Milwaukee is suffering from a lack of worthwhile venues to play at. Recently the local punk rock/indie rock/post rock venue, The Globe, shut it’s doors. Cops busted in before a Small Brown Bike show and decided the place was a fire hazard and too rundown to keep open. There are some kids doing basement shows and some kids who are trying to get this other venue going, but that’s all emo driven bullshit that isn’t worth supporting.
My friends and I were driving around in a state of boredom when we found a building near Miller Park. This old complex is a rundown shit hole without skin, but it has a nice strong skeleton that makes up for it. The walls that remain attached to that skeleton are all dressed up with graffiti, and the broken windows shine. But the key to this treasure of industrial hell is that some how this place still has working power.
The term guerilla rock has been jumping around in my brain for a while, and I think it’s a great concept: move your equipment to a random location, plug in, and go crazy. When I found this place I just knew I had to do something with it, and guerilla rock had finally beaten me into submission.
Me and my buddies pooled 400 bucks together and went out to buy some cheap equipment that we knew we’d never see again. We also got a friend that we hate to loan us his huge amps and some extra cords. What an idiot.
We made some fliers and threw them around town. The fliers indicated that people who are into music should meet at the building around ten o’clock on June 28th for a real musical feast. We hoped that at least ten people would show up.
More people came than I expected. There were at least forty people there that we didn’t know, which I think comes from the great street team efforts, and then fifteen friends that we had asked to come. So the total was somewhere around fifty-five people, all of whom, I’m sure, are very happy that they ended up coming.
Around half past ten we took up our instruments and busted into our one and only song that we’d play that night; actually, it wasn’t one song, it was all of our songs strung together without breaks in between. When we started playing we went completely insane with intensity that could only be rivaled by The Boredoms, or perhaps At The Drive-In when they were in their prime.
The people who were there caught on when we started jumping off the walls, and they went completely crazy too. Usually people at Milwaukee shows are overly self-conscious about things like moving their bodies around, and dancing, or feeling the music or anything like that. But tonight things just clicked and everyone went insane with each other. It was beautiful.
After playing nonstop for twenty minutes or so we started trashing our equipment that we had brought, and a lot of the building too. Everyone went for it and helped out to completely destroy everything, as a big, unified group. It was magnificent.
I’ll never understand how the cops never arrived, and I’ll never know how so many people showed up at that building tonight. But what I do know is that something like this will definitely happen again...soon. And I encourage everyone who isn’t happy with their music scene to set something up by themselves. Because chances are people will eat it up.