You know what else? It was the best show I've been to in at least 10 years. Maybe that's not saying a lot, considering how much I get out these days. I did go see Morrissey last year, which was pretty life changing for me, but as an experience as a whole, the Jug Or Not reunion show meant a lot more to me. Why? Because to me, this band represents everything good about growing up in clay county.
Sure, you might say "There is nothing good about growing up in Clay County". I'd have a hard time proving you to be wrong. But if I could take you back to the early-to-mid 90s, to any one of the shows at the various civic centers, batting cages, and junior high school lunch rooms across Clay county where Jug Or Not was playing, you'd understand instantly. It was more than just community, it was more than music. There was a SCENE in Middleburg, and being a part of it was everything to me. As corny as that sounds, it's true. We weren't just punk rockers, goth kids in lipstick, alt rocker progs, skateboarders and hipsters. We were fans of music, and we were fans of Jug Or Not. I have no idea how many of their shows I've been to, but there are a lot of memories. Good Riddance even opened up for them! That one kind of blows my mind.
Josh, thanks for all the shots. It's always a pleasure to see you.
Moving into the present, this reunion show was like a shot of adrenaline to the arm. Everything old is new again. I was late for the show, and I was worried that I wasn't going to get to it in time. I walked through the door about 15 minutes before the band went on, which I think was perfect timing for me. There were so many people there that I'd lost touch with, so many people I was glad to see. When the music finally started, the floor filled with people. I could see nothing but smiling faces. It wasn't just because of the music, which was energetic and amazing. It wasn't because we are all still so great looking. It was so much more than that. Its like all of the sudden, out of nowhere, Orange Park had a scene again.
To view the full gallery with high resolution images, go here.
For more about the show, please visit EU Jacksonville, where a more complete writeup should be posted soon.