Rock at the Church

Last night my brother went through a Philadelphia rite of passage: he attended his first all-ages show in the basement of the First Unitarian Church at 22nd and Chestnut Streets.

It was a night like a wizard rockapalooza, with the Hungarian Horntails opening for Draco and the Malfoys and Harry and the Potters. Armed with just a few bucks cash, we took the Rt 21 bus and got off at 20th Street to catch a quick sandwich at Wawa before heading over to the Church. Several kids still milled about outside, smoking cigarettes or meeting up with friends while the opening band finished up.

We made our way down the stairs, handed over our money and got stamped on the back of the hand. The temperature in the basement was already about a thousand degrees with mega humidity, six ceiling fans doing their damndest to cool off the filled to (or over?) capacity space. After chatting it up with Paul (Harry Year 7) near the merchandise tables in the back, we crushed our way through the crowd as Draco and the Malfoys took stage. The set rocked, but was relatively tame compared to the mosh pit, the dancing, the bouncing, the skanking, and the (very highly discouraged) crowd-surfing during Harry and the Potters set.

My brother stepped on a few feet and more than a few empty water bottles, and I got smacked in the left eye by a rogue crowd surfer’s head, but who ever leaves the church after a show without a few bruises?

I knew what to expect, of course, attending shows at the church before, but this was just my brother’s second concert (his first being the Warped Tour a couple weeks ago) so he looked a bit deer in the headlights until he found his place and rocked out like the rest of us. As we were leaving, I mentioned that shows at the church were always a good time, and for less than $10 you can see a favorite band or a new one you’d never heard of before, and rock out so hard that come this time next year, you’d still be rocking out. He said that he’d definitely go back.

With all the commotion surrounding last week’s Pointless Fest, it’s good to know that the tradition of punk, indie, and alternative will continue (as Marisa mentioned earlier today).

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