The first time I ever saw BANE was at HARVEST’s last show on Saturday, April 17, 1999 at the 3rd Lair Skatepark in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My oldest brother Sean brought me. Truth be told, I don’t remember much about that night – it was a whirlwind of feelings and moshing – and I have an embarrassingly poor memory.
Sidebar: I met a kid named Bert from Shell Rock, Iowa at that show. Our shared love of mosh created a bond and started a friendship, which served as the catalyst for so many connections and friendships that carry on today.
(You’re very welcome, Iowa/Minnesota/Winnipeg hardcore “kids”!)
Fast-forward a few short months to Saturday, November 6, 1999 at The Whole Music Club in the basement of Coffman Memorial Union on the University of Minnesota East Bank campus.
The video starts a little late, then messes up at 0:27 when I am participating in what appears to be a very Midwestern chill circle pit, fixes back up at 0:39, and at 3:19, when I am obviously about to get really fucking ill, the video ends and we miss what could have been the highlight of my moshing career for all we know. Sean was in there moshin’ too.
Watching that video, I wish I could go back in time to ask 15-year-old me, full on with Krishna beads and giant X’s Sharpie’d on the back of my fists, what BANE had come to mean to me over the few short months since I had first seen them. I am sure I would have been extremely insightful, as all 15 year olds are known to be.
I was a terribly obnoxious younger sister that did not respect boundaries (still don’t) and would often go into Sean’s bedroom (without permission because I was a rebel, duh!) while he was out skating with friends. Throughout 1999, I would put HOLDING THIS MOMENT on his stereo while laying on his bedroom floor in the dark listening to it over and over again. Every song on that record was important to me – significant for reasons that I can’t quite find the words to express. It made me feel deeply. Even now, I am laying on my bed, in the dark, feeling completely overwhelmed by the amount of history, in terms of length of time, but unfortunately not the quality of my memories, attempting to put into words just what BANE has meant to me. 15-year-old me couldn’t have done it, and I doubt if I can do my feelings justice now. “Some things are better left unsaid.”
Laying here in the dark (like a true goth), listening to their records at an intense volume, air drumming to each song for a little while until my weak arms get tired, and reminiscing about the myriad of memories I have attached to BANE and the meaning they carry for me has been really, truly lovely. Words and story telling is not my forte, so here are some more moments I’m holding in the palm of my hand:
On May 3, 2009, 10 years and 16 days after my first time seeing BANE, they played Burning Fight, a show I co-booked at the Metro in Chicago. In 10 years, I went from seeing them in a University’s basement venue in Minneapolis with probably 100 people to booking them at a historic venue in Chicago with over 1,100 people.
At 22:29, a very tired 25-year-old version of me runs off the stage onto some heads and then just manhandles the shit out of Bedard (sorry!). At 27:24-28:15, Bedard hits us with this gem:
“It’s about the passion that exists. It’s about stripping this down. Look at what it is: we’re screaming our fucking heads off as loud as we can, trying to figure out our way through this fucked up world. And we feel so connected with each other – somehow we feel so comfortable here that we crawl all over each other. Bruises. Ripped shirts. People just going crazy because of the energy, and the passion, and the rage that comes out in this music – in this thing that we share. [mumble] I don’t care what year you’re from – nothing matters more than right now. Tomorrow might not even come. Who knows what’s going to happen tonight? Enjoy hardcore while you’re into hardcore. Support the bands that are alive and thriving right now.”
We shared times that weekend that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Being a part of putting on that show is one of my proudest achievements.
Here are a few more snippets of BANE day hangs over the years: