See more Showcase photos at westword.com/slideshow.
Arby's, 6:30 p.m. The most insane, out-of-control venue at the Westword Music Showcase? No, it wasn't Broadway's with the metal bands or The Garage for the punkers. It was at the fucking Arby's. Never before have I witnessed a fast food restaurant in a state of greater chaos. It was around the time in the early evening when people who had been drinking all day in the sun suddenly realized they desperately needed food in those sloshing, sour barrels they called stomachs. The parking lot at 11th Avenue and Broadway looked like a scene out of a zombie movie, with groups of people staggering aimlessly in half-aware hunger. Some dude was passed out in front of the door. And not like, I'm-feeling-woozy-so-I'm-gonna-lie-down kind of passed out. I'm talking sprawled face flat on the sidewalk with his arms and legs splayed out like a freshly dressed chicken carcass. People had to step over him to get inside. Others stood by and took pics of the casualty with their phones. Beyond the door, the scene was like a one of those frenzied Red Cross feedings in Third World refugee camps. The mass of customers crowded the counter with no semblance of a line. The female Arby's employees were literally shrieking at people to shut-the-fuck up and listen to them: "EVERYBODY GET BACK! GET BAAAACK!!" The toilets were completely clogged and overflowing, yet people kept using the restroom. Some were openly drinking tall boys and fifths of hard liqour in the booths.
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Verdict: I was too scared to stay there more than five minutes. But witnessing people who obviously never eat at Arby's furiously cram limp roast beef sandwiches into their mouths like they were wrapped by Jesus himself makes me understand the true power of rock-and-roll. Thank you for supporting local music, Arby's! Sorry about the toilets.