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the reunion, pt. I
29 May, 2009: [148/365], 14:50.27 [Friday]
Filed under: Uncategorized

The crowd for the Vertigo12 reunion concert was surprisingly large, given the event’s content. The eastern Oklahoma trashcore band was never really known for their, well, they weren’t really known, period. And the majority of those who were aware of their existence weren’t really all that enthusiastic about the music anyway. I was one of the many people holding that opinion when I attended a show of theirs back in 2005, as a music critic in my high school’s newspaper.

The concert turned out to be one of their last, as bassist Jimmy Hotpack left amidst a [relatively] highly publicized feud over songwriting credits. Hotpack went solo shortly afterward, and bumrushed the Midwest in a rather successful tour in late 2006. Lead vocalist Skid Viscous caught wind of his former bandmate’s newfound glory, and decided to ride Hotpack’s coattails to his own brand of fame. This concert was the result.

Calling it a reunion was a bit disingenuous from the onset, as Viscous and Hotpack were the only original members present. Turntable artist Brutus J. Roadkill reverted to his given name of Roderick J. Bruté and officially quit to join the seminary in May last year. The morbidly obese human beatbox Donny “Mexico” Jackson fell into a diabetic coma shortly after the ill-fated 2005 concert. He was revived in the late spring of 2006; Jackson consequently lost his left leg, and has been in rehabilitation since. The rest of the tenuous lineup was killed in the Molotov cocktail-fuelled “Oklahoma Fishstick Riot” of 2005, so their return was obviously a foregone conclusion.

The concert was to be held at Carl Weathers High School, where three of the members sporadically attended (none graduated). However, there was a restraining order issued on Skid Viscous last year after a stalking incident, so the show was held in the town of Okemah, where Viscous’s child-support lawsuit is still proceeding.

I arrived at the venue, an abandoned loading dock in a foundry next door to the Okfuskee County Courthouse, where Viscous’s trial is being held. It was late, but it occurred to me that no one in the band knew how to tell time, so I was okay. I was reminded of the atmosphere of the church where the last concert I attended was held. The air was humid, stale, and hazy; I could hardly breathe for the noxious cigarette smoke burning my lungs. Oddly enough, the scent of marijuana was noticeably absent, though the stench of alcoholic vomit more than made up for it.

To be continued.

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