El Paso Music Scene

Dirt In Your Mouth - The Back Yard Shows

Sometimes I find myself reminiscing about the craziness that used to go on back in the day. Call me old school but I miss the backyard show, even though I can't see my current self at one. One of the biggest complaints back then was the fact that our ripe young minds couldn't get in the clubs. ( that was if you didn't somehow creep into The Attic as a minor) What did we do with all of this pent-up teenage angst? The perfect answer was THE BACKYARD SHOW.

It all began with cooperative parents or parents out of town. We took the bands that were available or that could come up with some excuse to their parents to play the show. We made fliers a few days before out of true procrastination and chose a trustworthy doorman to take the allowances of the kids that were to enter. We bought the Sharpies to mark the payers. We called everybody we knew and told some neighbors about our plans so that they would not bug us later. Sometimes a keg was bought by an older brother or drunken cousin of legal age. Of course the ambrosia had to be devoured early due to the liability that it was. We were ready to play.

I remember setting up on terra firma. Little patches of grass in an ocean of dirt welcomed us. Back then it wasn't about how bad-ass our equipment was because it would soon be covered in a think layer of earth anyway. An occasional beer was spilled on a bass guitar or a snare drum. A fast band would start and the mosh pits would form quickly, sprouting like our own pubic hair. The weary kids would line up against the classic El Paso rock walls, cigarettes in hand. Water was thrown around and an occasional bloody nose would result from the angst, though not on purpose (most of the time). Throughout all there was a air of paranoia. We all knew the impending danger that would soon come. The four horsemen disguised as cops. Around 10:30pm the 5-0 would show up looking for the next underage smoker or drinker sometimes letting us off with the neighbors are complaining, yall gotta keep it down ya hear. Grunge had an effect on some of us and we all loved to play in it, this grand extension of the playground sand box.

There we all sorts of music ranging from Punk to Rockabilly, Metal to Electronic (if they dared to expose their toys), and everything in-between. Out of town bands on tour would stop by and play a backyard on their way to Mecca (Austin or Seattle). All sorts of people showed up, the rockers, the punks, the gutter punks, the metal heads, the hip hoppers, the squares, even the parents of some kids. Though diverse and ready to spell disaster I never once saw a fight or anything too disorderly. Everybody treated each other as if we were in the same boat because we were. It definitely smelled like teen spirit and some of us totally reeked of it from head to toe.

Nicholas Matta
2005. Aux.78 / ElectroLegs

031505GreenDay 030105JudasPriest 030105GratefulDead 030105JackJohnson 012505Mudvayne
Deal of the Day