For this live report of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, I wanted- no, I needed to talk about my very personal view of this gig. The best for me to do so was an open letter. Felt weird to write it, but I hope it’ll be nice to read. Live Report.
Dear Frank (‘cause I’m not gonna call you Mr Carter, let’s be real),
You have no idea what good your 15/02 gig did to me. It was my ‘First of the Decade’ gig and it was important. Essential, even. For you too, I’m sure, it was quite an event. Play at Alexandra Palace, a crazy beautiful magnificently cultural place, that’s something. The architecture is dazzling between its bricks, its columns, its glass rosette facing the stage, but its story is as amazing. Ally Pally got the Stones and Queen, and now you and your best mates.
Five years, already, that you’re playing with the Rattlesnakes and you get to fill up this 10,000 people venue from the floor to the roof. It seems completely crazy for other bands. And you, your attitude and your out-of-this-world kindness, you get there, in your classy Docs and suit, and you do it. Because you want to and you can. That’s inspiring.
Speaking of inspiration, if or your openings I preferred the warm rock of Cleopatrick to the brutal mix of genres of Ho99o9, it’s entirely personal and I knew I hadn’t seen anything just yet. My impatience and my curiosity went mad with each second passing by. Your setlist doesn’t show how powerful your gig is, although it does unveil your best tracks. That’s what I needed.
‘Cause I haven’t been that good recently, probably ‘cause I’m working too much and I’m asking myself too many questions. Anxiety, you know it too. It’s a common friend we have. And I think that it’s so it’d shut up I went through the storm, all windy and rainy, and got to the venue to see you. I knew it’d do something good to me. I was right.
You’ve talked a lot about all this, about respect, and kindness, as you were careful that people who fell on the floor because of moshing or pogo, are up again. We waited for you to play your last two songs of the set for fifteen minutes because someone needed help. Oh, you didn’t get back to it before you were sure security had taken the guy out of the crowd, because shit, he did need help, and we had these fifteen to spare for his safety. No rush, only respectful mosh pits, sometimes women-only, sometimes small, sometimes massive.
You hit the note, you talk about your daughter and dedicate Lullaby to her, you want us to scream at the top of or lung on your best love song that is I Hate You rather than us to go out to commit some kind of crime, you want us to lift you as you sing, standing on the sea of people, a Crowbar coming from hell. You open that sea and walk, not without trouble as people touch your head and block your way, to the front-of-house to talk to your Mum. You got something Christ-like on stage, or antichrist-like to some people, I guess, whether you’re jumping around or not. It’s magical.
You want to see your audience, your fans, your family as happy and healthy as you can be there on stage. You’re living your best life. Us, we’re hypnotized. And I am dazzled, speechless before this positive and cathartic moment. My anxiety did shut the fuck up for two hours and that was great. For this first 2020 gig, you put the crowbar high. All this because your charisma is only matched by your kindness. And for this, I thank you. See you soon.