Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Bleach Ain’t Cheap in Oklahoma

July 20, 2003

When: Aug. 18

Where: The Edge Building, Grace Fellowship Church, Tulsa, OK

Bleach always puts on a good show. That’s why I have no less than three Bleach shirts- they blow me away every time. This time was no exception. I missed the opener bands, and even the first one or two songs of Bleach’s set. Thankfully, that wasn’t a problem, as they played for over an hour.

The small yet dedicated crowd (how many innocent bystanders are you going to get in a Wednesday night show?) of about 100-150 was in full blast. The boys in Bleach responded by blasting through their usuals, such as “Get Up”, “December”, and “Knocked Out” with amazing energy and presence. I was one of the most active members of the audience, skanking, headbanging, dancing, jumping, and altogether just having a great time. Because of this, I only remember fragments of Bleach’s set- “Jaded Now”, “We are Tomorrow”, and the encore- but those things I did see were completely amazing.

“Jaded Now” is Bleach’s epic song- it builds from a simplistic, basic guitar line by adding in more and more elements until the climactic finale where Dave Baysinger screams out “I’m not scared!” to which the band unleashes a torrent of anguished sound that can only be described as outpour. It was absolutely stunning live, as Dave’s scream took on a whole new passion and the band seemed to feed off of it. That’s the definition of a good live band.

Their last ‘official’ song in the set was the ubiquitous “We Are Tomorrow”. I’ve seen them four times, and three out of the four times they’ve done this song. It’s one of the top crowd-rousing anthems I know of- and it made the crowd go nuts. A mosh started in here, and the security broke it up- but that’s how passionate everyone was. The song was electric, from start to finish. Dave Baysinger crowdsurfed. While singing.

But they couldn’t go away like that. No- they had to come back. The encore was three songs long, and worth every second. They played a song about Oklahoma (if I had lived here longer, I would probably know where it’s from), to which the crowd clapped along and even sang a bit. I thought it was a great kudos to Oklahoma that Bleach likes it here so much as to learn a song about us to play. Good job Oklahoman scene. The second song was “Baseline”- the crowd went berserk again. We didn’t know what they were going to do for the last Bleach song ever performed in Oklahoma, but we knew it had to be big.

So they went for the rarely played “Super Good Feeling”. This is quite possibly my favorite Bleach song, and I’ve never heard them play it live. I don’t think anyone else in the crowd had either- which made that last song special to me. Even better, all throughout the encore, Baysinger was taking phones from people in the audience, putting them right up next to the microphone, and singing into both at once- I think he did this for 4 or 5 cell-phones. How awesome is that?!?

Suffice to say, Bleach blew everyone away. I can’t believe Bleach is gone- it makes me genuinely depressed. But there are rumors that they’ll stick around as an album-only no-tour band….I hope those pull through right, and we can get some new Bleach music out of it. God Bless Bleach.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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