You meet the coolest people at indie shows: Street Eaters - Sluggos, Pensacola

I always try to get to the venue on time to see all of the bands that are on the night's lineup. I know, it makes for a long night, but I have learned a lot during those nights. Hey, often the bands that are considered the openers or the "warm up" acts are the most interesting. There is no dynamic light show, or props, or what have you, to enhance the experience, just the raw energy of the music. I have always been sort of a musicphile, but my passion has always been punk, indie,  and alternative rock. I guess you could say I am addicted to the energy. But I often meet the coolest people at these shows, the bands themselves.

Life on the road fascinates me. And having learned over the years the paltry sums  many of these touring bands make performing shows and the struggles of making money, not to mention a profit, from their recordings, has  led me to wonder how they so often bring such intensity to their sets. There is the constant driving, getting to the venue and setting up their gear, performing from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, breaking down and loading up to drive to the next town. But, in my experience of going to these shows, they are often the friendliest people and are more than willing to take some time and chat with you.

I had gone to Sluggos in downtown Pensacola, Friday night to see a favorite singer/songwriter perform with her new duo and link up with some past bandmates. But, as is my pattern, I showed up early to catch the first couple of bands. One of those bands was Street Eaters , a post-punk/indie two piece outfit from Berkeley, California. I hate generalizations, but how do describe a couple of people who jam so hard they blow your face off. The two piece is made up of Megan March Mink on drums and vocals, and John No (or is it Geek?) on bass and vocals. They are touring in support of a newly released recording Blood::Muscles::Bones. I purchased the record at the show, and while I love the record (and wish that I had purchased all of their older recordings), nothing can replace the intensity of seeing them perform these songs live. For about 30 to 40 minutes they pretty much emptied the front of the house and drove everyone to front and center to experience the energy they bring.

I had a chance to chat with John after the set and came to appreciate the dedication he and Megan have to their music and how thankful they are for those that attend their shows. He is a school teacher by trade and Megan is a sound engineer, so yes, they have careers outside of music. I see that more and more in todays environment. Musicians have to face the reality that music very often does not pay all the bills. But that makes the experience of seeing and meeting people like John and Megan all the more meaningful. And that makes experiencing the intensity of their live shows that much more genuine. I hope they continue to make time for music, they are great musicians and songwriters, and I want to hear more from them. You can pick up their release on band camp. Please do, it is so worth it.

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