I’ll never forget the first basement show I went to.
Wait, my mistake. I actually have forgotten.
This was not due to me being too intoxicated to retain those precious memories, rest assured. I promise you I did my best to obliterate those traumatic events from any portion of my psyche.
I know! Such a controversial opinion to hear throughout the walls of UVM! Except, I’m just like everyone else at UVM that hates basement shows; believe me, there are a lot of us. Let me put it simply: the phrase, “hell is a teenage girl,” is a shortened quote for , “hell is a teenage girl…in a basement show,” although I think there is probably more personal space in hell.
All jokes aside, I used to be one of those people who religiously went to every show every weekend. After only paying a small fine of $5 (now probably $7-15 due to basement show inflation) I would experience the true essence of music. Obviously I realized early on how stupid the whole concept was, but alas, continued to participate well into my sophomore year, because there really was nothing else to do. I stopped going to shows when I realized I had more fun sitting in my room staring at the wall than being in one of those basements.
I used to think there was something wrong with me for hating basement shows. I’d say to myself, “why is everyone else having fun except me?” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how backwards I had it. The system that holds UVM basement shows together is a flawed fucking system. This isn’t a personal attack at the musicians, because I’m sure they’re talented. No one will ever know, though, because the very “professional” sound guys that control the speakers completely deafen the entire audience.
Upon arrival, I’d always try to make my way to the front to avoid being squished in the middle like a sardine and to see the band obviously. However, despite how early you’d get there to find a spot in the front, the door person would always let in way too many people EVERY SINGLE TIME and you’d be greeted by a swarm of basement show groupies plowing through every last person until they were basically breathing down the lead singer’s neck. I always needed to grab on to a pole to avoid being sucked into the abyss behind me. I never got a break, because there was always a drunk person next to me either spilling their drink on me, hitting me with their purse, blowing a strawberry shortcake gumball flavored cloud in my face, or using me as a human tripod so they wouldn’t topple over. I’ll never forget the time I witnessed someone playing with the pipes in the ceiling above us and a magical carcinogenic powder sprinkled down upon us: asbestos! And don’t even get me started on the moshing. Like yes, let’s aggressively push each other back and forth because there truly is no other hobby as remarkably interesting as this, and anger management therapy is just too expensive. I have a theory that if you are someone that likes moshing you are either tall, too gone to know where you are, or lack the spatial awareness to realize that you’re crushing other people.
And there is one thing that is almost always guaranteed for anyone in attendance of these shows. You may not enjoy yourself, but you will definitely contract mystery illnesses that can be a toss up between the frat flu, walking pneumonia, covid, mono, or even pink eye. All this for only a small price of pre-ordering overpriced tickets online to attend a mold infested, sweaty basement, because the basement house owners are just that entitled. No thank you, I’d rather lay down on the Davis crosswalk during rush hour!