I spent a large chunk of my life going to hardcore and punk shows. I was in a couple hardcore bands too, the most notable of which lasted about a year at the turn of the millennium. The band was called Brass Knuckles…or Brass KnuXXXles—we were straight edge as fuck! Nah, just kidding, we were the normal amount of straight edge, so Brass Knuckles is fine. On October 28, 2000, we played a free Halloween house show. It was us, our friends in Down to Nothing, and a lot of metalcore bands, both local and out of state. It was at this girl’s house far, far in the suburbs on the other end of the world.
I had big plans for this, our only Halloween show. I wanted the band to dress as The Breakfast Club. I wanted to cover The Misfits (naturally) and Slayer. I envisioned strobe lights and smoke machines and copious amounts of silly string and spitting blood Gene Simmons style. Well, none of the other dudes wanted to do the Breakfast Club thing (I even volunteered to be Molly Ringwald). I wore my Freddy glove and sweater instead and nobody else dressed up. We never learned any Misfits songs, though we did have “Raining Blood” in our arsenal. I had a backpack full of silly string and another band, our friends in This Present Darkness, had a strobe light and a smoke machine. The spitting blood thing didn’t materialize because…well, I didn’t really know how.
During This Present Darkness’ set, the strobe and smoke machine were going, but it was otherwise dark (the show was in the basement). Kids were moshing and diving off the basement stair rails and things were nice and chaotic. But then the girl’s parents, who had been upstairs, came down and turned on the lights and said if people didn’t stop moshing, they were shutting it down—and the lights had to say on. So people complied and stood there and watched the band while the strobe light pulsated awkwardly, in the fully lit basement.
Afterward, my band set up. We killed the strobe because it was ridiculous with the lights on. I handed out cans of silly string to a bunch of friends and told them to wait until we ended with the Slayer cover and then let loose. When everything was set we got up in front of everyone who just had to stand there and watch. I was still stoked on the idea of a barrage of silly string during “Raining Blood”, but as soon as we hit the first note of the first song, everyone shot off their entire can of silly string. Anti-climactic for sure. We ripped through our set, in the bright light, with no moshing and no strobe and no smoke machine and no John Bender. As soon as we rang into Slayer though a bunch of guys in the out-of-town metalcore bands started destroying it and it was awesome.
Unfortunately, no pictures exist from this set that I know of, and no video from any of our shows, sadly. The only proof I have that it ever happened at all is the poorly scanned flyer above. And as a bonus, here’s an audio-only live track from a show we played in March 2001. The recording is not great, but you get the idea.
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