In retrospect, it was a gamble.
The show’s flyer was posted on @baltshowplace, sure, but it was not listed on their Instagram post for shows of the week. Also no “MISSED THIS FOR SATURDAY/CANCELLED”-type updates in their stories that I caught. Didn’t check the Tumblr.
I know, I know… pics or it didn’t happen.
I get there at 9PM on the dot (see above flyer). A person opens the locked door, puzzled, a little naturally wary of some random dude rolling up to their spot.
We talk briefly. They seem confused about a “show”, but say the “event” starts at 10PM.
Being me, I sit in my car out front and read a book for an hour as folks slowly arrive.
SPOILER ALERT: This show did not happen. Or it did not happen at the address given. Or the date was wrong. Or the show turned into the event that was not the show. Folks were polite but firm at 10PM. This was not the spot. Maybe it was happening up the road?
I am never upset about this sort of thing.
Why? I seek the white whale. Things can go wrong when you dedicate yourself to that.
Other people would have made more moves, bugged people online, used some sort of an app to figure this out.
In fact, the safer bet would have been to attend a show at another venue, where a band I like and advise you to check out, Pearl, was playing a set of blistering and exhilarating hardcore. Friendly folks to talk to and say “hello” to were there. I know because I can now watch their documentation online.
But I took another route and… wiped out. I wanted to see the bands listed on the flyer play a show at a non-traditional venue. I took the flyer as a guarantee.
I should know better. Shows get flyers and then they don’t happen. I first experienced this in 1993, my friend Anthony Malat designing a flyer for a show, giving me copies to distribute, and then… show didn’t happen.
It is both a strength and flaw of my nature not to care about anything other than the totality of the experience. Musicians and organizer get upset, maybe embarrassed, when their show gets switched or nixed and I show up. Just know: it’s not you, it’s me. I am willful, patient, and stubborn. I am also not into the fluidity that Interlife is about. I place my bets and accept the odds.
I hope that, last night, somewhere, somehow, Turd Merlin, Sickle Cell, and Life Puzzler did their thing. I hope the bands got paid and folks bought merch and people had a good time. The show can now be as perfect as a lost album to me, as it exists only in my imagination.
In any case, it is Sunday morning after another Saturday night in Baltimore. I have laundry to do and errands to run. I also have no regrets about my misadventure and missed connection. As the poet once said, “On To The Next One.”