Monday, October 31, 2011

Death and dancing on Halloween ... and a birth (that's life)

Amidst an eight-foot corn field stands an evil scarecrow, jack-o-lantern for a head with one of those 360 smiles - where madness takes a smile of happiness beyond the grimace of pain and back into the truly demented realms where a smile is scarier than any expression of anger. He hangs rather than stands, breathing smoke through a glowing mouth and watching over a group of country horror folk musicians, all dressed and face-painted for the occasion. It is Halloween at Melbourne's grand Forum Theatre. This is the one and only Graveyard Train.

The audience is packed with mummies, zombies, murderers, murder victims, witches, ghosts, ghouls and a hipster. On stage a man smashes a chain with a mallet to the beat of a song about werewolves. In some ways, they might seem like a novelty band - and this was their night to play it up - but they are one of the best Melbourne bands going around.

The night finishes with the most sensationally, enjoyably odd of climaxes - a couple of thousand people singing, dancing, stomping, screaming, smiling and celebrating the fact we are all going to die while the band played their unreleased but seminal crowd (and personal absolute) favourite song 'All Will Be Gone'.

Last night was the fourth time I've seen them play this year - with number five lined up at the Meredith Music Festival next month - but that, that, was something else. Ok, the venue was bigger and better than Fitzroy's lovely, cosy Old Bar and certainly the Williamstown RSL, and perfectly suited a Halloween gig with the outdoor ampitheatre feel and gargoyles and roman statues watching you sing and dance. Still, being part of such a raucous celebration of our mortality and general insignificance was just so much goddamn fun and so liberating.

We're not here long. Enjoy it, even (especially!) the dark, scary stuff because then there's really nothing to fear ... and without fear life is so fucking free!

We're all going to die. You, me, everyone you know. And everything you ever saw or conceived of will one day be gone. That's either terrifying or liberating. How does a guy who suffers anxiety enjoy that though? Sometimes I don't. But sometimes you realise life is just so amazing and everything you love is here now, so let go of that fear and damn well enjoy it. What a waste otherwise.

One day Graveyard Train will be gone too. See them.

While I was singing and dancing about death (and therey celebrating life) in Melbourne, just across the Pacific Ocean my sister-in-law was giving birth. My new nephew's name is Dexter. Awesome. Just awesome. What a night.

1 comment:

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