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We had finally done it! We were good enough to play on stage. We had sold all our tickets, which 100 initially felt like such an unreachable amount. Archaic was finally going to be playing the Battle of the Bands at Peabody's Down Under in Cleveland.

We were all friends to begin with, no scouting to find the best guy for the position, just 4 guys that had grown up together wanting to have fun. Joe was the singer. He was the typical singer, somewhat taller, skinny, long scraggly black hair that covered his face. He had that stage presence about him. Didn't matter what he was singing about, the crowd loved him. He was still in high school, a sophomore, at the age of 16. Then there was Dan. I've known him since kindergarten, and he's always been an ass, but somehow I managed to stay with him. At 19, he had fluffy red hair at the time, a big menacing goatee, and a 6 string bass to show that he meant business. Donny was a very talented drummer, but he was also a cynical prick. Even though he took pleasure in being the jerk of the group, I can't remember all the times we wouldn't have had fun without him. He was in the same grade as Joe and 16 as well. I, on the other hand, primarily tried to be the laid back type. I was what you would call a normal looking person, if there is such a thing. I was the oldest in the band at 20. I wielded a pair of Jackson guitars that I would flip of and on with depending on the song.

I was just starting to get good on guitar. It had been a couple years of constant playing, and about 6 months of being in the band, but I just had a knack for clicking with Donny's motives for every song. One by one, we would have yet another song to add to our arsenal. We would write at least 3-4 songs in a night's practice, fueled by lots of beer and Bacardi. We were definitely too young to be drinking, but we didn't care, we were starting to lead the lives of rockers, and that's what rockers do!

I woke up the next day after our last practice before the gig. It was a horrible night. I couldn't get any sleep what-so-ever. I was constantly thinking of the show the following day, running over riffs and fills in my head. What if I screwed up? What if I choked? None of us knew exactly what to expect that night, and I was definitely no exception. I didn't drama throughout high school, and was in choir, but audience members didn't get the chance to really judge a single person. Now, if I were play the wrong note or not bend the strings far enough, it would sound horrible, and 500 fans would definitely hear it.

We started getting ready early in the morning. "Early bird catches the worm" or something like that. The show wasn't until 6:00PM, but we had to be there no later then 5:00PM, but living in Wooster, an hour away from the show in Cleveland, we had to leave here before 4:00PM. We didn't have much stuff to bring, a few amps, cables, and instruments. Donny's drum set was huge, though. It took up most of the truck bed, and we had to struggle to find room for everything else. We made all the final preparations, ran through a checklist and counted the money to make sure we had it all for the tickets.

We were about ready to leave at around 2:00PM, when we started to get phone calls from people who bought tickets needing a ride up. Luckily for them, Dan and I both were driving up. Joe was my closest friend, so he came with me, as well as 3 fans in the back. Donny and Dan, who were brothers, naturally drove up together in the truck with 1 more person.

We were cutting it close, though. It was almost 4:00PM already by the time we got everyone from their houses. We were finally in route, and constantly getting more excited about our show. I listened to hardcore and thrash music the entire way up, getting everyone pumped up for what we hoped would be an amazing night. I think I remember Joe mooning someone on our way up on 71N. I couldn't help but laugh. Our band was circled around having a great time, just in it for the fun. Normally it was a rather quick drive up to Cleveland, but this time was different. We were so excited about what was going to happen, that it seemed like hours.

We finally made it up there, with a few minutes to spare. There was to be a total of 8 bands playing that night, ranging for perky pop punk all the way to harsh, guttural death metal. We were closer to the death metal side of things, with our mix of Slayer, Lamb of God and Flaw influences. Hopefully, we thought, none of the punk fans would boo us off stage.

Later on in the night, before the doors even opened for the music hungry people outside, we found out that we sold the most tickets. These was



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