Thorazine were invited to come to New York City to play which both delighted and terrified me all at the same time. New York is full of young pretty people. What do they want with a punk band full of folks pushing 50? It was a great idea for a show, a benefit for an outdoor free concert in the summer, and all ages in the afternoon. We could bring the kids which is always a plus.
For two weeks I was dreaming about all the millions of ways this show could be a bust. Every morning I woke up with a new horrific way this show could fail. It was making my waking hours miserable. It was our first real out of town show since reuniting, besides Wilmington, DE which is really only thirty five minutes from Philly.
Packing up yesterday was rough. Elliott, who our bass player has renamed Captain Seven Amps for his multiple on stage amps, was a wreck. His crippling stage fright is back after all the years of not playing. He gets VERY cranky before a show. That does not bode well for a family ride to New York. He quit the band at least twice and was calling a sitter for the kids and got as far as dialing the phone. We got all seven amps in the SUV, and the kids, and Aaron’s food headed out on the road. We stopped once, got the kids a snack, and went to the bathroom. Captain Seven Amps was still wound so tight. The kids breathing was under his skin. Then we got lost in Brooklyn. The club was on Grand STREET but I had typed GRAND AVENUE into my GPS so we arrived on time to the wrong address in Brooklyn. We then got back on track. The kids were amazing being super quiet as we tried to navigate Brooklyn. We arrived at the club and I got the best parking spot a girl could get out front of the club. Dallas was all JO HOW DID YOU GET THAT SPACE!! Poor dude had to park four blocks away.
After we loaded in Captain Seven Amps went off to pace, Hoover took the kids, and bought me a beer. It was kinda exactly what I needed. We took some deep breaths and the show started. All the bands were really good. The crowd was small to start but the placed really filled up as the afternoon wore on. The kids LOVED the bands. They were up front with Hoover and Elliott the whole time, of course they wore ear plugs. Then the place REALLY filled up. I mean a ton of people. Our old bass player F’ed was there, a friend from my bar also made the trip, and four friends from ELEMENTARY school, another old friend from the warehouse dwelling years, and a ton of people I never met before. When we played our set a pit broke out and I was grateful that F’ed got Ryan behind him and stayed at the edge of the melee. We played FAST AND FURIOUS. It was so fun and the crowd roared after every song. Dallas and I exchanged looks with each other with our eyes that conveyed WHAT THE HECK IS THIS RESPONSE . I was so blown away at the response of a crowd in New York which are known for being jaded. Looking out and seeing the faces of women I played with on the playground, seeing my kids eyes wide and dancing, and the roar of the crowd of a full venue was so intense.
After the show we sold our merchandise as bands do. The kids were so EXCITED to help!! Merch is Aaron’s thing. He loves the inventory and making change. We talked to the people buying merch. A group of guys came up and excitedly said we were into Thorazine as teenagers and we never got to see you live. We came to the show this afternoon hoping it was you and that this was not a lame reunion band with one original member. With wide eyes the guy exclaimed you guys are almost ALL original members!!! It was so exciting to see you and we had a great time and can’t wait to see you again. Then I faced four women I have not seen in years. These women remember the first time I sang onstage with the school play in where a nine year old me got to sing Beauty School Dropout in our Catholic School sanitized version of Grease. I remember that moment in my life sharply and after that experience I wanted to be in a band, but not till many years later did it become a reality. It was such a full circle life moment to have them at the show smiling and screaming in between songs.
At the end of the show we were packing up the cars and still selling merchandise in the street in front of the club, then headed for dinner with the band and my old Catholic elementary school friends. The kids were hungry but they were great in the restaurant. Hoover was showing Ryan how to use European utensil etiquette style which touched me because it is something I never thought to tell him about. We picked an Italian restaurant knowing that we may find food safe for Aaron to consume, which we did, but supplemented with food we brought with us. I got to visit with women who I vividly remember as kids. They missed Thorazine the first time because keeping in touch with people was so much harder before the internet and social media. We talked and talked which made me laugh because when you have friends you have not seen in that long things can become awkward but it was the opposite. One of my old friends laughed at one point and said, this is going to be a blog post.
As we got on the highway back to Philly Ryan piped up. Mom, Dad, I have been to every rehearsal but I had no clue how exciting a show would be. You guys are real ROCK STARS and the people were screaming, bumping into each other, and stuff!! I could not stop dancing through your set. When people started bumping into each other it was so exciting but I was really glad F’ed was there to block me from them but I could see everything. Aaron said yeah I could not stop watching you guys. Then Ryan exclaimed that he was a lucky kid to have parents in a band and he could not wait till the next road trip. I replied well we were invited to play in Rochester NY next, his eyes lighted up and he said oh, I am ready!! Then he said I love being able to support you guys like you support me by coming to swim meets. I said well Ryan that is what a family is supposed to be about.