The Crunch

Ba nanana ba nana ba nananana. First supporting act, half hour set, can’t complain. We got here early, worked our way to the front, Sandy pushing past everybody, pulls me forward by the arm. Ba da ba na. A band called Ruth Ruth, haven’t heard of them, but they’re not bad—want to be punk, not quite there, a bit new wavy but not like Duran Duran more like what’s their name, Green Day. Drummer is pounding away, hair made up into devil horns, some guy bald except for a pink mohawk going on about playing a piano while his ex-girlfriend bangs somebody else upstairs. Kind of a crap song, but we’re up front, against the barrier, ready for the main act when they come out, just have to keep our places. Keep up here, throw some shouts, jump up and rock. Somebody just got a pick thrown to them, over my head and now the pressure’s off a bit, not as many people crowding up my back, dropped off to go try for the pick. There’s a skinny skinhead throwing his limbs about behind up, kicking a glass bottle around the floor and tossing anybody comes near. But we’re at the front, he’s working his way to us but we’re not going anywhere. Crunch starts again and the flailing skinhead gets lost in the crowd, five or so layers back. Na na ba nananana.

Song called “Bald Marie” starts up, people seem to know it, like this is the band’s big hit and there are a number of fans in the crowd, not here for the main act, supporting the supporters. Everything tightens up and we’re still at the front, but now there’s like this huge mass trying to share the space with us, pushing us up the barrier and everything’s going to the beat of the song—wa wa wa wa nanananana. I’m jumping up and down against my will, carried by the bouncing bodies pressed into mine, and the guy behind me is sweating and his uplifted arms are in my face, mine go up as well to give me another few inches on either side. Then, then, the chorus kicks up.


Break between sets. I pull Sandy over, crowd not dispersing but thinning, allowing us to breathe. I try to put the crunch into words, say the first thing that comes to mind.

“I think I just got laid.”

The Crunch


Ann Arbor, United States

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