Beating Them with a Yardstick

I saw Archers of Loaf a couple of times at Stache's in Columbus. The second time was a letdown.

My friend's band, Monster Zero, opened the show. These jerks in front of me kept screaming for MZ to play a cool cover. MZ had played "Gold Star for Robot Boy" once while opening for Mercury Rev and Hum, but chose not to play any covers on this night.

The second band, Tuscadero, was an all-grrrl group from DC on Teen Beat. They were peppy, punky, and fresh. However, the band soon became very agitated with the same group of jerks up front. This time, instead of hollering for "cool covers", these mooks were smoking up a storm and blowing it right at the band. Normally, this is not a big deal, except for the fact that the band asked the audience before their set to hold off on smoking until they were done. The band even stopped at one point until the cigarettes were put out.

Finally, Archers of Loaf hopped on stage. I figured that there was no way that this crew of jackasses could ruin their set. I was wrong.

Loaf started off with a band, rocking through their first few songs. The crowd was rocking. I found myself in almost the same post I held a year before, right in front, just behind front man Eric Bachman's monitor.

Then it began.

The same guys who heckled my friend and blew smoke at Tuscadero were actually moshing. Sure, moshing was a regular feature of rock shows in the 1990's, but this was 1996 and it was a small, indie rock show. It wasn't the Warped Tour and that wasn't Rancid on stage.

The pushing and shoving got so bad that Bachman started cutting off songs to yell at the audience to quit. They didn't quit and the band became more and more agitated. Finally, they walked off with Bachman saying, "That's it. We're done." There was no encore.

I saw Archers of Loaf again about a year later in Cleveland at the Euclid. I was able to talk to Loaf bassist Matt Gentling about the Stache's show. He replied, "Yeah, that was bad. We needed yardsticks to beat them down."

Since that Loaf show at Stache's, I have bumped into the heckling-smoking-moshing idiots' leader at several shows. He's obnoxious. He's that guy who yells for the same song throughout a band's set and never stops. (Wait, I've done that.) The worst was the time his band opened for Guided by Voices.

No comments: