Friday June 8th I had the opportunity to go see NELW, Guilty By Association, Guttermouth & TSOL at the Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas. My ticket was free, but freedom isn’t free sooo there was most definitely a price to be paid.
I should add as a disclaimer that I am not a huge punk rock fan. I dabble mainly in metal as punk can be very hit or miss for me.
You know those people you think are not completely creepy on social media but then turn out to be like …put you in a pit and hose you if you don’t moisturize so they can wear your face later type creepy … like I will follow you home rape you and hack you into pieces so no one will find you creepy … that level of creepy is what was beheld when I agreed to buy a follower one my IG…we will call him “Creeps McGee”…. (now blocked) some beers in exchange for the free ticket he offered me in lieu of it going to waste. In no way was this ever communicated as a date or a precursor to a date or any other implication of mutual carnal and/or romantic interest.
I’m all for making new friends. As much of an asshole as I am, I am a nice person. However, my kindness only goes so far. I missed Never Ending Last Words set with their new vocalist because this guy wanted to sit at a bar and drink his beer slowly and chat directly across from the venue minutes before they were to go on stage. I was sad to have missed them. He was forewarned that I know / am friends with a lot of people that were going to be at the show and that I would likely wander (we will come back to this).
Guilty By Association killed it. Guitars were on point and the witty banter between band mates on stage and the crowd was fantastic. The floor of Brooklyn Bowl had a good group of fans forming a mosh pit. My enjoyment of their set was overshadowed by the level of creeped out that continued to increase.
In between sets I made my way to the bathroom to 1) pee and 2) escape the awkwardness of Creeps McGee. Along the way I stopped to chat with a few friends from the local scene to include a couple members of beloved NELW. (Randy Trent, Drummer for NELW, was of course hanging out pants-less mingling with the crowd of fans and friends a like.)
I was hoping that he would get lost in the crowd in my absence. Unfortunately that was not the case and Creeps McGee was standing next to me once again. His tone and body language when I socialized with other people was that of possessive yet socially awkward. Trying to be polite I introduced him to Randy and my buddy Patrick.
Bring in Guttermouth who opened up with their anti-anti-establishment-ism sch-peel followed by taunting the ladies in the crowd and reminiscing on the mid west shows they recently performed. Their commentary on the heavier set mid west women with a thirst for punk band members was hilarious. Lead Singer Mark Adkins took off his shirt and spanked his ass in between songs while the band. The level of ass crack that could be seen on stage was refreshing along with the vulgar tenacity of covering one’s self with condiments.
Throughout this display of hilarity, Creeps McGee kept brushing his forearm against mine as if my body language was not enough to key him in on that I did not want him touching me. His arm was scaly like having snake scales or sequins rubbed on your skin the wrong way. It was not even remotely crowded enough for this to be something that was unavoidable.
TSOL came on and the mosh pit turned from a raging tempest into a rockabilly swing dance party. Two newly weds danced the night away while an older couple right in front of me held hands and jammed out to the music. A pixie of a young lady was doing twirls and splits for the beginning portion of the set. It appears that someone later on upset her as she tried to fight multiple people at the rim of the “pit” before she was escorted out by security.
I decided that I wanted to evade the end show additional awkwardness as I was already exhausted from working all day on top of standing at the show for several hours and maintaining a level of politeness that is unnatural for me.
Creeps McGee walked me out…I was hoping he was going to stay for the remainder of the show and just part ways then and there. Nope …he walked with me to the ride share pick up area where my phone was at 15% while I was trying to order my ride . Due to the shitty reception in this area my Lyft app was frozen on the ride that I took to the venue 5 or so hours earlier. After trying to figure out how to order a Lyft frantically so that I could get away from this dude, my phone died.
I told Creeps that I got this and was just going to go buy a portable charger from one of the casinos and I’d be fine. He proceeded to follow me all the way into the casino where I purchased a portable battery pack / phone charger for a little under $100 literally so that I did not have to result to this man giving me a ride and finding out where I live.
Once I had the charger, Creeps proceeded to follow me back to the ride share pick up area. I am at this point terrified that if I say something he will lash out at me. My anxiety is going through the roof and I am panicking, heart and thoughts racing while my phone is charging enough to get myself home. Thinking what if this guys follows the Lyft driver or something. If I tell him to fuck off is he going to knock me out and drag me away somewhere?
Thankfully several of the people I knew from the scene passed by and started talking to me while they ordered their ride shares. I was trying to maintain conversation with them while avoiding eye contact and minimally speaking to Creeps until finally I was able to order my ride and then quickly say I had to go and get the hell out of there.
Fellow metal-heads, punk rockers, human beings….If you see a situation occurring like this and something seems off …ask if everything is good. If you can’t get them away from the creepo to ask this, shoot them a FB message or a text …or pretend to show them something on your phone (actually have something to show them you can quickly switch to and type something on your screen or ask for receipt paper and a pen at the bar and write them a note. This guy had easily 150 lbs on me and was a foot plus taller. Had I been in a mosh pit with him I would have tried to knock him down, but this was very very different.
In retrospect – I should have just told the guy I was going to the bathroom and then left much earlier. But we don’t always think of the best solutions at the time. Selfish me wanted to check out the bands. Scared me wanted to leave and selfish me won out for a while until Scared me was like fuck this shit.
I wanted to write about this particular instance because of how it made me feel and the fact that this does happen in the scene. It can happen to anyone regardless of gender… Bitches can be crazy too. Luckily I got out of the situation without incident. I am extremely lucky to have known so many people attending this show. I am forever grateful for my scene family and friends who look out for and support each other.
Photos to be added soon