Bands Die, That's What Happens

Last night, Cherokee street was busy with two packed shows – one at Foam, the other at Melt. Both bills were lined-up the same, too. At Foam, Pile from Boston performed with three locals: Blight Future, Little Big Bangs and Stonechat, who played their last show. Melt had Nature Boys from Kansas City with Maximum Effort, Riprap (recent transplants) and Self Help, who were also playing for the last time.

Picking between the two was hard because, damn, you might not ever get a chance to see Stonechat or Self Help again. Sure, either band could decide to pick right back up and play, but that's not likely. The reality is this: these shows happen all the time, but that extra push, or urgency, to go just isn't there.

Speaking strictly to readers of this blog, I'll assume you're either a musician or a showgoer. Maybe you like the idea of going out, but the time isn't there so you live vicariously through Facebook or Twitter. Maybe you're already out at shows five nights a week – either way, many of us get saturated with flyers, e-mails and show invites.

Through social media, it's easy to feel shamed for not attending certain shows. You've seen it, and it looks loosely like this: "everyone who didn't go last night fucked up and missed out." All of that is enough to get exhausted, and whether you're involved in music or an avid supporter, we're all privy to it – the burnout.

Stonechat and Self Help both split because of cordial reasons – either a bandmate moved away or the members moved on to new projects. Not every split is malicious and it's fortunate that, at least for these two bands, final shows were had. But fans aren't always so lucky.

It's normal for bands to stop and really, it's inevitable. Every band is temporary. The level of support shown last night was massive, but considering I've seen Stonechat and Self Help play to empty rooms in the past I couldn't help but think: we could have been doing this months ago. Why wait until someone's funeral to tell them that you love them? Sounds a little tragic to me, but for bands, that's the norm.

TL;DR

If you like a band, actually go see it because you won't always have a chance.

-Joseph Hess