Back To The Future: A Flux Retrospective

December 2017, By Ely Pierce

A little bit of camaraderie and consideration can go a long way when your whole day revolves around a 30 minute time slot.

Being a band on the road can get a little rough at times. From bathing in gas station sinks, living off of fast food, and crashing on random floors. When you come across people who genuinely want to support you and make you feel right at home, to no gain of their own, you discover a language of abundance that isn’t often spoken or espoused in many other places. Out amidst the American wasteland of mountain passes and novelty gift racks its a form of currency that cannot be highly valued enough. And for those who can recognize its value it leaves an indelible mark on you for the rest of your life.

There was once a small, smelly, concrete box in the basement of a warehouse called Flux capacitor. And tho the artwork still hangs the noise has died down now. Like road signs pointing nowhere you could pass thru those halls now and never know that anything beautiful happened there at all. And maybe thats for the best. A part of me still mourns its loss and feels its absence. The rest of me appreciates the time I had and is grateful for everything that has come since. But as I reflect on its impact on me one year after it was abruptly shut down, I think I finally understand the old adage, “You can never go home again” because even if you could… it wouldn’t be the same.

Here are a few flux reflections, or “flux-flections” if you will, taken from some frequent purveyors of ye olde establishment. Share your favorite flux memory or show in the comment section! Thank you all –DIY forever!

From Caleb Butcher: From the very first show at the Flux in December of 2014 I have felt so much love and support from my community and despite my having lived here my whole life, thru my time at flux I have grown to know and have pride in my city on a much deeper level than I ever thought I would. It’s not an exaggeration when I say that the majority of the people I call my friends right now I met through flux. I remember once there was this band from Boston called Great American Ghost. They had played the flux before and loved it. They were coming back through on a different tour package which had a show booked at sunshine studios, and I guess the show was kind of a flop, so they asked us if we could have a last minute show at flux with our friends in dead set. It took a bunch of us pulling together to make it happen and despite it being last minute there was still a great turn out and everybody had a great time. afterwards they told us they wished they had something like flux in Boston, which has its own huge scene but we still had something special that they recognized and admired.

From Ely Pierce: It was pretty rare that I went to flux for any one band in particular. Going to see some headliner or well known act wasn’t what I enjoyed about it. My favorite thing to do was go to random mixed bill shows in the middle of the week with to see bands I’d never heard of and hang with friends. Even if I didnt find my new favorite band it was always an experience. I remember once I randomly caught a set from this electro/pop act and they did a cover of the talking heads song, ‘this must be the place’. It was unexpectedly awesome. People lit up when they recognized it and started dancing and singing along. There was a vibe in the room that everyone connected with. The room itself, of course, stayed the same but suddenly everyone looked very different. It was a new moment that we all got to BE in together. Something really special was being communicated and people were receiving and transmitting it in return. I don’t think that would have happened anywhere else.

From Morgan Helbling: While my best memories at the Flux are riddled with exaggerations and drunken big fish tales I normally recite to blow the minds of anybody who had (unbelievably) never been, I do still hold these wild nights—and one afternoon—close to my heart a year since its closing. I remember the first time I took a nap on the dismantled carseat back against the sound booth, at my very first show. I remember my first clove cigarette, a trusty go-to conversation starter whose awful aroma attracted the attention of both local and touring bands asking for a nostalgic puff. I remember my first attempt at jungle juice where only a single pint of someone else’s booze was added to my own. But it was not until my own dream came true that the Flux’s true purpose occurred to me, when I was offered the opportunity to cross painting a Simpsons themed mural off of my twelfth grade bucket list. It was a life changing moment for me. The Flux was a place for anybody who felt like they did not belong, to belong. Before the Flux the artists, musicians, and comedians still painted their pictures, wrote their songs, and told their jokes. The poets and dancers and filmmakers still told their stories, and the misfit do-gooders of Colorado Springs still helped who they could. But through the family the Flux founded, an eclectic community of visionaries had an outlet to unapologetically be proud of who they are and what they had created, and anybody and everybody was invited to see it. That was what the Flux was to me. It was never about money or deadlines or class or talent. The Flux was a place where a Catholic military brat, who had few friends in the Springs, could be surrounded by people with similar interests and outlooks. I saw many of my dreams realized, made an entirely new family of friends, and heard and saw things I will never get to hear and see anywhere else. While the Flux may have just been a hole in the wall to some or the musical mecca of Colorado Springs to others, it will always be the first place I got to go to see dreams come true.

From Joshua Carmona: Okay so one of my favorite memories from the old flux days was from the first seven one grind. It was my first 2 day fest with a bunch of bands so I didn’t know anything about pacing my self. I was a maniac for the first day non stop moshing. “Corny to say I know” but by the end of the night I was spent. I believe sammothrace was playing and I saw a couch calling my name. I laid down on it and just passed out HARD. All of a sudden I wake up and the flux is empty! My phone was dead so I couldn’t see what time it was so I said fuck it and went back to bed. I woke up again only to see bstrow kicking my foot and telling me my dad was here . I guess my pops called me a bunch and since I didn’t respond he decided to see if I was alive and well. In my head I was thinking I was screwed. I walk around the corner seeing my pops and we walk to car. I got in and my dad did not say a word. I started getting nervous knowing I was gonna get chewed out but WAIT PLOT TWIST… He looks at me and asks if I want ihop. It threw me off and my first instinct was to say I’m sorry. He didn’t care and even laughed about it! we ended up scarfing some pancakes and me chatting his ear off about all the bands. To this day we still joke about it!

From Josh Austin: Ok one time the youthful nothing’s we’re opening up for some butt rock band. At one point during TYNs set Quintin took his bass off and started smashing it on the ground. The body shattered and pieces of wood went everywhere. Then later I saw some girl limping outside and crying. I noticed her foot was all fucked up. I also noticed that the girl was one of the butt rock band members girlfriend or some shit. Long story short they were pissed and ended up not playing that night. I chewed Quintin out because I pissed at the time but looking back on it smashing a bass is punk as fuck and that girl was an unfortunate casualty.