Zipping down Halsted Ave under the orange glow of Chicago’s street lights on my disassembling, 4th generation, hand-me-down blue road Schwinn, dressed in a Threadless shirt, jeans, a blue plaid hoodie and a gray pair of Chuck Taylors, a smile cracked upon my face. The air was cool and damp, a mixture of late spring’s warmth and early June’s soft breath, as a light but blanketing fog was rolling in from Lake Michigan. Pedaling at a speed of half urgency and half adventure seeking, I roll through Boystown, without even blinking at the scantily dressed men, into Lakeview. Ignoring all stop signs and disregarding traffic lights as I weaved through intersecting traffic like a true Chicago cyclist, my smile grew bigger. Chuckling at the posing scensters trying to find a party for the night, I managed to cut off a taxi while avoiding a prematurely drunk girl and her male escort.
“Bloody hell!” I spoke aloud in a horrible faux British accent.
I laughed. Nothing seems more appropriate now than talking in a bad foreign accent. Wondering if I should make a future video about my horrific accents, I brake suddenly, standing up on the pedals to avoid flying off, as I make a sharp right onto Lincoln Ave. Mere seconds after I turned, I beheld the sight I was looking for: Lincoln Hall.
Upon entering the new midsized venue that I have become quite acquainted recently, I found a small gap to claim just off the right of the stage. Beer in hand, I waited amongst the anxious growing crowd for the main act.
Never had I ever attended a “last show.” Though my concert numbers are still considered low by most standards, I have definitely attended my fair share. And yet, I have yet to experience the caliber that is known as the great farewell. Long have I heard stories of friends about the greatness that is the final show. When the Smashing Pumpkins bid the world farewell in 2000 at the Metro, a high school buddy of mine was in attendance. The passion in his description of the magnificent performance made me wish I was present. But tonight, I am present at the final show in Chicago of a wonderful band. A band that I have soundtracked in a few of my videos. A band that reminded me the fun of music. A band that is unfortunately breaking up.
Intermingled among the crowd but by myself, I sighed in sadness but also in great excitement. Tonight, I will experience my first last show. As bitter sweet as it will be, I cannot contain the excitement that my first time seeing the band live will also be my last.
The lights dimmed.
The crowd roused to great excitement.
The lights slowly glowed upon the band members as they positioned themselves with their instruments.
“Hi Chicago! We’re Voxtrot!”
Joyful cheers and cries of “Please don’t break up!” filled the venue. The band smiled upon us in a sweet but sad manner. They knew it was the end. The crowd knew it too, but we refused to accept it; at least for this night.
The low tones of “Introduction” began to sooth the venue, crowd and the band themselves as the show began.
Though constant chants of “Don’t break up” mixed between roaring cheers and applause between each song, we all knew the fate at the end of the night. No one wanted it end. Ramesh, the band lead, put it into the most appropriate words:
“This not the end, it’s just the start of something.”