Las Vegas Weekly: A Smile From the Trenches

Las Vegas Weekly cover 11/05/09I know I neither am nor look that old, but sometimes, I’m made to feel like it. And an assignment I fulfilled for the Las Vegas Weekly a few weeks ago was one of those times.

I had to cover the CD release party for a young pop-punk-metal band, A Smile From the Trenches, at The Farm, one of Las Vegas’ only all-ages music venues. It was the Thursday before Nevada Day, the day our fine state celebrates its statehood — and it happens to be Oct. 31, so basically, state workers and students get off every year for Halloween. So The Farm saw a decent number of teens for a weeknight, a few hundred by my estimate. Good news for the local music scene, right? Yes. But …

Let me put this into perspective: I am 33 years old. I do not wear skinny jeans. I have significant gray in my beard. I don’t smoke. And I don’t care much for screamo bands whose names do not start and end with “Thursday.” So there I was, either stuck in a room surrounded by kids more than half my age listening to loud, screamy bands, or stuck outside surrounded by underage smokers, being very careful not to look even sideways toward a female patron for fear I’d look like a pedophile. Or more likely, feel like it. And this being an all-ages venue, there was NO LIQUOR IN SIGHT.

The article turned out all right, I think, and the guys from both A Smile From the Trenches and its record label, DC Hardcore, were very nice and accommodating. And the band was definitely far less terrible than its predecessors that night. But in all, it’s not a situation I’d like to repeat anytime soon. Fellow slightly-worn journalist Dave Surrat was there that night to write about the venue itself for the CityLife, and if not for his not-so-young presence and that of promoter pal John “Ducky” Slaughter, I’d likely have gone fully insane.

But I think this can all be summed up by my tweets from that night:

  • The Farm has no signage but easy to find: Parking lot full of teens. Ugh.
  • has never felt as old as I do at this all-ages venue right now. Oh the things I do for music journalism.
  • is finishing my Corona and then heading back to the emo teen hell. Also, I lost $5 at video poker. Think @lasvegasweekly will cover that?
  • Either this screamo band has six members or they just have a young girl who appears to play keyboards but really’s just there to look cute.
  • Good news: The kids still mosh. Kind of.
  • is standing next to the modern equivalent of rock hoes. The bands change but the hoes stay the same.
  • Why yes, Virginia, I am watching a screamo band cover Katy Perry’s “Hot & Cold.” Why do you ask?

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