You stand at the front of the line, edging your way down the steps as more concert-goers show up. Put your wet umbrella in the convenient beer crate. You won't need it inside:
This is the door you go through. The black and white tiled floor seems like something out of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the door could open into a kitchen for all you know:
Instead, you find yourself in a dark club, about the same size as the Caledonia back in Athens, Georgia. The crowd is eclectic but skewed heavily to the punk side:
Four bands play before Melt-Banana's set. After the last group edges off the stage to cries of "Encore! Encore!" from some of the foreigners in the crowd, the stage is eerily bereft of human activity, anticipatory:
The crowd is squeezed in as tightly as possible, bodies mashed up against the railing in front of the stage:
Club employees acting as roadies come onto the stage and begin preparations. Then, Rika (the Melt-Banana bassist) emerges from the door to the right of the drums and makes her way through the snaking cords and cables to her station, stage left:
Yasuko comes out at about the same time and checks her vocals set-up. She has a hunted look on her face, probably caused by her large, intense eyes and sharply defined cheeks:
He tunes but soon enough he will be attacking his instrument with a controlled fury that defies archaic concepts such as "playing" and "music:"
Meanwhile, Rika continues her pre-flight check with practiced calm and efficiency:
As Rika adjusts her bass, Yasuko surveys the crowd. In a matter of moments, she will in an almost offhanded way incite them into frenzied activity. You wonder if this is by design or accident; is it merely the inevitable result of Melt-Banana's joyful musical aggressiveness:
Rika continues to tune as the anticipation builds. She is responsible for much of the structure of each song, along with the drummer:
At this point, Yasuko steps to the microphone... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...