One of my favorite memories of the Even Furthur weekend took place during Perc's set. (Read our interview with Perc here). Pretty much everyone in the main stage was going mental, but one person in particular was seriously feeling it. He was more in the zone than anyone I've ever seen. I didn't know this man who was headbanging very intensely and almost climbing up on top of the speaker before dropping back down to the mud, but I knew he was a member of the Support Squad because he was wearing a work suit.
Over the weekend, I gained a huge amount of respect for the aging ravers who were back for round two. Even in their forties they were going harder than most people 10-15 years younger. It wasn't until watching this SS member on the dance floor that I truly understood what the Midwest Hardcorps are all about. Here's a guy who embodies the spirit of Drop Bass Network, a guy who's clearly very experienced with this kind of thing, putting the rest of us to shame. We never spoke at Even Furthur, but since then I found out his name: Noel Shortt.
I will admit, when I first noticed Noel, I laughed. He had the top of his work suit off, dangling down at his waist. I noticed his tramp stamp tattoo that says "Star Wars", and I'm thinking who the hell is this guy? Then he started getting into it. Laughs turned into respect. I was happy to see a member of the Support Squad getting a chance to rock out the way he was, they all definitely earned it! Then he got really into it, and I couldn't look away. FUCK YES is the only thought that crossed my mind for the next several minutes. At some point it appeared that he dropped something and got down on his knees and was scooping through the mud and water with his hands with as much rage as he had while headbanging. I'm not sure if it was his mind he was looking for or if something fell out of his pocket; either way I don' think he found it.
When we started working on the Perc interview, I decided I should reach out to Noel to hear from him about his experience on the dance floor. Yes, Perc's set was a huge highlight of the weekend, but to me, this coverage we are doing is about capturing these little moments that not everyone got to see. It's about sharing these experiences that made Even Furthur so special. So with that said, here is a little mini-interview with Noel on what he was going through both before and during Perc's set, which you can listen to/download here.
What were you going through when you were freaking out to Perc? How did it feel? Put me inside your shoes.
Shoes ha, I shall try to put you in my Fleet Farm rubber boots. It was rad, as for me and so many others it was the first real time in a long, long while I was afforded the opportunity to lose my shit; To not give a care what anyone else thought because so many people there have seen me freak out before. I needed to get away into my head for a bit. I live in Northern California, and as I was getting ready to go to Even Furthur, we were put under a possible evacuation order from a wildfire. The fire got just a few miles from my house, before it veered north, and as soon as that happened I split to the Midwest. The threat of something like that led to the need to lose myself in the tunes and the Rave, and put my mind back in order.
As you seemed to witness for me putting it back in order involves a lot of headbanging. It was great to dance like that again with so many friends around. There's nothing like a running into long lost friend in front of the speakers(Lori!), and seeing how hard you can push yourself to keep going, at least as long as the other old longhairs(you know who you are).
I saw you say you rocked out harder than at a Motorhead show, is that the hardest you've ever rocked out?
Oh by no means, that was just the first extreme comparison of turning it up well past 11, in a long, long while, I could think of to describe it. I don't think I could achieve terminal velocity like I did in the nineties, I have some battle scars on my knuckles from punching JBL speaker grates back in the day. Even if I cannot remember all the specific dates, I'm sure I have gone harder, I'm a DBN kid after all.
I also saw you say you didn't get to see many sets cause you were working, can you describe what that set meant to you?
Well that's what comes with working, especially at a Furthur. I love the excitement of the running around making sure shit gets handled, when wackiness occurs. I think that part of the Rave is ingrained in me, that's what I find most fun. I missed out on the first nights tunes, but for a bit of Jess-one, and Woody, so I knew the next night I had to plan to be unavailable to rock out at least once. I knew it was a big deal for Perc to play, and that those responsible for the shindig were stoked to book him. These are people who's opinions on the techno I consider most relevant, as "it's not what you want, it's what you need", so I was ready to go.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Special thanks to the main men, Kurt, Woody, and Dave, I could write lines and lines about these dudes, but sum it up simply with my undying loyalty, and thanks.
To the SS a huge public shout of proudness, and amazement for you guys, above and beyond, as usual! Your my family and I love you guys immensely! P.S. Frank you are Fucking Hardcore!
Thanks to all the Ravers. Keep the sound underground, and Rave On!
P.S. When traversing down a hill of mud in your vehicle, do not tailgate the vehicle that's sliding down in front of you. We thank you for your support.
Now that you have the set, you don't need to complain about the sound quality of this video. The lighting/visuals combo on Saturday was amazing, the best of the weekend in my opinion. This video does not capture the craziest parts of the inflatable hammer toss, but my M&M friend makes an appearance, and this is a glimpse of what it was like inside the tent while Perc played. Thanks to Bobby Dommer for the video.