I’m going to call this post “I discover magical summoning powers at the Aesthetic Perfection gig”. Alternatively, “a funny thing happened to me on the way to the Aesthetic Perfection concert” will do. Or even “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not at the Aesthetic Perfection gig anymore.”
In 2010, which is a date that feels like it was far more recent than it actually was, I got to see EBM-industrial-pop outfit Aesthetic Perfection on their Australian tour. The show was organised by Rivetting Promotions (sic) and Fiend, and since it was the Melbourne leg, it was attended by a bunch of people, including Gerry (aka Lobotomy) from Fiend. Try to remember that bit because it relates to the rest of the story.
Aesthetic Perfection front-man Daniel Graves demonstrates the correct procedure for initiating the summoning ritual. Pic: Ruth.
To be clear: this post isn’t strictly about the gig. Just take my word that it was a fantastic show and Daniel Graves is a top front-man. This was despite a couple things not being quite in favour of the band. For one, the stage was very small, so much so that I vaguely recall that the drum kit may even have been positioned somewhat less frontal for everything to fit. Also, the sound wasn’t the best, though through no fault of Aesthetic Perfection or the promoters — the room in which they played simply wasn’t intended for thumping industrial music.
The gig wasn’t sold out but when Aesthetic Perfection did their thing it felt massive. This was an industrial music outfit beaming with energy and I genuinely believe that for a not inconsiderable amount of time the whole room was up and at it.
And, of course, Aesthetic Perfection make great music. Plus, Daniel Graves seemed like a lovely chap who was nice enough to hang out with the fans afterwards. I even have a selfie with the lads buried somewhere in my archives.
But as I said, this isn't about the band, as good as they were.
What really makes a great gig?
Great gigs are often memorable because of something unusual or unexpected. Ozzy Osbourne and Dream Theater have played thousands of concerts but the individual shows that are still talked about are when Ozzy bit the head off a bat (and incidentally got tons of publicity from the rabies shots) or when Dream Theater unexpectedly played the entirety of Master Of Puppets or The Number Of The Beast before actually doing a full-length‘proper’ set.
So too was it with this occasion. That’s because the Aesthetic Perfection show will for me always be the time I discovered I had magical summoning powers.
And just in case you were wondering, yes, a higher than average volume of alcohol was involved.
2010? Was it really so long ago?
This peculiar discovery occurred during the last break between bands — Sirus had finished and Aesthetic Perfection were up next. I’d gone outside to grab some fresh air, which of course meant hanging out with the smokers who stampeded to the exit the moment Sirus had finished.
I’d struck up a conversation with an old mate. You may know the type — a gig acquaintance who you don’t see outside of shows but you always get along with fine at shows. We were talking about music (of course) and people and ‘the scene’ (because I was significantly younger then) when one of us just happened to refer to someone by name.
At that precise moment, the person we had just mentioned by name casually emerged from the venue entrance.
“Well,” old mate and I conveyed to each other, as we metaphorically slapped each other on the back.
As I said, we’d had a few drinks.
We continued our banter, dropping more names and bands and more bands, when the same thing occurred. Again, someone we’d referred to by name mysteriously exited the venue and was standing in the door way.
“Good Lord!” we both thought, which is quite probably a polite interpretation of the words we actually uttered.
Again, we’d had a little more than usual to drink. So, naturally, we drew attention to this occurrence by making a noisy and obnoxiously big deal of it.
Obviously, we then thought it’d be pretty funny if we channelled our collective consciousness and attempted to make somebody else materialise in the doorway.
It went something like this.
Old Mate: “Gerry!” (referring to Gerry the promoter)
Me: “Great idea, let’s summon Gerry!”
Old Mate: “Ok. Bring me Gerry. Gerry, Gerry, Gerry. Gerry Gerry. Bring me Gerry!”
Now, most likely it was coincidence. Or maybe there was some other influence.
Either way, sure enough, standing right there in the doorway, was Gerry.
By now you can probably imagine how we responded. And when Old Mate and I finally calmed down we explained what had just occurred.
And Gerry, with brilliant wit and perfect timing, responded.
“Yeah, I was just standing in the venue when I had this sudden urge to step outside,” he said.
"Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu Gerry Gerry Gerry R’lyeh wgah’ngl fhtagn!" Pic: Ruth
Did I mention it was a great gig? Aesthetic Perfection put on a killer performance despite being challenged for space on stage. No one left disappointed that night.
Plus, you never know when you'll discover that you have magical summoning powers.
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