Agony Shorthand

Saturday, October 25, 2003
FLOOR ROCK…..I had to skip the kingdom of noise superspectacular a couple weekends ago in San Francisco – a no-holds-barred showdown between LIGHTNING BOLT, TOTAL SHUTDOWN and USISAMONSTER at a tiny VFW-style hall in Potrero Hill. But what I heard was disturbing. Evidently 3 of the 4 bands on the bill (I forget the other) engaged in what is fast becoming known as “floor rock” – setting up on the floor of the club itself, right there with the hoi polloi below the stage. Never mind the fact that it makes stage diving more dangerous and now a bit absurd – how are 75% of the paying patrons (ladies, for instance!) supposed to see the rock action if the bands are right there hunkered down in front of a couple tall dudes? My correspondent in the field says that in LIGHTNING BOLT's case, it actually heightened the panic and chaos to great effect (not surprising), but when I’ve seen this tactic taken before (say, when the COACHWHIPS do it) it just comes off as gimmicky and forced. But I wasn’t there this time, when it counted. Are there any other bands now succumbing to this “uniquely 2003” trend?