Editor’s Note: One of our biggest fans, Lolvia Yella, looks back at her local scene and how QYP influenced her musical tastes. Happy reading!
By Lolvia Yella
There are two things I’m into: shows and music. The two basic materials someone needs to survive, besides food, water, oxygen, and shelter. But for me, it’s a radical experience
It started when I was in the 8th grade, when the hardcore scene was a huge thing in Los Banos. I mean HUGE! Everyone and anyone who was looking for a wild, yet potent style would be downtown at Hot Dog Heaven, (one of the only places to see a show) standing outside in a long line, waiting to get inside to show off their moves. It was sort of like a disco-tech for the modern age.
The usual scenesters would be around the venue; with the girls and their big hair, black eyeliner, hair bows, skinny jeans, and band tees along with the boys consisting of their gauges/piercings, straightened hair, baseball tees, skinny jeans, and new/slightly worn vans.
Then there was me.
The first time I went to a show, I was anxious and excited. I remember calling my cousin frantically, while I rummaged through all of clothes looking for at least something decent to wear for the night. She told me, “Just stick with a plain pair of jeans and something black. And straighten your hair!”
Soon enough the time had come and I left for the local venue. Sitting in the back seat, I kept moving around to try and check if I looked half decent.
Yeah, I was a mess.
An old black and red shirt promoting “Rock N Roll” that had been in my wardrobe for the past 2 years paired with a dingy set of jeans that made me look too big for my age. But at least my hair was straightened.
I paid my entrance fee and slowly moved into the crowd. I could feel everyone looking at me. My body moved back towards the wall, I could never be like them.
A few seconds passed and the lights went out. It was time. A loud thundering riff beckoned from the stage, followed by a continuous thud from the drummer. Pig squeals, power chords and slight head banging made up the first band and the bands afterward. 3 hours passed, yet it only felt like 1. The show was ending. I had survived, this time.
Fast forward to a year later »»»»>
Things had changed a lot since my first experience at the show. I was beginning to feel prepared, like I fit in with the moshers and HxC crowd. However, there was still one experience that made me realize how much I really hadn’t adapted to the scene.
Again I was at Hot Dog Heaven, it was the usual line up of bands, with one execption. The original The Wrath of Vesuvius
Standing near the front of the stage, with a few friends behind me to make sure I was safe, I noticed a wooden box on the floor. Why was it there? I would soon find out.
Lights out. A heavy bass. Kick start the drums and let’s begin.
A swarm of intense energy moved over the crowd like a tidal wave. Before I knew it, everyone was moving to the beat, except me. Just when I was about to move one step with the rhythm, BOOM! There I was on sitting on the floor, completely shocked and confused as to what just happened.
I got up as quickly as I could just to find myself almost knocked down again by the lead singer of TWOV.
Afterward, the rest of the night was a blur, a blur that would help make me evolve from a meek, helpless little preteen into a Cherie Currie.
Fast forward to 2 years later»»»»>
The hardcore scene has vanished from Los Banos and moved on to Ceres, Modesto and Fresno. Now was the time for indie rock and punk music. Some of the regulars still hung around, probably with the hopes that their scene would return, but Quote Your Pulse was the new kid on the block- Dim City Lights, Atom Age, The Bomb Pops, Every Atlas, Asiago, and The Midnight Show.
It had been a long time since I had been to Hot Dog Heaven, but I was confident enough to know that fears would surpass the radical aura I had developed.
I knew nothing about the bands playing or what music I would listen to. It was like my first time all over again. But this time I would become infinite.
Dirty moccasins, a dress and seven bucks, I paid my way in and found a familiar face in the shop.
We made our way to the very front of the stage with the hopes of me not being pushed down again. The room started to get fuller and fuller as the sun was setting. Unfamiliar strangers were setting up on the stage as the nonsense of chatter surrounded me. The lights went dim, just enough to see the silhouettes of the band members.
Waves of eccentric melodies and free spirits joined as one on that stage. As I closed my eyes, I could feel the music enter my ears, attack my bloodstream and flow through my veins. Before I knew it, I was clapping along with the crowd and moving my body back and forth to the beat. I became one with sound. I was the music. Plain and simple.
The rest of the night seemed so surreal. Nothing could ever replace how I felt.
After that night ended, I made it a mission to gain the same infinite feeling the next time I went to shows. My left wrist and moccasins would show how many times I would attend every weekend. I had made friends with the bands and the fans like me. I no longer felt like an outsider.
Finally after searching, I found a home away from home.