31 August 2000
Originally our group was supposed to be pretty big for this concert. Ken and I were going together; we were also supposed to meet Lee, Noe, and Ellie. Neither Ken nor I were extremely surprised that none of these people showed up. I can't say I was upset. I probably enjoyed it more without them.
I don't know if I can put into words how surprised I was when I walked into the Norva. We had been there to see the Deftones about a month earlier. We had come in an hour early, to find the place already desperately crowded. We figured that since this concert had gotten no publicity, we could stand to come in a little later. We entered the Norva about 25 minutes before Isle of Q was to go on. There might have been forty people on the floor. We went straight up to the stage and got a rail to lean against.
The group of drunk guys was immediately obvious. While the roadies were putting up Isle of Q's equipment, a guy in a tanktop with huge muscles and a beer in his hand kept roaring "I'M NOT PART OF YOUR LITTLE SCENE!" In addition to that, IoQ was playing Static-X's Wisconsin Death Trip while setting up. Bled for Days happened to be on. All three drunk guys yelled "BLED FOR DAYS" whenever that part came up.
Finally the guy from Isle of Q came on. I thought he was another roadie. The drunk guy (we later learned his name was Phil) immediately yelled "Get off the stage, fatass!" I guess he didn't care that the guy wasn't fat. Some security guards went over and started talking to Phil, and I think they might have taken his beer. IoQ started playing, and Phil was quiet during the songs. Between each song, he would yell, "I'M NOT PART OF YOUR LITTLE SCENE!" Finally the guy was like, "Yea, we'll get to that." Phil responded, "If you're too old..." His friend said quickly, "Man, you fucked it up." Phil was like, "No I didn't." "Yea you did." "If it's too LOUD, you're too OLD!" With that finally over, they played Little Scene. Then they went off.
I didn't really want to leave the stage, but nature was calling...and I have no answering machine. So we went upstairs to the restrooms. Then we walked around on the balcony, cos I'd never really had a chance to look around up there before. We came back down 10 or 15 minutes later, to find our stage area still empty. We took up residence. Phil and his friends came over and hung out with us, plugging UPO and singing Violence Fetish. I'll never be able to hear Violence Fetish again, and not think of Phil's friend singing "WA-OH-OH!" After confirming that we did indeed know who Chris Cornell was, they told us, with conviction that "that guy in UPO...that's Chris Cornell TIMES TWO." And then they told us that we would know exactly when Godless started. This triggered them all to begin screaming "GODLESS!" UPO finally did come on. I was standing against the stage, and Ken was behind me with his arms around me, when Phil's friend came up to us and said, "Come on, now! This isn't humping music!" Overall I didn't find much that stood out about UPO. Their music was pretty mediocre.
We went upstairs again, and when we came back down, their group was gone. I don't know if they left after UPO, or if they got kicked out for being drunk. I started to get thirsty, but I didn't want Ken to pay $3.50 for a bottle of water. We saw the water bottles Nickelback's roadies were placing all over the stage and started scheming about how to get up to the stage and get them. They came on before we had the chance to actually try anything.
At this point, I'd heard nothing of Nickelback's except Leader of Men, so I don't know what all was played exactly. I can listen to The State and remember, "Hey, they played that." Chad kept commenting on how the small crowd was cool. I agreed totally, it really felt like they were playing especially for me. At one point he asked how all of us were doing, to which Ken replied, "We're a little thirsty." Chad and Mike each offered him a bottle of water. He took one, and the guy next to us took one. "In a crowd this small, no one should go thirsty," Chad said. They played some stuff off both CD's. The other real quotable of the evening was in reference to the backstage area. "Man, you guys probably don't know this," Chad said, "but this is one of the best backstage rooms I've ever seen. There's a pinball machine, a jacuzzi...you can bet I'll be intoxicated in a Whirlpool later tonight." The last song they played, cos he "didn't have the voice for Cowboy Hat" was Leader of Men. At the end the drummer threw his sticks to the back of the room, and Ken ultimately emerged the winner. We both have our mementos of the concert. I have the water bottle, and Ken has the "Leader of Men drumstick."