the music. We sang along and had a blast.

I picked up a lost shoe and tossed it into the center where hopefully its owner would find it again. I swayed and hopped and laughed and sang. I was definitely enjoying my time on “The Devil’s Dance Floor” as they sang pirate songs and sailing songs and Irish songs to touch the heart. Finally the time was up and the band had to leave. I was drenched in my own and others’ sweat. I was exhausted from standing and pushing, but my heart was full. I staggered to my car and drove home with merry tunes in my head to keep me company. I can’t wait ‘till Flogging Molly comes back to town so I can dance and feel alive again.


Penny L. Richards said...

Lianna, honey, if you ever want company to a Flogging Molly or similar show, CALL ME! I'd be SO up for that. Great description, I can almost smell the beer...;)

kelly edgerton said...

I've read this entry twice now. I love how you wrote it: I loved how you decribed the night, and I loved being able to "hear" the thrill in your voice through your words. Honestly, this is one of my all time favorite blog entries ever posted by anyone. Nice job! Sure does make me want to go out and find a Flogging Molly CD, that's for sure.

Karen Carter said...

You could have called me! I'm a fan and I used to play in the pits back in the 80's. Did you happen to go see Bauhaus last weekend?