Last Friday night, Kyle and I went to see The Urge, a wildly popular St Louis band. They’re primarily a ska/metal hybrid, with a sprinkle of reggae. They broke up in 2001, but recently got back together, starting with their first show in September. Days later, I still have them stuck in my head. Not The Urge’s music, exactly, but the battle cry that the crowd screams before the show, the encore, and during the slightest moment of silence:
PLAY THAT MOTHERFUCKING URGE SHIT!
This was my first Urge show ever, and to say that they do not disappoint would be both a cliche and an understatement. To say that they melted my motherfucking face off and left my brain a gooey mess sliding down the walls would be a step in the right direction.
The Urge put on a killer live show. They’re fantastic musicians, of course, but it’s the energy that fires from the stage that really makes an impact. Taking pictures of them is nearly impossible, because when they’re not ripping it up on their respective instruments they’re literally running around the stage; one of my favorite moments of the show was the song when the saxophonist and trombonist spent most of it running to opposite sides of the stage, winding up, and running pell-mell at each other.
To stand perfectly still and watch The Urge on stage would be physically impossible.
The energy from the stage combined with the bass thundering from the massive subs under the stage found me in the first row of the pit and filled my entire body. Being in that pit was an emotionally amplified experience. Everything that I saw, heard, felt, was manifested in a physical wave that slammed my body and filled my chest. It was so…visceral.
I’ve experienced this sort of unrestrained energy in pits before, but never so much as I did in The Urge’s pit. I didn’t know a single word to any of their songs, but I found myself screaming along wordlessly and jumping up and down with the surge of the pit just to match the energy and abandonment of the stage and the crowd.
But this show did more to me than just penetrate my skin with energy and loose me in the wave of senses. You see, this may have been my first Urge show ever, but it was not Kyle’s first, not by any stretch of the imagination. In his 26 years of life Kyle’s seen The Urge 10-15 times, and they are without question his favorite band. He left his high school graduation to go see their last live show before they broke up for good. Long before he found out they were getting back together, I’d heard countless stories of The Urge and their shows, the pit and diving into the pounding, thrashing mess. And when he did find out they were getting back together, he nearly pissed himself. I was excited to go to this show because it was supposed to be a great show, but also because it was a chance to get a taste of an experience from his adolescence.
Watching him dive again and again into the thickest of the pit, smashing into people wearing the same grin as a kid on Christmas, I felt like a could see a glimpse of that 16 year old Kyle.
The next day, we were both in seriously sad shape. Besides only getting two hours of sleep before having to wake up to catch our flight home, (we make bad decisions sometimes,) we were both pretty battered. My voice was completely gone, my elbows were tender from repeated bashing into the barrier, and you could tell exactly how high the barrier was based on the line of bruises crossing my rib cage. To say I felt like I’d been hit by a truck was only minorly hyperbolic.
But it was completely 100% worth it. It was a fucking amazing show because The Urge put on a fucking amazing show. But it was also a fucking amazing show because it rocked my bones to their marrow and showed me a little part of who Kyle was.
PLAY THAT MOTHERFUCKING URGE SHIT!