If it wasn't the meat head behind me shouting "Bad Religion is better...YOU wish you were Bad Religion," then it was the high school first timer on the other side bending over and pushing her sweaty ass into my friend and I every time the crowd swayed into her. Or maybe it was the shaggy haired 17 year old with his flip-flop wearin' tiny entitled girlfriend who started calling my other friend (who is twice his size) a "faggot" in between sets. Really it could have been any number of annoyingly unnecessary altercations, or peer jeers that made me want to leave the Baltimore NoFX show even before they played "Sticken' in My Eye." Actually, by the time Fat Mike stopped encouraging a 10 year old audience member to fist his teacher and got to telling me about his closest friend, linoleum, a quick punch to the back of my neck solidified this: I am done with the entire scene.
Well, fuck me then, right? It's a punk show, and a decade ago a younger Jason Segal entertained me for the first time with the idea that, "mayhem and punk shows...it's like peas and carrots." I know that. I'm down with mayhem. I've craved mayhem, and I've created mayhem. But, last night, as I set my empty water cup on the ground, just as another cup from someone behind me sailed over my head, it seemed mayhem and me are just going in different directions right now. It's becoming clear that our goals are different and honestly, we're really just growing apart.
After all these years, am I really left standing, wondering what changed? The scene or me?
What is this? Some stale bullshit realization about being too old for punk rawk? The same bullshit realization that the main character in the above film comes to? Or the same one that millions of songs from this genre write about? Well, fuck. It sure as hell is. Hey, if punk is dead, then realizing you're too old for it is even deader. So how come this sentiment is more ancient than Chuck Taylor? Because at some point everyone, even Fat Mike (there's a reason they play clubs big enough to have that 5 foot barricaded off space between us and them), gets sick of being punched by teenagers. Not to mention being over that grody-to-the-maxx feeling when that fat sweaty, shirtless, skinhead slips past you on his way outta the pit. People's limits are different, and while I enjoyed watching the kids throwing elbows last night, I haven't been interested in doing it myself since I broke my finger at a 2003 Rancid show. And up until the few punches, asshole remarks, and beer spillage that amounted to last nights show, I still enjoyed standing off to the side screaming along with the band. NoFX may be over 40 and doing just fine, but shit, only weeks before turning 25 I'm too tired, and ouchy to do this much longer...
Fuck it...I've totally got tickets for Bouncing Souls and Strike Anywhere next week.