Sam Black Church's returns for their first show in 6 years.
A fan's perspective of their reunion show in 2007.
Let me take you back to that crazy night.
The venue, Roxy in Boston.
The Date, September 22nd, 2007
The band I traveled all the way from Springfield, MA to see, SAM BLACK CHURCH
Sam Black Church appeared on stage after a stacked opening line up of Darkbuster(eh, I wasn't a fan), Unearth(maybe the tightest set I've seen them play) and Madball(always great). Lead vocalist, Jesse "Jet" Crandall stormed the stage in one of those sweat guard shirts. Shiny material, grey and unassuming. The band looked a bit older. It had been years since they had hit the stage together. The entire band looked excited and ready.
Not even fully into the first song, a dude in construction boots decided to crowd surf and smashed me in the face. I had recently purchased a new pair of glasses and much to my dismay they flew off my face and evaporated into the abyss of the floor below. In the melee of a mosh pit quickly forming, I reached down and pulled a mangled frame with one lens intact from the beer soaked floor.
The thought of being center stage as SBC opened their set had not crossed my mind earlier in the night when I was briskly frisked and barked at by security to keep moving when I stopped to wait for my pals to come through. No, I was a bit older now. Had responsibilities to worry about. Yeah, that went out the window when I noticed my buddy Andrew Hateball moving to the front of the crowd that was forming center stage. I quickly looked to my left and to my right. I soon felt like I was in the middle of the ocean waiting for a tsunami wave to hit. There would be no last minute retreat as I stood side by side with him. The first riff cracked the air, the crowd swelled and I knew for better or worse at least I'd have a story to tell. I was just hoping I'd be alive to tell it.
|Andrew "HATEBALL" Cabral and Grownman part of the hoist team.|
As I held the metal frame of my once two week old pair of glasses to my blurry eyes, my wife's cousins who I had drove up with slapped me on the shoulder and said these words I'll always half remember. "Hey we are here, make the best of it. This is what you've been waiting for"... well something like that. And so began a set that found me pushing and shoving my way to stay in the pack. Singing words to songs off the Purple album as I swayed to and fro. My wife's cousins staved off the barrage coming from behind as I noticed my buddy's guiness hat fly off his head in front. Jet was as great as ever. Delivering each lyric with his signature howls and wails. The band was as much in the groove as they had been 13 years before when I first walked in to the hallowed hallway of Club Baby Head. (cue the flash back music)
SBC were the headliners at the first legit show I had ever been to. The openers were BigWig of Boston and SHED. I just recall the excitement when they hit the stage. Jet was the main attraction as he owned the stage in a way I'd never seen in person before. He reached out to the crowd and pulled in every set of eyes as he jumped high, legs spread and raged around the stage the whole set.
At the close of my first show, the house lights came on and I found myself standing around waiting to regroup with the friends I came to the show with. Jet jumped down from the stage and reached out to shake my hand. As I took his sweaty palm in my own, he looked me in the eye and thanked me for coming. Thus began a personal whirlwind of concert going experiences.
Sam Black Church regrouped for what would be their one off Reunion show in 2007 after a layoff of several years. It was a night I'll always remember. Jet jumped off the stacks several times during the night, a crowd in unison caught and surfed his body back to the stage each time. I recently found a picture online of my buddy Andy and myself taken shortly after we hoisted his body towards the stage on one such occasion that night.(see photo above)
SBC was not just a band. It was THE BAND. Up until that first show, I was the quiet guy in the corner of the room trying to stay under the radar. Sam Black Church allowed me to release the hidden pent up aggression and anxiety that simmered beneath. Through their shows I met a lot of cool people. Many people just like me. We slammed heads, bodies and exchanged high fives at the end of the night. We had a million stories to take home with us and we had a common goal. To be at the next Sam Black Church show.
At the end of the night on September 22, 2007. The house lights came up, my buddy Andrew walked over to me holding two eye glass lenses. Behind him, I noticed another hapless victim holding his own mangled eye glass frame searching for the elusive lens. We figured out who owned what and as I placed the scratched (beyond visibility and recognition) lens back into a frame that now resembled a pretzel, I had to laugh.
Even though time has sobered me up to recognizing that long gone are the days where I could hold my own in the pit or even on the outskirts. I reconcile it now with how much ass Sam Black Church kicked that night, grey hairs and all. There was no ring rust on the band's set. If anything, the lines on their faces and the white's in the whiskers were like patina on some great monolith. Indeed they were RE-ALIVE.
After several days of curious postings on the band's facebook page this past week, an exciting announcement was made this morning. Sam Black Church have been announced for the upcoming Mighty Mighty Bosstone's Hometown Throwdown this Decemember 29th.
On that day in December, if it's your first or 50th Sam Black Church show, look for a guy my age, hanging on the outskirts of the pit. A guy maybe a bit too old to be standing too close to the havoc. Look for a mighty vocalist standing on a tower of speakers about to take flight. Look for a family of diehard fans coming together to catch, lift and return him safely to the stage. Look for a band that you'll never forget.
Official Facebook page of Sam Black Church