An interview with Moontower: everything you need to know about season 1

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Photo Courtesy of onestowatch.com

Moontower is a three-piece electronic-pop trio dedicated to giving their audiences synth-infused musical experiences capable of captivating even the most cynical of listeners. The band went public early 2018 and since then the three USC students who make up the band have built their own interesting version of reality within their singles. They’re currently readying up to release their first big project on April 25th titled “Season 1: The Ballad of William Hollywood.”

Being naturally curious, I contacted one of the members; Jacob Culver in hopes of revealing the most salient details necessary for understanding what exactly they’re doing with their new project. To my surprise, he and the rest of the band were incredibly congenial and equally as eager to spill a few choice details about their imminent project. So without further ado, here is everything you need to know about Season 1.

First and foremost, for anyone not familiar with who you are, who William is, or what you guys do, in your own words give us a brief rundown of who you guys really are and what you’re doing here.

Tom: We are an indie electronic band made up of Jacob Culver, Devan Welsh, and myself, Tom Carpenter and we’ve been playing together as Moontower for a little less than a year and a half. Although we started off by simply putting on shows in backyards and house parties without music released, we are so excited to now be touring across the country and are gearing up to share our debut project “Season 1: The Ballad of William Hollywood”

Jacob: Just for clarification… Season 1 includes everything Moontower is going to be doing for the near future. The live shows, the music, all our video content, and the branding are all under the “Season 1” umbrella. “The Ballad of William Hollywood” is a three-part video series inside of Season 1 that tells the origin story of William Hollywood. You’ve gotten to know the three of us pretty well, and now it’s time for you to get to know William.

You’ve been crafting an intricate story with your music for over a year, what’s this all building up to? How does it play into “The Ballad of William Hollywood?”

Jacob: We have been hinting for a year that all the music, all the imagery, the oranges, the single covers – all are a part of a bigger world. “The Ballad of William Hollywood” and Season 1 is that world, but we needed to take the first year to figure out our sound, and our brand as a group. We always knew that we wanted to tell multidimensional stories, but we didn’t want to put the cart before the horse. We needed to know what Moontower should sound, look, and feel like – and we could only learn that through trial and error. If we would have released Season 1 at the beginning, it would have been disingenuous, and not fully realized. That’s why we waited so long to put music out and then once we did, waited even longer so we could play live and meet as many of our fans as possible so that we knew how to tailor this world to the people who would be open to falling in love with it. I think you’ll find that, while The Ballad of William Hollywood is weird and surrealist, its message is universal. Everyone has at some point tried to be something they’re not. Love can make you lose sight of your own identity, but it also eventually is where we find peace.

What made you choose a season based structure rather than just releasing regular albums?

Devan: We love regular albums! Nothing against them. If the goal behind a Season is to create a multi-dimensional story-based world to fall into, then the music has to have depth in the narrative. In terms of albums, the three of us can trace some of our favorites back to concept albums, where there’s a bigger picture, instead of just a compilation of good songs. When I first met Tom in our Freshman year of college, his 20 favorite albums were up on his dorm room wall (most of them concept albums, no surprise there). One of them, “Modern Vampires of the City” (Vampire Weekend) is an album I’ve come to appreciate much more because of Tom’s love for its narrative (which I’m sure he’d love to elaborate on) – not only is the sound of the album very well done, but the story makes you fall in love with it that much more. One of my personal favorites is Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto”, an Orwellian society-type setting where a “love conquers all” type narrative takes place. Besides it being some of Coldplay’s best pop music, I fell in love with a story that helped me get through some of the harder times of growing up.

Tom: I’ll talk Modern Vampires for way too long but it’s just such a beautiful coming of age story. You definitely need to listen to it if you haven’t! It’s just so powerful and inspiring when the artists you look up to put the work in for there to be rabbit holes to fall down, extra little tidbits which make tracks hold hands on a project or sonic universes to get lost in.

Jacob: We’ve always tried to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone. That’s why when we started Moontower, we built all our own staging, lighting, production, visuals, and basically toured a mini-festival set around college campuses. We didn’t know what we were doing at first, but the idea of learning something new every day got us out of bed and excited! When we thought about releasing our first project, we wanted to keep that same mentality. All of us have released music before and played live before – that just wasn’t going to be enough for us. We dove headfirst into creating the world that is Season 1 because we wanted to challenge ourselves to do more, to learn something, and we thought that our fans deserved more. We created Moontower to be a world you can live in. With most other bands, you’re just watching from the outside.

How is the pilot you guys released back in February 2018 going to differ from the real thing?

Devan: For all intents and purposes, the Pilot is the intro to William’s character and the backdrop for Season 1. It’s not necessarily supposed to answer any questions, but moreover, give an idea of the weirdness behind William’s proclamation of love. The only way I can explain the Pilot episode is this: you know how when you watch Planet Earth and see birds trying to impress other birds, and as a human, you have no idea what’s going on, but the birds do? Anyways – episodes of Season 1 will answer the questions we wanted people to be asking when Pilot was released.

Jacob: William also needed us to make the Pilot so he had something to show Fat Beep (the production company behind “The Ballad of William Hollywood” and a lot of Season 1). It was a proof of concept and a way to prove to ourselves that we could do this.

Speaking of William, we see a lot of him on your official Instagram and we hear a lot about him in your wonderful songs, but who is he?

Devan: William is our roommate, friend, and a talented film-maker! We met William during our Sophomore year, which was around when the ideation phase of this project began, and told him our idea for Season 1, which he heavily related to.

Jacob: William’s story, his upbringing is shockingly similar to ours. While it’s most natural for us to tell our story through music, he expresses himself visually, and so it made perfect sense for us to let him head the creation of his own ballad. What he created was perfect – you get our story told through the music behind the episodes and his story is told literally by him acting it out on screen.

What are a few things your fans can expect from this upcoming season? Are your enigmatic single covers finally going to make sense?

Tom: Our goal is to make music that you can enjoy on its own but becomes all the more potent when you have the whole thing. If you love a single on its own, that’s awesome! But if you want more, to lose yourself in the entire project, we really hope that you do.

Devan: The single covers are all plot points of Season 1, so yes, by the end of the episodic narrative, the singles we’ve released will make more sense.

Jacob: We just hope people find themselves in the videos and find a home in Moontower. One of the most beautiful things is to see all of our fans becoming friends and supporting each other. It seems like the further we go the more that happens, I hope that continues.

How long has this project been in the works for?

Devan: About a year and a half, which is about the length of time that we’ve been a band for. The plot was created around late-August of 2017 which is when our first show was.

What are you guys hoping to achieve with your first season?

Devan: One the surface, hopefully, some sense of nostalgia for the way you felt when you were younger. More specifically, we’re happy to finally share the story and its parts – the videos tell a beautiful narrative, and we stand behind every sound and lyric in the music.

Jacob: We hope people feel like they’re part of something new, part of a community, and part of something that’s only just beginning.

Tom: I hope that you see some of yourself inside of the music and videos and that, even if it’s not for you, you come to expect more from other projects.

How many seasons do you guys plan on doing? Is William going to be the main focus for everything? Is it going to be episodic or will each season be boiled down into one video?

Devan: We’re not necessarily sure! As long as we possibly can.

Jacob: “The Ballad of William Hollywood” is just one part of Season 1. There will most likely be other long-form video series within Season 1. As Dev said, we’re not sure how the other Seasons will play out, depends on the stories we want to tell, when it makes sense to, and how they develop day to day.

Tom: Our heads are all already in Season 2 and 3 though already… there are a lot of stories we want to tell!

Where can your fans connect with you in order to deepen their appreciation for your incredible sound?

Devan: Our live show means everything to us. See us live.

Jacob: Yeah, see us live. But also, come hang after the show, we love to tour because we love to meet people. We’re thankful that our fans always make us feel at home wherever we are.

Tom: Yes! Like Jacob said, come dance with us while we’re on stage and kick it with us when we’re not. Being able to meet new people is what Moontower is all about.

Our Instagram (@thisismoontower) houses all of the news and info.
Our YouTube (@FatBeep) will house all the episodic videos for Season 1 and other Seasons to come.
Our Spotify houses the music – Season 1 will be officially released May 9.

Season 1 premiers tomorrow on FatBeep then will follow a weekly schedule until May 9th, be sure to tune in!

A light retrospective on the 2018-2019 government shutdown.

openOriginally written: March 28th, 2019 for a school newspaper.

On December 22, 2018, the United States began what would soon become the longest government shutdown in history. It lasted thirty-five days and occurred when Donald Trump and Congress couldn’t reach an agreement on the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Around 800,000 employees had to shut down partially or in full. More than 420,000 of those were government workers who were expected to work without pay. CSNBC reported that the government shutdown cost the economy $11 billion, including a permanent $3 billion loss.

Glancing at a few articles posted early on into the shutdown many expected the government shutdown to end somewhat quickly. Vox even went as far as to call it “a game of chicken” where “in the end, someone has to give in.” With this in mind, one might be met with a plethora of polarizing questions. Here’s everything as it occurred, and a few other key things to consider.

Main concerns over the shutdown arose after it began to overstay its proverbial welcome. It had carried itself into the new year and at this point, hundreds of thousands of federal employees were working unpaid for nine straight days. By January 4th, 2019 the New York Times was reporting that Trump claimed the shutdown could last months or even years. While this is impossible, due to the fact that the fiscal year ends on September 30th, 2019, this possibility was still incredibly alarming to the general public who are mostly politically unaware.

On January 8th, 2019 Trump delivered his first primetime address from the Oval Office. During this address, Trump slightly mentions the devastating effects of the shutdown but his focus remains on the Democrats, who don’t support the border wall. Trump claims in his speech that, “This situation could be solved in a 45-minute meeting. I have invited Congressional leadership to the White House tomorrow to get this done. Hopefully, we can rise above partisan politics in order to support national security.” In the very same article that chronicles this speech, TIME magazine reports that the shutdown has “no clear end in sight.” At this point, some federal workers and contractors affected by the shutdown have turned to crowdfund sites, like GoFundMe, to raise funds for rent and bills. Many government facilities have also ceased action.

On January 10th, Donald Trump threatens to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress if he can’t reach a deal with Democrats to fund his promised border wall. The following day many federal workers miss their first paycheck. Some workers who are used to earning six-figure salaries now expect an average weekly take-home pay of roughly $500. Then the following day, the shutdown breaks the record for the longest government shutdown in history. The previous occurred in December 1995 at only 21 days.

In the days following, it’s astonishingly clear no negotiations will be made without addressing Trump’s proposal for the wall, a wall that is now estimated to cost around $8.6 billion to create. The government shutdown would later end on January 25th due to Trump’s support for a three-week funding measure that would reopen the government until February 15th. By this point, Federal district courts had officially run out of funds and Federal workers missed yet another paycheck.

However, the aftermath of the whole fiasco was equally as alarming. A bipartisan group reached an agreement which included a $1.375 billion deal for 55 miles of steel border fencing and another $1.7 billion for other security measures. On February 15th, at the White House Rose Garden, President Trump announced that he had signed the spending bill to keep the government open. This was after Trump had already blocked the back pay of federal contractors who were still penniless from the shutdown. During this time Trump also declared a national emergency over the border crisis, hoping to get access to $8 billion to use for the wall.

This was the de facto end of the government shutdown but in its wake, the issue of the state of emergency would take its place. It’s easy to point fingers and blame a single figure for the government shutdown but the fact of the matter is that this was a team effort. It should be noted all federal employees affected were paid back after the debacle was over. Several other provisions were made to keep things running regardless of the government’s status. It’s important to remember that while this moment in history was dire, society was able to come out from it in one piece and is ultimately stronger for it. The government shutdown is a strong representation of American society banding together against all odds.

OPINION: Why rating systems are worthless.

IMG_8420I’m not a reviewer, I don’t review things per se. I’ve tried to use this website to define myself as an analyst. In my about me section, I say that I attempt to “to look through entertainment from an analytical standpoint and expose the finer details that may be lost on most casual viewers in order to enhance the overall experience these productions generate” and I think I’ve done a pretty good job at doing that. However, there have been moments like in my track reviews where, in order to stay relevant, I’ve stooped to the level of simply just reviewing songs. This is something I’ve wanted to touch on for some time now but this fact is not the point of this article. This is just context for what I’m really focusing on.

In those times I’ve been a reviewer one may notice I’ve never given a standard rating for anything I’ve ever talked about. I typically tend to focus on one facet of a specific production whether it is a basic theme or motif that is used to reveal something deeper about a specific work. Keep in mind this is whenever I’m talking about a piece of media or entertainment. However, when I do a track review or sometimes a movie review I never end it with a rating. This is because I think rating systems are meaningless and contrived. Qualifying something with a numerical score is horribly subjective and what you’re doing is really only meaningful to you. I suppose that’s the point of doing a review, however many use reviews in order to form their own opinion about a work, often times without experiencing it for themselves. For pieces that are genuinely experiences and demand a personal touch, this is nothing short of a travesty.

There are two main reasons why numerical scoring fails to adequately describe a piece of work and why it is ostensibly worthless and in this article I’m going to explain both of them. The first issue is that most rating systems are incredibly ill-defined. Often times the critic’s rating doesn’t reflect what they say about the given work. Allow me to explain this with an anecdote. My friend and fellow writer Evan did a short review of the first Hellboy film. He said the film was “kickass” and claimed that Guillermo del Toro should direct more superhero films because “he’s good at it.” So imagine my surprise when he gave the film a six out of ten.

Now, to some, this may seem like the natural score. A six out of ten means the film was good, but from the words I was reading, I was expecting a rating closer to seven or even eight. Do you see what I mean? Using a rating system comes with the issue of subjectivity. There is no right way to define a six out of ten. Most can agree that anything below five means the film was bad and anything above is good, but if that’s the case then why use a rating system at all? If your audience is going to generalize your rating system then why make it complicated. This the rationale I use when reviewing anything. However, its worth noting almost everything I’ve reviewed has been positive. To me, it’s much more worthwhile to expose the masses to good artistic endeavors rather than bad ones. My perspective is very similar to that of Ego from Ratatouille:

The bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.

The second reason why I think rating systems are meaningless is the latent meaning behind them. I understand what I just said was an oxymoron but please bear with me I can explain. A perfect ten out of ten is the most sought after score any piece of art can achieve. Unless of course, you’re Evan, in which case it’s an A+. However, a “perfect” score is very rarely awarded by critics due to its implication. To most, when a piece of art receives this score it means that there is nothing further it can do to bolster its excellence. It’s the definition of its craft, the benchmark all other pieces should aspire to reach. Except it really isn’t. It’s been widely accepted by most that perfection doesn’t exist. It can’t. The imperfect universe that creates imperfect people cant create a piece of art that is objectively perfect. Art is an inherently subjective medium.

This is what scares most critics from giving a piece of media a ten out of ten. Take famous music critic Anthony Fantano for instance. As of today, he has only awarded five albums a ten out of ten, even though he’s been reviewing music for almost ten years now. Perhaps he just has high standards, but just looking at his website you can find that he’s given out a plethora of nines and eights. So what does that mean in the grand scheme of things? Well, a lot actually.

Fantano is almost infamous for his harsh ratings, and this is no accident. If he were a critic that handed out ten after ten after ten I don’t believe he would be nearly as popular as he is now. Now I don’t think Anthony Fantano has some hidden agenda that he’s been secretly using to dupe his audience into believing he’s some kind of musical connoisseur, because, if I’m being honest, it’s really his fans who created this sanctimonious idea of his character. Fantano has just accepted it and promptly followed suit, likely subconsciously, and he’s not the only one guilty of this. All reviewers have this issue. They all have to protect their “credibility” that has been forged by the writ of their audience.

In one fantastic video simply titled “Game Critics” made by internet personality “videogamedunkey”, he claims that the only difference between the average Joe and a critic is that the critic gets paid to say their opinion. I agree with this, but I would also add that the critic has a bigger audience they constantly have to acknowledge and this ultimately ruins the way critics rate their respective mediums.

Whether it be music, film, or art, it would seem entertainment is forever to be cursed by terribly flawed rating systems.

150-word track review: Dissolve – Absofacto

Absofacto-Dissolve.jpgAbsofacto beautifully blends industrial rock and electronic pop in this beautiful ode to unhealthy relationships. This is the opening track to his 2017 EP Thousand Peaces. There are a lot of moving parts to this track and the elements he uses from the different genres he takes inspiration from are blended perfectly into one cohesive ballad.

I just wanted you to watch me dissolve, slowly in a pool full of your love, but I don’t even know how the chemistry works.

His explanation of falling deep within a love even he can’t control is contrasted by his tone. He sounds almost sanguine if not a little confused and this works very well with the subject matter at hand. It’s one part nostalgic and another part poignant, this is a relatively difficult emotion to evoke but he does it quite stylishly.

Don’t let this song dissolve and just give it a listen.

Fahrenheit 451 and dystopian novels today

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Authors Note: I noticed after finishing this article a lot of my criticisms were focused on young adult novels that used a dystopian setting rather than actual dystopian novels marketed towards a more literary demographic. I realize that may seem a bit disingenuous and for that my article may seem a bit uninformed. However, I stick to what I believe and encourage everyone to continue reading. I think this is a good article if you consider the fact that the main focus is on the merit of Fahrenheit 451. Thank you for reading and for your continued support.

I think it’s ironic that many students are forced to read Fahrenheit 451 in school despite the fact that in doing so they’re essentially carrying out the antithesis of what the book is actually saying. The novel embraces the choice people have to read and educate themselves. It’s one of the most basic human rights that almost comes naturally. Having that stripped away is where the dystopian aspect of the novel is made salient. In some respects, it’s why the novel still holds up after all this time.

Dismantling the novel’s impetus aside, it’s clear that many dystopian franchises created today take, at least some, inspiration from Fahrenheit 451. It’s clear that the novel was formed as a reaction to the technological boom that occurred in the 1900s, but it still contains a lot of the same motifs seen in dystopian novels written today. Censorship, fascism, conformity, a distinct lack of individualism, brainwashing, these are all common themes rampant within contemporary dystopian stories. However, Fahrenheit 451 somehow manages to break the mold set in place by most dystopian novels today despite being sixty years old.

This is accomplished through several means the first being its core plot device. Something devoid in more recent work like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner is an interesting modus operandi. Too many dystopians focus all their attention on the various elements in the setting rather than a captivating main idea. Now, this is called world building it’s the process of constructing an imaginary world and very important to dystopian novels. However, a slightly interesting dystopian setting is simply not enough to carry an entire novel.

Ray Bradbury does the exact opposite of this and uses the decrepit setting to push the main themes of the novel that was already set in place by the fact all print media has been declared illegal. Does that technically count as world building? Yes, but it serves more than just that singular purpose.

Interesting sci-fi elements like the hound; an eight-legged robotic dog and the seashells; our modern-day equivalent to airpods are just fancy dressings to advance the true plot. However, if this novel were written today, these inventions would probably have a bigger impact on the story. This is also why most dystopian novels written in the present time have very little substance other than the tired “government is bad, people are good” trope so routinely used. In fact, the true villains of Fahrenheit 451 are the people themselves who chose to abolish all printed media. The unofficial antagonist, Captain Beatty explains in his own words the inherent treachery latent within print material:

‘Colored people don’t like Little Black Sambo?,’ Captain Beatty says. ‘Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin? Burn it. Someone’s written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book.’

There isn’t any totalitarian government established in deep within the lore of Fahrenheit 451 instead the novel exposes the natural progression humanity is moving towards. It’s about the irreversible damage of censorship and the danger that comes with knowledge. Come to think of it, it’s rather alarming how many things Bradbury ended up predicting. Everything from flat-screen televisions, Bluetooth headphones, ATM machines, politically correct culture, drones, you name it. While those things weren’t necessarily invented by Bradbury its certainly interesting to see the role they play in today’s society.

I suppose that’s another issue with present-day dystopian novels; there’s no payoff. Humanity hasn’t seen any of the effects they’ve had on culture until way later and while that isn’t really any fault of their own it’s still a constant factor that spoils their overall enjoyability. One could call that a little unfair, but I think if it really were to have any impact it would have shown some sign of it by now.

In comparison to Fahrenheit 451, the notability is almost unprecedented. It’s has been message spread clearly throughout thousands of school curriculums and its talking points are taken seriously by teachers and students alike. This is where we come full circle and have to remind ourselves what this novel really symbolizes. Some even consider it a novel that changed the course of our future, something Ray Bradbury actually intended to do.

I am a preventor of futures, not a predictor of them. I wrote Fahrenheit 451 to prevent book-burnings, not to induce that future into happening, or even to say that it was inevitable.

This is even more interesting considering the fact his novel has actually been banned by several schools. Whether the intrinsic irony in doing so was unbeknownst to them is unclear but it says a lot about the overall impression this novel has left on the populace. Our futures are safe for now, however, given that we already know history is bound to repeat itself, who can say for how long.

It would seem the cycle of irony continues as Bradbury’s classic is continually adapted into movies and most recently a live-action television show on HBO. I guess some people will just never learn.

150-word track review: Spazz! – Angry Blackmen

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Angry Blackmen is a rap duo comprised of Brian Warren & Quentin Jamal Branch II. They’ve recently released their first EP following a plethora of singles and today I want to talk about the most standout track from it; “Spazz!”

The Chicago based duo exemplify two things: brashness and pure energy. Their gruff voices perfectly compliment their Ronny J like production. Their only fault is that their enthusiasm is their only prominent trait. They have limited rhyme schemes and at times their flows can become samey.

However, one thing I don’t anyone can deny about their sound is that they have passion. They aren’t afraid to have fun with their music and that charm is consistent with everything they’ve released so far. They come in, spit some bars, have a few laughs, and promptly leave when the party’s over. Now give this song a listen, before they spaz out on you.

Injury Reserve “Let There Be Light” @ The Moroccan Lounge 4/2/19

injurytThe night was cold and the wind was howling. My friend and I were anxiously waiting to see, alternative hip-hop trio, Injury Reserve perform what they had called a “special engagement.” The show was only five dollars and on a first come first serve basis. Injury Reserve is infamous for hosting shows with a minimal price tag. Last year they played a show at the constellation room in Santa Ana with fellow rapper JPEG Mafia for free. Inclusivity is their trade-mark. I was told by my friend that their shows always showcase something different and he was certain this one was no exception.

One quick look at their Instagram confirmed his suspicions further. A video they posted a few days prior showcased a technologically detailed light show setup. The caption for the video simply read, “LTBL” which we knew, of course, stood for “let there be light.” The iconic tagline for the ultimately daunting show. At this point, we were ecstatic and couldn’t wait to see what the guys had dreamed up.

We ended up sitting in line for about an hour but there were some interesting moments of entertainment mixed in. A few guys who called themselves “Injury Reserve TV” came over and interviewed several people waiting in line, one of those people being my friend. I have to admit the guys had a lot of charisma and were pretty hilarious. We also caught Ritchie with a T checking out the line with his girlfriend. I was quite surprised by how respectful everyone was about seeing him in public. Only a few people called out to him and even then, nobody flooded him for pictures or autographs, even when he was walking around the venue itself, it was the same deal. That was my first big takeaway from that night.

At around 8 the line was moving. As we stepped in we were given special glasses with the injury reserve tag and the date on them.

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My glasses from that night.

I was confused as to what their purpose was until we walked onto the main hall where the stage was. On it, we saw a vast array of lights just like the ones from their video on Instagram. My friend and I exchanged goofy smiles because we could already tell we were in for a treat.

The concert wouldn’t start for another hour or so. So we took the time to grab our merch and talk to a few people. Among the people I met was the incredibly talented musician Christian Akridge, better known by his stage name; Christian Leave. He was in the stands also waiting for the show to start and when I recognized him I was at a loss for words. His warm friendliness, however, was enough to get me out of star-struck state and we had a pleasant conversation about bidets. Here’s hoping I get an interview with him soon.

The concert began at around nine o clock and it started off with a bang. I remember the room suddenly filling with a heavy smoke the stage barely illuminated. Then all at once, Ritchie, Parker, and Stepa came up on stage. The crowd roared and before I could join in the lights suddenly flashed on. Even with the glasses on my eyes were still watering but watching Ritchie’s silhouette irradiated by the powerful white lights was a sight to behold.

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The only photo I got from that night

I don’t recall the first song they played, to be honest. Most of the setlist eludes me. I was way too doped up on adrenaline to remember everything. All I remember is the moshpits starting almost immediately. Everybody in unison was jumping, screaming, singing along, and just overall having a great time. It was pure chaos but the best kind, in my opinion. That by far was the most fun I’d had at a concert. It reached its peak when the gang performed their most recent single “Jailbreak the Tesla” which is the first time they’ve performed it live, I might add.

Nobody wasn’t moving for this one, we were able to make the 275 max occupancy building shake. A feat I think everyone who attended should be proud of. This is also the song where my glasses were knocked off, stepped on, and then promptly broken. However, I was able to fix them albeit with great difficulty. Never try to perform plastic eyewear surgery in the middle of a heated crowd, it’s a stupid idea.

Now that’s not to say the whole show was high tension. About halfway through the performance, the group played two of their more downtempo songs “North Pole” and “ttktv.” It was nice to get a short break after moshing for a good 30 minutes straight. However, this solace only lasted a few minutes and before I knew it we were back to the former. Once again I don’t remember much. However, I do remember seeing dad_reacts in the crowd who was also moshing.

The concert ended around 10 but the crowd wasn’t finished and screamed for an encore and, of course, Injury Reserve delivered. They played “Jailbreak the Tesla” again, however this time with a twist. Like last time the crowd was still just as chaotic but no one expected what would happen next. Fellow rapper Aminé showed up unannounced to perform his verse from “Jailbreak the Tesla” and the crowd went wild. It’s incredibly difficult to adequately describe the anarchy that filled the room. People screaming, laughing, sweating, it was an experience. Then, just as quickly as it began, it was over.

After the show ended, Injury Reserve went to the merch booth and took the time to sign peoples shirts and take pictures with their fans. They were really genuine guys and I made sure to thank them for an amazing concert. They actually told me they wanted to make the concert free, but the venue was too expensive, so they settled for five. That was the second biggest takeaway from that night and something I don’t think I will ever forget. Never before have I been to a concert that was so personal. Injury Reserve, these guys really just love their art and care about the people who listen to them. They are people who are dedicated to giving people experiences. Moments in time they won’t forget. I patiently await their upcoming self-titled album, but for now, we’ll just have to stay in the dark until they show us the light.