In the midst of the tumult, the bouncer's face glistens as he passes under one of the dim interior lights. He has just escorted out a troublemaker. Now he's making his way through the scrum in front of the bandstand, flashlight held high, grumbling about tough guys and assholes. This same guy came through earlier carrying a fellow who was desperately gulping for air. After that a girl who'd gotten smacked in the head. The gasper's gone; the girl's crumpled against a wall by the door holding her head in her hands.
The wicked drum beats like a weapon, pulsating in your chest in a manner that feels surprisingly invigorating. One of tonight's featured acts is well into its set, but it's hard to say which band it is. Somewhere along the line the roster got screwed up. Not even the doorman is sure who it is up there. Might be Cold War, might be It Dies Today.
People climb onstage and flop back into the crowd. They remain momentarily suspended in the air, rag dolls held up by a multitude of bodiless arms and hands, until they sink back into the chaos. Everything in here is sweating, even the walls.