|Wife takes photo of the author during Gruesome while a sinus infection starts to do gruesome things to his insides|
I didn’t bother mentioning in my post about the Asphyx show that I had just gotten over pneumonia, as I had already completed a run of antibiotics and felt pretty good. Around the time of my last post, that was starting to change, as I just started developing a sinus infection that went into my ears and wreaked all sorts of havoc. I went and saw Gruesome literally the day my right ear started feeling congested, but with ear plugs in hand, or rather, ear, I soldiered on through their incredible set. Three weeks after that show, a specialist and two rounds of antibiotics later, my ears are still fucked and full of fluid, but improving. The downside is that I missed a bunch of shows because of it; Ruiner, Testament, Pallbearer, Destruction, Candlemass, the list goes on and today I find myself reflecting on a show I went to even though I was sick as hell.
|Gruesome, photo by the Author|
|Gruesome, photo by the Author|
In May of 1993, my friend Glen Symanski (who was later in NoReason with me) and I decided to go see Shelter at the Lost Horizon in Syracuse, NY. I had been diagnosed with Bronchitis that Friday, and was on an antibiotic, but really didn’t feel better the late morning of May the 23rd when Glenn picked me up. I had my Amoxicillin bottle with me and off we went; the thing is, I didn’t have my license yet and Glenn, aside from knowing it was “in Syracuse” had no idea where the Lost Horizon was. After the two hour drive there, we got off at a Syracuse proper exit and began the search.
Glenn thought that if we found a phone booth (remember those?) we could look up the address and go from there, but after driving around and not having any real luck, I think we stopped pursuing that route. It was early on a brisk Sunday afternoon in a college town and not too many people were out and about; we drove around for like an hour and got nowhere. Now knowing that the show hard started and feeling the pressure (with me feeling like total shit) we spotted the man who would be our savior; a guy in a Sick Of It All longsleeve. Mr. Longsleeve had no idea that there was a show that day, but knew where the Lost Horizon “kind of was” and we got to the show right as Vision started playing.
|Shelter/ 108 tour poster from the internet|
Vision were ok, they played a lot of songs that I didn’t know at the time, but what I do remember was that Dave, their singer, had all of his hair stuffed up into a winter cap and at some point a stage diver made a point to take the hat down with him and out came Dave’s flowing 90’s metal locks. 108 took the stage shortly after and were absolutely devastating. I remember standing in the middle of the “pit” during their set in total amazement about how insane their energy was. I also was hacking my lungs out, so apologies to anyone who got sick after. Shelter headlined but weren’t half as good as they had been the two years prior. For me, nothing can top the show they played at Randall Studios in Buffalo in June of ’92, which to me was their pinnacle, although more success definitely came to them later on.
The drive home was uneventful and the cool thing about a lot of those Syracuse matinees (but not all, some were goddamn marathons) was that, even after the two hour drive home, it was light out and the evening was still ahead of you. Long after I had gotten over the Bronchitis, the same tour played Buffalo the following August with Against All Hope and Slugfest (their last show) opening. 108 was even better that night, confronting dance floor bullies during their set and practically exploding on stage. Following that, Shelter came across like behaved school children.
The differences between 19 year old me and 43 year old me are often time few and far between and yet at the very same time stark. I think one of those stark differences is that sick 43 year old me would’ve missed 108 in their prime to gladly stay in bed.