Concert Review: The American Tragedy at the Brass Monkey
Friday night, 150 souls poured into the church of rock and roll to see the high priests of Shreveport rock and roll, The American Tragedy. This was the first time Tragedy has graced the stage in damn near 4 years. And boy, they sure tried like hell to make up for lost time.
For years now, me and tons of folks in the Ark-La-Tex have been begging for a Tragedy show. And last night we got it. But it wasn't the show we all wanted, it was the show we all NEEDED. The band tore through songs spanning their entire career. They blistered through tracks off of their debut album 'Pennies', some of which they haven't played in at least a decade, up to their last EP 'Side A: The Flame'.
For 12 years plus, Tragedy was the string that tied the Shreveport rock community together. Whether they were opening up for national acts or headlining at Soundstage, they always got on stage and opened up a vein for us.
As the crowd filled up the Brass Monkey, the temperature rose to what had to be a balmy 90 degrees. The smell of sweat after 10 minutes was overwhelming. But, as soon as the band started playing, none of that mattered. The Brass Monkey became something so much more than a rock show. It was time travel. A thousand little memories frozen in time playing themselves out over the course of two hours.
We weren't at the Brass Monkey anymore. It was 12 years ago, we were at Soundstage smoking our first cigarette, awkwardly trying to cop a feel off our first High School girlfriend. It was 7 years ago celebrating New Years at the Warehouse. We had too much to drink and threw up on our friend's shoes. It was 4 years ago when we fell for the love of our life. Or 6 months ago when they ripped our hearts to shreds.
And that is the power of rock and the power of the American Tragedy. These guys just didn't make music. They made milestones in our life. Talking to folks around the bar, I heard tons of amazing stories. Some folks drove in from as far away as Little Rock and Dallas and Houston. One guy told me about how he popped his cherry after his first Tragedy show. Another couple said they met at a show 7 years ago and have been together ever since. It really was mind blowing how big of an effect a little band from Shreveport had on folks.
And that's when it dawned on me, people didn't come to the Brass Monkey to watch a band, they showed up last night to connect with others, old friends, and be reminded that everything was going to be ok.