Jameson Files #8: The Badboys of Boise
When Jameson and I arrived at The Knitting Factory, we were blown away by the proportions of everything. By then, I had gotten used to the guys rocking the pants off of a handful of fans in small venues like bars, but TKF was legit! Backstage was a maze of hallways all leading to different special accommodations for the bands, and a green room you can actually party in! The stage setup was very professional too. They had a separate sound person whose setup was right next to the stage, and whose sole purpose was adjusting the monitors. Upstairs in the main soundboard area there were 2 people working constantly, one on sound, one on the light show.
Jay was looking a bit out of place in his A Tribe Called Quest shirt, but he didn’t let people’s weird stares get to him. He’s cooler than the cool side of the pillow.
Jay: I noticed the kids there where giving me this crazy eye like they wanted to kick my ass, haha. It made me feel great to see some kids that are so into metal that a hip hop T-shirt was out of the question. I remember these particular guys from when I was walking around before the show. I locked eyes with this one kid and could see him saying something to his buddies about my shirt. Later while we were on stage, I saw the same kid going nuts in the pit. At the end of the set he ran up to the stage to get a high five and throw some metal horns in my face. That was one of the best parts of the show. Those kids ate it up and it didn’t matter what I was wearing anymore. The only thing that mattered was that they were rewarded for making it out to a dope show. I mean shit, isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about??
Standing outside the front door, we noticed these kids hanging out on the roof of a parking garage. You don’t have a very good hiding spot, kids… We can see you!
Chad: It’s always tough for me, because where there aren’t massive cymbals or drums, there’s usually another band-member or a huge-ass stage-light in my face. Since this venue was so huge and was so crowded, I had a view of about 3 different areas of the venue, but anything directly in front of the stage might as well have never happened.
Matt Bomb: Hey man, I always turn around and make faces at you, be happy…there are drummers in third-world countries that don’t get any attention. *pats Chad on the back*
Chad continued: At one point I looked out into the crowd at my right, and that entire side of the crowd had formed a circle pit. Off to my left was nothing but a constant wave of crowd-surfers being pulled over the railings by security. I totally almost lost my shit, but I didn’t because I’m a fucking boss.
Dan: The best way to describe playing in front of that many people is adrenaline. For me it’s all about playing well but also putting on a good show. Especially when there are a shit ton of kids. Being a fan myself I also want to see a good show, and not just some dudes standing around. Windmills and running around are a must. My favorite part of the show was when Matt Bomb got everyone to crowd surf. I was almost jealous of those kids, haha!
Dan: As far as shows go, Boise was definitely the best we’ve been a part of. In Los Angeles it’s really hard to get a good crowd response because most people are already jaded by the thousands of other bands around.
Jay: Yeah, I think the Boise show stacks up to be one of the best show’s we’ve had. The stage was awesome and the crowd was really giving us energy. The bands that played before us really warmed them up for us to kick some ass. Personally, I had a blast on that stage.
MB: Dude, that crowd was so rad! Feeling that Jameson energy with that many people is just a pure thrill and a privilege. The songs, the show…that stuff was the pretty much the same as it was for all those bars and basements that we had been playing for a hundred or so people a night; and that kind of energy has a special place in my heart.
Matt Bomb continued: …But to feel it on that Boise scale from all those young fans… That [energy] makes it sound louder and meaner. It makes you feel bigger and stronger, and I really believe that from a fans perspective. It’s an indiscriminate kind of energy.
In the photo above, you can see the crowd preparing for the wall of death.
Chad: I’ve been to a LOT of concerts in my day, and I’ve never seen a wall-of-death that huge with that many kids dead serious about it. Usually it’s around 25-50 kids, but we literally had 300-400 nutty-ass fans split down the middle and run at eachother full-speed on the intro to “Nothing Survives The Winter”. That moment pretty much made that my favorite song of ours.
Ben: Didn’t see the WOD coming. I thought most parents taught their children not to listen to strangers. Apparently there are no strangers in Boise, because everything Matt Bomb said, they did without hesitation.
This photo was taken right at the moment of initial impact. Yup, that’s a wall of death.
Dan: The wall of death was the coolest thing ever. It’s always been a dream to have kids do that to our music, and now we can check that off the list.
Matt Bomb: Total Fucking Madness! For real, dude. There is really one word and emotion that comes to mind when i think about that crowd; Pride. Not just for us or Rip Chain or Maleva. It was everywhere. I was so damn proud of those fans. Front to fucking back, man, screaming and partying and fuckin just going! And i think they were proud of us. And when you have that energy circulating around a room of 700 kids… It’s live, homie. If those fuckers know you can and will deliver, they will reward you, bro.
Chad continued: From behind the drums the Wall of Death was tough to see. I have my China set up right in front of my face over my two rack toms, so it virtually blocks my view of the audience in the middle of the floor. I knew that spot was where all the mayhem was going to go down, and I just so happened to be using my China cymbal at the time, so I hit it extra hard to move it out of the way so I could see the moment of impact. You know why I did that? Because I’m fucking smart. [Brilliant, Chad. -Bohan]
Matt Bomb continued: Dude, I totally did not see the wall of death coming! I mean it! Like i said, dude. The crowd giveth. So we are about half way through the set, just before “Nothing Survives the Winter.” This song is heavy, so i want that fucking pit ready to roll when this shit drops. So i start motioning to spread out. No mic, just hands (thats what she said).
Matt Bomb continued: As I’m doing that, I hear “Wall of death!” coming from this dude in the crowd! He’s fucking shirt off, balls out, like ready to fucking do this! …And who would I be to let this dude down, you know? So I back him up. This time with the mic. “Wall of Fucking Death!” I said, or something like that with more cursing… and they gaveth. They split right up, man. So I back this fan up and the crowd splits, and the band drops, and it all went down, man. Fucking beautiful!
What do you guys think about all the crowd surfing going on?
Ben: I was surprised all the crowd surfers were so young, and so female. Everything about this show was awesome but slightly odd. Who would expect 15 year old girls would be our primary crowd surfing demographic?!
Dan: Its a good feeling when you make a kid’s day and a fan for life. I’ve never seen anything like that, but we got those kids to do just about anything we wanted. That’s power by definition.
Chad: The crowd surfers were completely awesome kids. Some of them even waited around for us after the venue had already closed just to get pictures and autographs. That was easily one of my favorite moments I can remember about being in Jameson.
What about Art?
Chad: We don’t have shit for merch right now because of all of the sales in Boise! I’m pretty sure half of that city has a Jameson shirt, CD and sticker and it’s all thanks to Art. Road-dog TJ is a fucking team player. He almost got raped by a weird 50-year-old tranny in a red dress, but he does it with a god damn smile on his face because he’s not a pussy! I’m sure without Art things would have been a whole lot shittier. Hell, this last tour convinced him to move out to L.A. from New Jersey. I don’t know anyone else who would come out to California on vacation for 3 weeks, then afterward just decide to give up their current life, move across country and be a part of a heavy metal band… Oh shit, wait… No. That’s how we got Matt Bomb.
Ben: Art is the fucking man, he runs shit. With Art manning the booth we sold pretty much all the merch we had left! Also thanks to Art, I was able to avoid getting raped by the aforementioned tranny. Thanks buddy!
Matt Bomb: Art is the human embodiment of every Foo Fighters song, ever. Art has also been one of my closest friends for 10 years. Having that kind of support around on the road is invaluable to me. I need that person around to ground me, you know? Help me laugh at myself or chicks or a shitty situation. A friend to just be out in the world with, man. It’s really cool.
Matt Bomb: Signing autographs always feels like a reward. Like a “job well done, man. see you soon!”
MB: Having those kids come up to get high fives and autographs after the show was an absolute dream come true. I saw myself, man, for real. Proud. Those kids are gonna grow up strong and proud. That’s what heavy metal is, dude, and those kids got that. They were so fucking fearless! I’m almost at a loss for words. I was inspired and gratified on a spiritual level. Kids, man. They fuckin rule!
After the show, we were all dead tired so we grabbed some libations from a local all-night pizza joint and headed towards our hotel. This concludes the my coverage of Jameson’s show at The Knitting Factory, but I want to leave you readers with a thought provoking question.
Is this a dude or a chick?