Moon Cat’s blog: 0-Intro
Before I get into the first installment, some background and context. My partner and I met in 2009 on Craigslist (no joke) through our mutual love of music and dancing. We take every opportunity to catch new upcoming artists, legacy acts, or just fun club nights to shake our butts. Our radius spans the tri-state area, NJ/PA/DE - sorry, not sorry New York.
For our first decade together, we’d go to shows, buy some merch, and go home. Fast forward to the pandemic, everything shuts down. Oh 💩… now what? We were lucky and didn’t get laid off so we tried to support our favorite bands however we could. Patreon, T-shirts, buttons, Bandcamp Friday… anything, take my money! Some bands and DJ’s started Twitch streams which was better than nothing at all, but it’s just not the same. Over the next year or so as things slowly reopened, we tried going back out. We went to a Patrick Rodgers event, Front 242 at Underground Arts, Philly. That was a good night, but we were all still being cautious.
By 2022, things started getting back to “normal” …whatever that is. We saw Gary Numan at Union Transfer in March, and he was incredible as always. He brought down the house. While waiting next to the merch line, someone came up to my partner and complimented him on his “Vowws” t-shirt. He in turn complimented her on her “Clan of Xymox” shirt, and from there we launched into a conversation about music and shows. Her friend came over and we all chatted and exchanged Instagram handles.
You may be thinking, “what’s the big deal?” It’s noteworthy for us because for all the years going out, we rarely make friends at a show. But I think the isolation of the past few years have changed things. Now, even dyed-in-the-wool introverts like me want to go out and connect with like minded music nerds and outcasts IRL.
This happened again at the three-day festival in North Jersey, “Dark Force Fest'' which took place in March, 2023 at the Sheraton Parsippany. It sounds odd, but if you ever get the chance to go, do it. We bought early bird tickets and a hotel room as soon as it was announced, but I was floored when they posted the lineup. There were at least twice as many bands as in previous years. Not only that, they got some rad newer acts like HEALTH, Rabbit Junk, Moris Blak, Vision Video, Actors, Josie Pace, GenCab, I could go on. Needless to say, it was an epic weekend. In between the relentless schedule of music, I went to some panels, meetups, DJ club sets, sleeping only occasionally. One of the coolest parts was catching the musicians in the halls just shooting the shit. Did you know, R.H. Bear from Bile is the nicest guy? Also roaming the halls were scene celebrities like Madam Absinthe, Brian of Void Signal, and Emma of Electronic Body Memes. I came home with some incredible memories, new friends, and about 20 band shirts. If you haven’t already, check out Eryk’s event review.
Since DFF, the floodgates have opened for shows. I get the impression that every band big and small is making up for lost time and is touring RIGHT NOW! It’s interesting that legacy acts like Skinny Puppy, The Sisters of Mercy, The Cure, and Ministry are all touring at the same. darn. time. So of course we have to go to everything. This blog is a rundown of those shows.