Cloaca Melodia

My life in concerts, by Mike Sauter.


Rollins Band

Fastlane, Asbury Park, NJ

The first time I caught the Rollins Band was at Lollapalooza one year before, but I was sick at that show and ended up napping (!) during the Rollins set. Since then Rollins & Co. had put out their explosive The End of Silence album.

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The single "Low Self Opinion" had been a big one at WHTG, and I was very interested in seeing the live show in a proper setting (and with me healthy). The club, right off the corner of 4th and Kingsley in Asbury Park, was packed when I and my girlfriend (who I believe was in attendance only reluctantly) walked in. The Fastlane's bleacher seating was quite full with t-shirt and button-down shirt wearing twentysomethings, and the floor was also crowded in front of the stage as well as by the bars on both ends of the room. Not able to find a seat, we walked back towards the front and staked out some standing space.

Naturally, Rollins is a dynamic performer. Not one to leap about the stage, he rather stands rock-solid gripping the microphone and mic cable like a blackjack and exuding Raw Power by the sweatload. It's both an intimidating and energizing thing to witness, although my favorite moment of the show underscored the intimidation side of the equation.

Rollins was standing at center stage, belting his vocal out over the crowd mere inches in front of him, when a young man tried to hoist himself onto stage left to make a dive back into the crowd. As he climbed up from floor level, Rollins took a step in his direction and, without missing a beat, continued to sing, but now nearly eyeball-to-eyeball with the would-be stagediver. Even from my distance, I could see the color drain from the young man's face as his field of vision was suddenly obscured by Rollins' face shouting lyrics. He slipped back down into the comforting anonymity of the crowd.

Being a hot August night, the club got sweltering before too long, so we ended up leaving the show early. The cool breeze rolling off the ocean one block to the east was always welcome when departing summer shows in Asbury Park, and particularly so for this one.

ADDENDUM: While giving former Rollins drummer Sim Cain a ride to the Pittsburgh airport the day after his WYEP Summer Music Festival performance with David Poe, he said he remembered this show pretty well and one of his memories also involved a stagediver. He said a guy jumped on stage and was about to dive until Rollins grabbed him and turned him around to face the band so that they could see his T-shirt. It said "Where's the pit?" and they all thought it was amusingly ridiculous.

I can only imagine what runs through one's mind when Rollins grabs you and forcibly spins you around.

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Lollapalooza II

Red Hot Chili Peppers/Ministry/Soundgarden/Pearl Jam/Jesus & Mary Chain/Ice Cube/Lush

Waterloo Field, Stanhope, NJ

sorry, Mike has not yet written about this show... add your own comments if you were also there!

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