The concert is not new, but hasn’t been seen in a bit and leads directly to the end of the Acid Chamber story (until edits and revisions add stuff :)).
Concertgoers packed together, no room to move, breathing as one just to breathe. The noise level deafening and the concert had not started, just the noise of that many people in one enclosed space. Whiskers, standing on the right side of the stage wearing sound dampening earplugs folder his ears down to muffle the noise more. Excited to witness one of his favorite bands, Whiskers strained to keep from bouncing up and down with excitement and to pay attention to the sea of faces in front of the stage.
A week of listening to practice and borrowing a few of Whiskers’ Acid Chamber favorites and Puddles still did not get his obsession with this band or their music, if the noise they made could be called music. From his vantage point backstage Puddles watched the last few roadies on their watch list. Titanic and his crew worked feverishly to get the final details ready for the show; unlikely to cause trouble, but Puddles job was to ensure they did not, so he continued to watch.
Crushed against a barrier in front of the stage, elbowing to overly enthusiastic fans in the ribs, Chuck wondered if he really did get the best part of the job. He brought in the data on everyone working for Acid Chamber, assisted in tracking down the few trouble spots, set-up security for the concerts, and all he wanted was the best part of the job; work from the concert floor. Another elbow to clear some breathing room.
A low thrum, felt more than heard, seconds before the lights in the hall went out, the crowd silenced. In the silence, the low thrum heard and felt, slowly ramping up in volume and intensity. Backstage roadies and stagehands moved to ready positions, Acid Chamber assembled, and Whiskers nearly bounced out of his fur with excitement. Puddles moved to another, quieter vantage point backstage, able to see the roadies and stage. Chuck stomped on a foot, elbowed a rib for breathing room, while keeping his eyes on where the stage was in the dark.
Backstage, Acid Chamber in all black, moved onstage.
On stage, Acid Chamber silently took their positions and began the opening notes to their number one quadstomp song, Anthem for the Dying.
To the right of the stage, Whiskers swayed with the opening notes, hoping nothing ruined the concert.
In front of the stage, the crowd surged forward, Chuck eyes still on stage, made room as best he could. Two pin-prinks of green light bobbed and flowed in the dark across the stage, appearing and disappearing to the beat. The opening notes reached the high point and crashed down creating a wave of sound, stage lights illuminated the Acid Chamber playing their instruments, the holo-green flames on each of their outfits dancing in rhythm. The lead singer, green augmented eyes a blazed roared out the lyrics over the roar of the crowd.
Two hours of non-stop music and Puddles had reached her limit, even with noise canceling ear plugs, her ears folded flat, and in a quieter vantage point, the noise reached her and irritated her. Titanic and his crew did their job without any incident. Whiskers spent the entire time enjoying himself, feeling the music move his fur and feet. Chuck, stopped fighting the crowd and moved with the crowd, exhausted he found a place to sit and drink water after most of the crowd exited the concert.
“Does the ringing ever stop?” Whiskers head in paws mumbled to the table.
Chuck slid further down in his chair, pulling his sweat soaked shirt off his chest, “The cool breeze feels great.”
“What?” Whiskers asked.
Puddles flicked one of the earplugs across the room, smiling when the plug bounced off one of the hanger-ons and into a can of alcohol. Fighting exhaustion and a deep desire to be anywhere else but at the after party, Puddles satisfied herself with the knowledge that Acid Chamber was leaving soon.
Nudging Whiskers, “How much longer do we have to stay?”
“How MUCH LONGER DO WE…”
“My ears are ringing, I’m not deaf,” Whiskers shot back.
Rubbing his stomach, “Anyone else starving?” Chuck asked.
“Great job tonight!” Blaster shouted.
Whiskers sat straight, Chuck stopped fanning his shirt, and Puddles glared at Blaster and his lead bassist holding large bottles of beer standing next to the table. A korogin woman grabbed the bassist by the arm and pulling him back to the party. Blaster sat down.
Shoving Whiskers, “Have a good time? I know you did. This was our best time here.”
“Concert was awesome,” Whiskers replied.
“I know. Next time we are in town you are our first call.”
“Thanks,” Puddles sarcastically replied.
Two korogin women approached Blaster, one of them whispering in his ear, pushing back from the table, “Enjoy the after party,” gesturing at the women, “I have fans to…you know.”
“NiHo’s?” Chuck asked.
Standing up, “We should let Blaster know we are leaving,” Whiskers said.
“Go ahead, I’m with Chuck, food is a necessary thing.”
“I’ll get us a cab,” Chuck said heading to the door.
Half an hour later, comfortably seated at their table, hot bowls of noodles in front of them, one by one each of them let out a sigh.
“After a long night, nothing better than a bowl of NiHo’s,” Chuck announced around a mouthful of noodles.
“What?” Whiskers said hoping the ringing would stop.