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Wickline enjoys underground music scene

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Junior Elias Wickline dances to music at Easy Greasy.

Junior Elias Wickline dances to music at Easy Greasy.

Noah Siderhurst

Noah Siderhurst

Junior Elias Wickline dances to music at Easy Greasy.

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It’s 9:30 on a Wednesday night and junior Elias Wickline has just arrived at Easy Greasy, a local underground music house, for a metal show.

“We’ll be able to tell when they start playing because the floor will start vibrating,” Wickline said.

Ear plugs go in and we head down to the basement. The ceiling and the lights are low. Thirty people crowd into the small space, pushing closer to the band. Gigantic amps loom in the background. There’s a washing machine lurking in a corner. The band is still tuning up.

Music can get pretty cool, insane, whatever.”

— Wickline

“They never start on time, so you hang out and meet people,” Wickline said. “You talk about where you’re from and other shows you’ve been to, maybe what your day job is… Then once it starts, [you] stand for the music and dance.”

Almost as soon as the music starts, people get into it. The tiny space is filled with a sea of people and noise. Wickline remembers what initially drew him to the scene.

“I thought it was pretty cool because things get really crazy,” Wickline said. “Even the venues, [like the Golden Pony], are pretty lenient. Music can get pretty cool, insane, whatever.”

Noah Siderhurst
A band plays at Easy Greasy. “I really like unique music, and we have a pretty tight unique music scene around Harrisonburg,” Wickline said.

The crowd is mainly populated by college-age or older people. There aren’t any high schoolers besides Wickline, but he doesn’t mind.

“There’s lots of different people here, so I would say [there’s an atmosphere of] acceptance,” Wickline said. “Nobody cares… They’re all pretty kind. They’re not very judgmental.”

Wickline first started going to shows at places like the Golden Pony and Clementine, but soon graduated to more underground shows. Houses like Easy Greasy and Crayola have people living in them and host shows at the same time. The basement is the venue while the upstairs is a living space.

In a normal week, Wickline goes to two or three shows. He’s been going for about a year. It’s the vibrant Harrisonburg scene that keeps drawing him back.

“I really like unique music, and we have a pretty tight unique music scene around Harrisonburg,” Wickline said. “They have everything: country, rap, metal, hardcore and all the other genres.”

Wickline’s favorite local band is Zooanzoo, who play electric trip-hop.

“My favorite shows are the really indie and weird ones,” Wickline said. “There was this one band I saw called Dog that was noise rock. Noise rock is where you play alright, but you just play really, really loud, like noise. So it was really loud, and then this girl pretended to be a dog, and she went into the audience crawling around, bumping into people. That started a huge mosh pit.”

Mosh pits are a big part of many shows.

“You’d think mosh pits only happen in extreme concerts, but they happen all the time. And there are different kinds,” Wickline said. “I don’t like metal [mosh pits] as much because there are usually less people; just imagine five really tall and wide-shouldered guys hitting each other.”

Understandably, Wickline’s parents were somewhat skeptical when he first started going to shows. However, it was something his dad had done when he was younger, so they eventually agreed to let him go.

In the future, Wickline plans to become even more involved. After graduating, he hopes to live at one of the houses and book shows. He also hopes to start a band of his own. For now though, he just enjoys going to shows late at night and feeling the music.

As the show wound down at Easy Greasy, Wickline headed home to get sleep for the school day to follow, but the feeling of the show stuck with him.

“The feedback was making my heart beat at the same rate as the bass,” Wickline said. “We have a really good community.”

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