Here in Baltimore we often get the short end of the stick, and I’m not just talking about when we’re getting beaten by the police. Okay, we’ve got MDF, so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much. But when it comes to club shows, things tend to go awry, i.e. we always seem to be at the top of the cancellation list when Jǿrgen and the crew are late getting their visas. Needless to say, when I returned to the States last summer to find that after already missing several killer shows when I was away, Taake had to cancel their upcoming show at memz-filled Metro Gallery because the Bergen airport wouldn’t give corpse paint security clearance, I was pretty bummed. But, redemption was made when it was announced that they had scheduled a makeup. So, I took a break from my eggplant roasting and meditating and Podcast listening or whatever the fuck it is I do now in my old age, enlisted the company of everyone’s favorite guest thot/sister, Julie, and went to see some Taake. I had literally been anticipating this show for so long that it had gotten a mention way back in my year end list. Or at least I hope it did. I wasn’t too far out from anesthesia when I wrote that thing, so it could be JoeJoe the Capybara fan fiction for all I know.
Oh, and another complaint about Baltimore shows: they literally start at the ass crack of dusk. I always thought that was normal until last year when I got to travel to a bunch of superior places and realized that it’s not…like at all. It’s actually pretty annoying. Even despite dipping out of work early “because I have to go take these pictures of this thing for this other thing that I, like, do,” as I so eloquently put it to my boss (ambiguity gets you a long way when you enjoy weekly cursing on the internet but also being employed), I still missed local faves Cemetery Piss. In fact, I think this is roughly the sixth time I’ve missed them now for pretty much the same reason. Can someone please give these guys a headlining show? They’re fucking great. “Rest in Piss” is so potato you can pop it in the deep fryer and eat it with some sea salt and sriracha.
The time constraint also forced me to have to go to the bourgie liquor right by my sister’s house. You know the kind. You go in and some nice old Ask Jeeves-looking dude inquires if you need help finding a wine to go with your family dinner and you’re in there in your boom-boom shorts and winged eyeliner so bold that it needs its own zip code and you just feel so completely alone in the world. Then to make matters worse you go back to the fridge and see that they don’t carry loose Raz-ber-rita cans and before you know it you’re pre-gaming with mini bottles of white wine that are “paired ideally with tilapia and wild rice.” Let me tell you something. Copenhagen was the fanciest and safest place I have ever or probably will ever go, and even there you can walk into 7-Elleven and get yourself a hard lemonade. So, Baltimore, don’t go thinking you’re all classy for your whack ass liquor laws. You’re not deterring anything. You’re just getting me agitated.
ANYWAYS, what I did get there in time for was finding out that there was no photo area and that being on the press list is no more than a free ticket, lawlz, so I had to take pictures by basically peering out from the side of a pole. I enjoy small venues because true kvlt potato blah blah blah, but sometimes they just don’t really seem to be the most accommodating of the demands that come with hosting the really big name type of bands. That being said, everyone seemed to be really nicely hyped with the sold-out atmosphere and all. I saw a lot of that arm-to-shoulder head-banging line bonding that always warms my heart. And, of course, there was the obligatory one dude in full-on King Diamond paint. Late 30’s-early 40’s, shuffling back and forth in a jarringly non-complimentary outfit, mentally questioning if such a bold move was a miscalculation. To be fair, I was doing some shuffling too from the heartburn I got from chugging that shitty wine. Apparently that’s a thing that happens when you get old and I don’t like it.
After much anticipation, Taake finally took the stage. They even came in through the ceiling. Or at least that’s what it seemed like. You see Metro Gallery is one of those places where you have to walk through the crowd to get to the stage or whatever. But I swear it just seemed like I looked up and they done arrived. I guess that’s how they were finally able to get into America. Equally shocking was the fact that the beer of choice for the evening seemed to be Corona. Maryland’s got fucking 21-year-old boss bitches drinking like the hag down the street who hits on your teenage brother and your black metal idols drinking like Tanner from Sigma Chi. I think I need have a chat with Bernie about this issue.
But in all seriousness, Taake was an interesting experience to take in. Hoest put on a super commanding performance that you wouldn’t really expect from someone out of the introverted one-man scene, as probably best exemplified by his deliberate mid-set jacket removal/ab unveiling. I feel weird even lumping him in with that category because of his willingness to embrace session and guest artists – a readiness that fans certainly appreciate, if the overwhelmingly excited audience was any indication. If you know me you know that Xasthur is my favorite band after Eyehategod, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get kind of bummed sometimes knowing that I’ll never get to hear Scott’s tracks in real life. But different strokes for different folks, I guess. I know I certainly struggle with trying to balance my pretty much constant craving for being alone with accepting interaction with others when needed.
After the show Julie and I sat in the parking lot of Royal Farms, trying to work up the energy to start our ritual post-show Fig Newton rager. We also have a post-show ritual of me freezing my ass off while I try to get in a few texts to whatever dude I’ll probably regret giving my number to before my phone dies while she sits there slightly mad at me for being a corny ass bitch. She asked if I remembered what Hoest’s real name is. “I don’t know man,” I said, distracted. Along came a long silence. “I bet you it’s Christian,” she finally let out. We had a good laugh. The cool part about sisters is that you’re never mad for too long. I guess surrounding yourself with people loses its difficulty when they’re the right ones.