Let’s Play #666: HORSE The Band @ Middle East Downstairs

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Gonna be a short one because honestly, what can be said about the men, the myths, the legend of H the B? These intrepid fucks have literally done world tours (how many other bands can say they played in Africa, and not just Joburg?); they fostered an obsession with Chicago pizza that culminated in the coveted Pizza EP; they’ve been known to have a ‘we’re larger than life so fuck you’ kind of attitude, but c’mon they’re HORSE; and perhaps, most importantly, bring basement dwelling neckbeards, metalheads, and hardcore dicks together like Sky Eats Airploane never could. The Nintendocore thing may or may not be their fault, but if their persona isn’t for show, I’m certain they just don’t care. This is “doing what you want” to the fullest. 

  horsethebandTo get in that “doing what you want” mindset, it helped to be drunk. Not necessarily blackout, because that’s when you only think you’re doing what you want once the liquor gains sentience. No, I mean just Adrew W.K. mode drunk. Like a “Take This! It’s Dangerous To Go Sober!” drunk. I found it meet to equip the Dionysus Helm and go to town on some glorious mead, m’lady. That way if I spotted a fedora I’d be less apt to pull a face. Surprisingly, however, a lot of the audience weren’t lookalikes of The Amazing Atheist, as per my initial assumptions. I knew when I saw Cro-Mags and Integrity among the bands represented, there’d be some antics. 8-bit synths and crunchy Metalcore breakdowns coupled with some rather colourful poetry makes kids lose their shit.


The setlist consisted mainly of jams from The Mechanical Hand, opening up with the instrumental “Heroes Die”, followed swiftly by a blast of “Birdo”, “A Million Exploding Suns”, and “Manateen”. “Octopus On Fire” and “Lord Gold Throneroom” also appeared, and that was fun. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting this; I would’ve preferred more material from the seminal and brutal R. Borlax, aside from the obligatory “Bunnies”, but really, how often does HORSE The Band play down the street from you? 


HORSE The Band used MURDER! It was Super Effective! The Audience is now Tearin’ Shit Up! 


HORSE The Band used SHAPESHIFT! Sean attempted CROWDSURF! It wasn’t very effective. I got up on stage in time for the song to end, at which point Sean attempted STAGEDIVE! Random Crowdmember is now CONFUSED! Sorry to whoever received that boot to the face; you’re a trooper and I fucked up. Like Nathan said onstage, “You came to the wrong show motherfucker”. Don’t know what prompted it, maybe he’s just an oddball. He also said somebody was going home with a bloody asshole, I should’ve wrote down all the other ridiculous shit at the time. Comment if you were there. 


I sorely wished that they’d at least also play “New York City”, “Big Blue Violence”, or “Pol’s Voice”, but at least they did close with an encore of “Cutsman”, and trust me when I put the scissorhands over my head while careening into people like a careless bipedal blue hedgehog. It’s good sportsmanship, see. Equipped only with our skills from years of Revenge Of The Shinobi, Super Smash Bros., and a fair amount of turn-based combat RPGs, the nerds did play.


On a completely random note, I’d go to E3 or some other related bullshit if HORSE ever agreed to play. But that’d be out-stupided only by the fact that MATH The Band is a thing, and played with HORSE The Band. 


A thought: Have the countless times of blankly staring at screens, controllers in hand, thumbs and index fingers twitching reflexively, colours and characters dancing, dying, running, collecting, quests aimlessly rewarding, failures too numerous to count, successes so hard gained, Easy, Medium, Hard, Nightmare, Legendary, boxes of different sizes, discs, cartridges, downloads, freeware, shareware, malware, rotted our brains? Maybe. Cheers; never stop imagining.


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