I know I’ve probably mentioned it a few times, but I’m quite the fan of the band Streetlight Manifesto. Last night they were playing here in town, on the last leg of their last tour, ever. It was legendary.

The show was at a local place called Fitzgerald’s, which is quite possibly the 2nd smallest venue I’ve ever seen anyone at. The closet otherwise know as the “Velvet Elvis” in Savannah GA is the only place that comes to mind that could possibly be smaller. Coincidentally, that’s where I first saw Catch-22, nearly 14 years ago (Jason, you remember that show?). Door were at 7:00pm but we had to pick up the tickets from will-call a bit earlier. I went with my brother-in-law Chris, who is about the only other person (in my local circle of friends) that enjoys Streetlight like I do. We arrived exceedingly early, picked up the tickets, and even had time to grab a couple beers across the street before the show. Online and on the tickets there weren’t any opening acts listed, but when we arrived they had Mike Park (Skankin’ Pickle) and Dan Potthast (MU330) as openers, which was awesome since I had never seen either live.

As I mentioned, the venue is incredibly small, so much so we were essentially standing in the hallway/stairwell before a break between Mike and Dan had all the smokers rush outside before Streetlight came on. We worked our way to nearly dead center in the room. The smokers came back and it got exceedingly crowded. There were probably 300 people in the space reserved for about 150. Dan played a great set and was fun to watch and then even more people started show up for Streetlight’s 10pm stage time. Now it was getting uncomfortably crowded. Japanese subway crowded. When SLM hit the stage, all hell broke loose. It was a massive sea of undulating humanity. It was all good for the opening song and then it started getting violent. I’m all for a good pit. I’ve been in my fair share. This was turning ugly. People falling, not being let back up, people punching. I got kicked in the head several times by a crowd surfer (not really his fault), and shoved to the ground by this guy trying to protect his girlfriend (definitely his fault, but understandable) who was looking like she wasn’t having a great time. If you’re not wanting to be in a pit, leave the pit. That’s what I did. By the middle of the set, I had had enough and I moved back about 15 feet and enjoyed a good majority of the rest of the show without having to kick anyone’s ass.

Towards the end I noticed that there was an entire balcony where the sound board had been set up, and there were empty stools there. I moved over and grabbed one. Now I was even closer to the band, but slightly to the side, and up above the crowd. It was perfect. They started playing old classics and I had the perfect spot to enjoy the end of the show from. Chris was lost to the crowd at this point. I had held on to him in the pit, but once I went down I lost sight of him. Apparently he had a great time but during the melee somebody swiped the t-shirt he had bought.

I really enjoyed seeing the band one last time. They always put on a fantastic show and I got not one but two pretty awesome hoodies. It’s a shame they’re hanging it up (in terms of touring, new albums aren’t ruled out) but they certainly deserve the break after all the crap they’ve been through with shitty ass Victory.

I’m totally and completely exhausted today, but it was worth every bit of it. It was a blast and I’m glad I made it to what will most likely be their last ever show in Houston.