Since the first time I heard Bomb the Music Industry!, I've been hooked. It was just a few years ago, during some of the rough times of high school. The music spoke to me like no music ever has before. I still have trouble describing their sound, as quirky and strange as it is. Punk values and very real emotions, laid out in straightforward, honest lyrics are backed by talented musicians playing wild instruments and having what seems like a lot of fun. I've seen them on three tours, around different parts of Florida, and every time has been one of the best nights of my life.
The sense of community in BTMI's fan base is everything punk generally preaches itself to be, but rarely is. When you're at a BTMI show, you know that every single person in that room truly loves this music and these people, and it creates a warmth deeper than that of the body heat and intense sweat from hours of dancing and singing our hearts out. This show was an exaggerated conglomeration of that, being a bigger room filled with more people who had travelled far and wide to be here and share this moment together. My best friend and I came from Florida to New York to see the very last show at the Warsaw on January 19, 2014.
The venue was larger than any I had seen BTMI play before, and though I usually prefer the smaller shows, this setting was perfect for a brilliant ending. It was also fun to watch them dance around the bigger space. Laura Stevenson and the Cans opened with a charming set, and Cheap Girls followed, already emotional, and played very well. Matt and Jeff, of BTMI, came out near the end to join in on trombone and keyboard to spice things up.
It was at this point that the sleeping monster that is the pit began to growl, and the swaying and singing quickly evolved into pushing and jumping, and was at one point even a circle pit. Once that died down, Andrew Jackson Jihad came out absolutely killed it acoustically, as always. Sean and Ben make a superb comedy duo between fascinating, twisted, delightful songs. Jeff came out to drum for them, and Mike to whistle.
Bomb the Music Industry! came on around 9:00 pm and played until after midnight. The setlist was so long it was written on the back of a poster, and they proceeded to play 40 of their most-loved songs, along with a few rare ones thrown in, with only a short breather and shirt-change. Maybe it was the wonderful acoustics of the venue, maybe it was the stage space and isolation from a violent audience, or maybe they've really been practicing, but hands-down this was the best live performance I've ever seen them give. Even after they were blathering drunk, they still played near-perfectly and blew us all away. After a series of heart wrenching fake endings, as emotions climbed higher and the set neared its inevitable end, Jeff struggled to find the right words but managed a simple yet beautiful, "it just means everything".
We found John after the show for some hugs and photos, and received a hint that a new band is in the works. That got me thinking that maybe it's not so sad the BTMI is breaking up after all. Nearly 10 years is a long time, and it also represents a period of their lives that is coming to an end. Every one is finally growing up and they seem to feel that that isn't possible if they spend all their time on this project. Especially now that Matt has moved out of the country, and the band just wouldn't feel right without him. Bomb the Music Industry has had a great run, and I'm just happy that for a little while I got to be a part of something that cool. "Going out with a bang" is truly an understatement. Thanks, guys.
It means everything to us, too.