That first Gories Detroit reunion show in June of 2009 was a big deal.
The line to get into the Majestic Theater wrapped around the block.
The crowd was a strange mix. There were smug young hipster kids who only heard of The Gories a week ago. Well past their prime soccer mommies desperate to tell anyone that would listen that they used to be more hardcore than anyone else there. Of course I can't leave out balding men approaching middle age that don't come out to shows any more.
According to the insufferable Shelby Township soccer mommy standing behind me during that first reunion show, the opening act, The Oblivians, would have been the headliner in any other city. She earned herself a lot of dirty looks with that dumb remark, took the hint, and then managed to not say anything else for the rest of the night.
All through The Gories' set people were moshing in front of the stage. The energy was at a constant high right up until the last song. Most of the people left sweaty and exhausted.
The Gories did another big show in November of 2010 at the same place as part of a larger North American tour. There wasn't as much of a sense of urgency to see them that time in Detroit. There wasn't a line around the block when I got there, but the theater filled up just as well as it had the previous year. White Mystery opened for them (a great choice, by the way), so I didn't have to overhear some nitwit prattle on about who should be the headliner. Even without all the anticipation building for that performance, it was energetic, and the crowd fed into it.
Every bar, nightclub, and concert venue with functioning utilities wants to cash in on new year's eve gig. A lot of them will have some kind of high priced all inclusive package. I usually choose a dive bar or a house party, but a NYE show from The Gories seemed like an easy choice to make.
It didn't make sense to me that it was being held at the Magic Stick instead of the larger Majestic. When I got there it wasn't as packed as I expected. At the night's peak, the room seemed to be at about 75% capacity. I showed up in the middle of a set from the opening band Pretty Ghouls. I remember it being a lot of warbled screaming into a microphone.
Everyone expected that the Gories would take the stage before midnight, and make the the countdown the centerpiece of their performance. Instead some guy spinning records in between the bands took on the countdown duty.
At around 12:15 The Gories came onto the stage. They didn't talk to the crowd much, other than to say that they were going to be releasing a record of a live performance they did back in the late eighties. The people seemed kind of sluggish to me. They didn't move around much aside from head bopping. The crowd wasn't feeding much energy to the band, and the band wasn't feeding much energy to the crowd. The last song was Nitroglycerine. The crowd got a little more excited for what is arguably the band's best song.