Nobody Headlines the Danville Grange

The Danville Grange hall is located on Diablo Rd. in Danville, California. It’s a big municipal space next to a creek, with a three foot stage, and built in seats lining either side of the hall. I think you rent your own PA, or you rent it from them. During the week the venue hosts well intentioned workout classes with names like “My Dance Addiction.” You don’t really want the Grange people involved, and the show is probably going to get shut down anyhow. 

The strip mall with the supermarket you will inevitably walk to in between bands is a cool ten minutes down the road (there are no sidewalks), and the rest is purely residential. Rest assured, whatever show you’re attending that night is the at the top of the local Police “To Do” list, because they have nothing better to do. Danville is suburban enough that you, the teenager at the vets hall, are the problem. I’m assuming that’s why people choose to live out there, and pay out the mouth for it. You eat your sour patch kids in the parking lot, they watch you from across the street, blocking someone’s driveway, but it’s cool, they probably called the cops in the first place.

The combination of the creek and the inland heat  trapped on this side of the Caldecott tunnel attracts bigger bugs. I’m remembering fireflies, but that kinda feels like bullshit. The ants were huge. I remember thinking “It is too hot to be liberal here.”

Somewhere around me, someone is adjusting the curved brim on their A’s hat, or picking the dirt out of their ankle sox. Inside, you hear someone awkwardly tuning a guitar. Someone is probably adjusting their mesh shorts. It’s 2003 so no one in Northern California are wearing Nikes that aren’t Cortez yet. Older guys are joking about JNCO’s. They would hide the rubber grocery dividers in their legs, retrieving them to ward off bros, marines, and Nazis, but that was eons ago, in 1996 or something.

Why did bigger bands agree to play here? Memories are always filled with magnanimous scene heroes or the miserly and successful, this being the former. Robert Knox used to book the Grange, the downpayment was like $200. That’s doable. If the cops figure out how to shut it down early enough, (they always do), there’ll be time to eat with everyone else at a fast food establishment before an early curfew. But what if it plays all the way through this time? Shows here never used to get shut down, say people older than us. But we have other problems.

Is your Dad really talking about coming and getting us now?

Dude we are 13.  

Whether the cops shut it down, our someone’s caretaker comes to get us before nightfall, in our world, nobody headlines at the Danville Grange. How we thought we were living on the edge is beyond me. You may find yourself in a physical altercation at the Del Taco, or, if you’re lucky, someone was willing to drive to In-N-Out. The layout is the same in every location, and so has every memory from past midnight in an In-N-Out.

If you go to enough shows at a venue, and they play out the same way again and again, suddenly, it was all a fist fight at a fast food franchise. I know all that now, but that night, I was sweating my new black hair dye out in great gobs, and it was running down my face purple. The Nerve Agents never got to play, and neither did their co-headline/support. As we all filed out to find my friend’s Mom, who had come instead of his Dad, a cop asked us if any of it sounded like AC/DC.