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Get Off The Stage

Sometimes the best thing about a show is hanging out in the parking lot.
December 1, 2003, 12:00am

Sometimes the best thing about a show is hanging out in the parking lot, right? I mean, how many hardcore shows have I gone to where the only thing going on inside was a bunch of sweaty dudes from Long Island going through the moshpit motions? And how many “art punk” shows are loaded with fuckers who are way too pleased with themselves just for being there? The faith-healing tent at a county fair has more action. That’s why I’d rather just sit outside the club and drink 40s. The only thing is that the best entertainment you’re likely to get in a punk-show parking lot is a couple of suburban skins fighting or a local homeless guy acting like an asshole. Slim pickin’s! Until, that is, the savior on a golden chariot that is the band Friends Forever! This is a band that will drive halfway across America to play, completely uninvited, for ten minutes, outside some other band’s show. A prime example of the Friends Forever ethic is their Triangle of Death tour. Explains drummer Nate: “We began at home in Denver, drove to New York to play a terrible show in front of ten or so people, then drove to Austin and played a show there. Then we traveled back to Denver. If you take a map of the United States and draw a line along our route, it creates a Triangle of Death.” In addition to Nate, there’s bassist Josh and tour pyrotechnician Jen. Nate sets up his kit inside their VW van, Josh runs around outside with his bass, and Jen lights gigantic things on fire with reckless abandon. “All of us have been burned at one time or another,” laments Nate. You can see the ridiculous extents that Friends Forever travel to (literally, figuratively, and emotionally) in Ben Wolfinsohn’s recent documentary about them, which was just released on DVD. The movie plays like a punk version of Hearts of Darkness, the infamous doc that Coppola’s wife made of his total collapse during the filming of Apocalypse Now. Josh and Nate just added a new Friend, Rudy, and they are saving up for another tour (Josh works at a record store, Rudy installs sprinklers, and Nate is reconstructing his dad’s house). As soon as they have enough saved up, they are striking out again. Don’t be surprised if a flaming van roars into your life soon, dead-set on saving you from boring rock shows forever! MATT HUFF
Friends Forever is out on DVD now from Plexifilm.