Time keeps slipping away

I was lucky enough to get to see A Place To Bury Strangers last night at the Corner Hotel.

When I heard they were going to be playing Melbourne, nothing – NOTHING – could have stood in the way of me seeing them. If I’d been told I could see no other gig for the rest of the year – rest of my life, even – I’d still have gone. I may, in fact, not see any other gig for the rest of the year because nothing is going to be able to match this one.

For one thing I managed to show Oliver Ackermann my cellphone screen on which I had typed out a shy little thank you note, because I thought he should know how much APTBS meant to me. I don’t have the message any more, but I believe what I wrote was something like “I have to say this to anyone who makes sounds I would die for – thank you”. I think, or hope anyway, he realised how much I meant that. I got a hug out of it, anyway so that had me smiling like a… very smiley person… for a while.

And they hadn’t even gone on stage yet.

I’d got myself earplugs a week ago in anticipation of the worst (aka the best). Parked  solidly in the front row right under the speakers I braced myself. Oh yes, they were loud. Oh yes, earplugs were probably a good idea. Oh no, I was not going to leave them in I was going to savour every note, every word, every chord, every distorted moan, every acid trip of a song and no foam was going to get in the way. I was not here for work or to socialise I was here to wallow in lavish walls of noise and breathe them in like very very pure oxygen. A strange simile to use when you take into account that the room was filled with gritty, atmospheric smoke. Three people on a stage their physical selves couldn’t fill but that was straining to contain the noise they made.

And that noise is why I love APTBS. It sounds like ugly noise to the careless listener but it’s beautifully lush masked music you have to search for because it’s blanketed in synths and static with a reason and a story behind every raw note. Despite their nakedness, my eardrums lapped it all up and did not punish me with post-gig deafness or tinnitus. They were happy.

Even the guitar-destruction was beautiful. Ai, this band means so much to me. It was over too soon, I had to leave too soon, I wish I could’ve stayed in those songs forever. Being dropped back into reality was an unexpectedly harsh experience. What I’m left with now is this immense heartbreak, this oddly unexplainable emptiness and even more jaded vision of the world. Gloom prevails as it occurs to me that life is not an A Place To Bury Strangers gig and that means it’s not very much at all.

It’s okay, I am dealing with it by drowning in their discography and in cardamom tea.

Blissful convulsions: To Fix The Gash In Your Head and I Know I’ll See You and In Your Heart

Orgasmic closer:  Ocean

Not played but missed (they can’t play them ALL now can they?): Sunbeam and It Is Nothing and Keep Slipping Away


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