Rock Criticism: When the Music's Over
by John Montana
An empty stage materializes. A phantom light breaks through the misty unknown, dividing darkness. A solitary orb settles upon the elevated, dusty old floorboards. Nothing has past, no one is present. Suddenly, flares of crimson punch through the density. “Yea, c’mon” A wily metallic chatter descends from the rafters, followed by a sonic vibration below. The instance plays on, resurrecting in the forsaken vacancy. The beast draws its breath, and then it happens. With a scream from the nether declaring “We are here”, all pistons are ablaze. A neon electric frequency cracks open the air, letting loose howling demons from another world. And so begins our excursion through voice and madness, isolation and deformity, desolation and obscurity, truth and pain, and the space in between. The doors of perception are open. The cascading noise speaks, “When the music’s over…” It beckons curiosity. It speaks again “When the music’s over…” It demands attention. “When the music’s over…” The recipient demands the answer. The voice grants it. “Turn out the lights” And again. “Turn out the lights.” Once more. “Turn out the lights” Thrice driving the inalienable, self-evident truth into consciousness, leaving no room for reproach. Without warning, the guest is cast down the rabbit hole; its circus troupe host mockingly shouting down to it as it goes. “Music is your special friend”, they say, as it’s sent spinning down euphoric humiliation, naked with guilt. The freak reads out the sentence “Dance on fire as it intends” And it does, as it’s sent deeper and deeper down recollection, unwillingly, towards some inevitable, wicked cosmopolitan. “Music is your only friend” And without warning, it’s over; Silence. The blank stage reappears. He steps into the light. “Until the end”, he whispers. The solar winds agree “Until the end” The floorboards rattle in approval “Until the end” The electric villain spits from its ruptured curtain in overwhelmingly consensus. And the show goes on. The dark figure on stage cries and screams in confliction, requesting and demanding in pain and anger and sadness in one harmonizing, beautiful breath, which sings the darkest poetry; uncertainty. The foreboding elements about the figure grow impatient as they wait for Him to reconcile with anonymity; pattering back and forth through the hollow stage as he attempts to do so. The figure comes forth from inquisition, a supposed truth in his mouth. “We want the world and we want it…” The music listens. “Now” The music sounds in indifference “Now?” The speaker waits for their rebuttal in innocent naivety. His music parent refuses him. “Now!” the villain shouts in rebellious defiance. Crying in unison for salvation, He and the music become one again, resounding in empathic hopelessness, revisiting discovered truths, holding firm in convictions, making love and war in sweet, safe, comforting resolution. And they continue to do so until their fire and brimstone bedchamber collapse, their sweet melody echoes through motion no more, water and earth sit beside one another no longer, souls ascend and descend apart, sorrow reaches for everlasting joy in vain. Then, turn out the lights.