Chapter 53 - Chaotic Show
The Caitsi Inn and The Caitsi Lounge were coming into view, and as they got closer they could hear the bass from the inside muffling through the walls. Both the parking lots were packed full. The concert wasn’t planned to start for another half hour; they were cutting it close. People stood outside in groups, talking and smoking.
Within the cacophony of noises, Grant could hear the chatter of passersby.
“I still can’t believe they got Axis of Cygnus to come out to such a small venue like this one! It’s so insane!”
“How much do you think Caitsi paid them?”
“I doubt they make enough to afford them… Especially when they have recently been breaking through the mainstream news outlets.”
A tour van was parked towards the back entrance of the bar, people were walking from the van to the door carrying equipment.
“Hmm…. I wonder if I could get a pre show interview…” Saraiya said, as she shifted direction.
“Don’t even think about it Saraiya, they don’t have time for that. Like I said, you’ll be lucky if you even get one from them after the show.” Ambri gently positioned Saraiya’s body back towards the bar.
Grant and the others walked up to the door and were met with the smell of smoke mixed with sweat.
“Oh, I need to put this on,” Kale reached from his pocket and attached a more durable mask over his current one. “Now, I should for sure be safe.”
“From germs and this awful stench…” Saraiya said.
“Oh come on, you can’t have a good show without it!” Rhett said.
Upon entering the establishment, crowds of people stood around filling every open space. It didn’t seem like this building was made to hold this many people. Through the cracks of the crowd Grant could see many tables and chairs. However, there was something bigger that he noticed. Three giant fish tanks filled the back wall behind the main bar table, with many exotic looking fish.
“Don’t worry about the crowd guys! I’ve prepared VIP seating for all of us,” Ambri shouted above the loud music as she guided the group behind the bar table to a private table normally used for employee breaks.
The music was still loud back there, and they still would have to yell a bit to talk to one another, but at least they weren’t shoulder to shoulder with everyone else. They were also given a great view of the three massive fish tanks, which Kale’s eyes were already fixated on. Grant felt a strange urge to focus on the fish in there as well, he couldn’t help but wonder what they tasted like.
Kale stood up and walked up to the tanks.
“You really do love looking at them, don’t you Kale?” Rhett asked.
“Yeah, we can’t catch these kinds of fish here… Or eat them.”
Grant stood up and walked over beside Kale. On the bottom of the middle tank an eel bobbed in and out of a broken pot decoration.
“This is why I love coming here, even though I don’t drink,” Kale’s eyes followed the largest fish swimming around.
“Hey, let’s have a few drinks before the band starts. I want to get you loosened up so you’ll be more likely to join in the mosh pits.” Rhett said as he tapped Grant’s shoulder, releasing him from his transfixed state.
Grant looked confused.
“Heh, you’ll see.”
Saraiya came between the two. “I’m glad I don’t have to be persuaded to join your shenanigans anymore. Now time for me to relax from a distance.” She leaned back in the chair.
“Oh, don’t worry, we’ll find a way to get you to join us,” Rhett said.
Ambri walked back to the group as Rhett and Grant were heading to order a drink. “Wait, I already got everyone a drink!”
Everyone except Kale clashed their drinks together and took a swig.
“Ambri, you’re drinking on the job?” Rhett smirked.
“It’s allowed! I just can’t have too much.” She downed the whole drink and rushed back behind the counter in front of the hectic crowd.
Kale was still standing staring at the fish. Is this what he meant by making friends? Grant thought.
“So, when does the show start?” Grant asked.
“Should be soon…” Rhett said, glancing at the stage.
“I hope my interview questions aren’t too stupid. This is my first time coming up with a questionnaire for a band.” Saraiya took a big sip from her drink.
“Just don’t get your hopes up,” Kale said. “I hope you are able to talk to them though. I’ll wait with you after the show, I have something I want to say to them as well.”
“Thanks Kale. What are you going to talk to them about?” Saraiya asked.
“I want to ask them a few questions of my own and tell them how much I like their songs.” Kale sauntered back towards the group..
Vibrations shook the floor. On the stage the bassist was doing a sound check, followed by guitar, drums, and then finally a mic check.
“Check! One! Two! Check One! Two!”
A large number of people rushed towards the stage, creating a human stampede.
“WOOOOOOOOOOO!” Kale shouted right next to Grant’s ear as he took off for the stage. Grant, Rhett, and Saraiya stopped and stared in awe as Kale took off flying through the crowd.
“We should get going too.” Rhett tilted his head towards Grant.
“I guess... you’re coming too, right, Saraiya?” Grant asked.
“Nope.” She stuck her tongue out. “I want to enjoy the sounds from a distance while observing the scenes. Plus, I’ve got the excuse of waiting for Natch, he said he was going to be a little late.”
“Oh yeah, hopefully Natch doesn’t miss out on too much! And don’t worry Grant, it’s gonna be fun. Just look how excited Kale is, although he doesn’t mosh, due to his illness. But I’m sure you’ll have a blast.”
“Yeah, yeah. Okay.” Grant couldn’t help but form a slight smile.
The lights dimmed, and streams of blue, red, and green lights started moving across the walls. Crowds of people meshed together closer and closer in front of the stage until they formed a single being of swaying hands and bustling bodies.
Grant and Rhett passed by Kale, who stayed outside of the giant mass of people the best he could, jumping up and down, shouting. They both smiled when they looked at him and kept going forward. Rhett made space for himself within the dense crowd as he ventured into the mob, and made space for Grant to follow.
Hot, humid air filled their noses, with a stronger stench of sweat. Cheering echoed through the bar as the vocalist shouted.
“Are you ready!” The rest of the band members followed in from the sides of the stage forming a line at the edge of the stage.
The sound of chugging guitars bounced off the walls and into the ears of everyone at the bar. The show had begun.
This was the first time Grant had ever been at a show. Typically, he wasn’t into this kind of music, but the screaming vocals resonated with the crazy emotions he had been feeling lately. Before he knew it, he was bobbing his head along.
The people around him however, were on another level. They were making full whips of their neck, letting their heads go down and then all the way up. Their hair flew like waves on a stormy sea.
“It’s almost time!” Rhett shouted as the crowd of people started forming an empty circle around Grant. “Grant, get over here! Get out of the circle!”
Grant, confused, darted his head around the empty space surrounding him, until he finally noticed Rhett motioning his hands.
“GO!” The vocalist shouted.
The crowd erupted and everyone filled in the empty space around Grant, shoving each other. Grant had no idea what was going on. His emotions flew around his brain. He was trying to escape as much as he could, but only got shoved right back into the center.
What was going on? Is this what Rhett called a mosh pit?
I need to get out! Someone! Let me out!
His anxiety was wearing on him as he continuously tried to escape. He had lost sight of Rhett. But within twenty seconds the commotion stopped, as someone screamed.
A man fell to the ground. Blood pooled around his slashed thigh. The band abruptly stopped their song.