7:30 p.m. – Arrive at the Hi-Tone in Memphis to see Valient Thorr, Holy Grail and The Kickass perform. Show starts at 8 p.m.
7:31 p.m. – Step inside to find the place empty save for the musicians setting up equipment/drinking at the bar while watching the History Channel. We stand around awkwardly for a few minutes and then leave to sit in the car until the show starts.
8:03 p.m. – Return to the venue. Bands are still setting up. Lead guitarist for The Kickass tells us he doesn’t think the doors are open yet. We leave again.
8:17 p.m. – Return to the venue. Bands are still setting up. There are more people, now — about seven altogether. They are sitting at the bar watching the History Channel. We buy a beer — just one — and sit at a table.
9:20 p.m. – The Kickass takes the stage for their 8 p.m. performance. They play well. All ten of us seemed to enjoy it.
10 p.m. – Holy Grail takes the stage. A crowd of about 15 have gathered about 10 feet away from the stage, leaving a huge gap between the audience and the band. Mandy and I are too socially awkward to move any closer without the support of the rest of the crowd. So we stand and enjoy the band behind this invisible wall.
10:15 p.m. – Mandy and I begin to headbang. We throw up horns, Ronnie James Dio-style. We are the only ones to do so. Everyone else just kind of stands around.
11 p.m. – Step outside to put Holy Grail LP in car. Smile and nod politely to the drunken homeless guy hovering nearby. He tells me he’s a jazz musician. I look at him incredulously. He says he likes the Blind Guardian shirt I’m wearing. Upon his request, I hand him the 37 cents I had in my right pocket.
11:15 p.m. – Valient Thorr takes the stage. A crowd of about 30 people are here now. We gather at the foot of the stage. Mandy and I are near the leftmost speaker. The rhythm guitarist’s crotch is centimeter’s from my nose. We headbang. I am mindful of the rhythm guitarist’s crotch. I nearly fall down a couple of times.
11:25 p.m. – Lead singer, Valient Himself, hops into the crowd and makes us sit on the floor and pretend we’re rowing boats. It’s kind of strange.
12:30 a.m. – We stop at a gas station/Arby’s combo and eat. Can’t hear much on the drive home … well, except for the constant high-pitched tone of impending hearing loss.
2:15 a.m. – Arrive home. Feed dog. Feed cats. Go to bed.
7:30 a.m. – Peel myself from the bed. Shower. Still hear ringing. Nervously check the internet to see what people have to say about it. Determine the ringing either will or won’t be permanent. Curse the uselessness of the internet.
8:30 a.m. – Feed dog. Feed cats. Leave for work.
9 a.m. – Arrive at work. People are saying things to me. I can’t hear them. Suddenly become thankful for hearing loss. Smile and nod at their mouth-flappings until they go away.
10:03 a.m. – Begin writing story about tax exemptions. Ponder the dichotomy between work life and home life. Become bored with philosophical musings. Fall asleep at desk.
12:05 p.m. – Awaken. Write useless blog post about previous day.
12:33 p.m. – Stop writing aforementioned useless blog post. Begin writing about tax exemptions again. Sigh loudly. Can’t hear it.