Today’s song is “Light It Up” by Behind Enemy Lines which first appeared on the “Go Down Fighting, Come Up Smiling” compilation CD that I out out in 2001. The compilation was a benefit for the Big Idea Bookstore featuring a couple dozen of the bands that were active in the Pittsburgh DIY scene at that time. Over the years I often heard it referred to as the “Roboto comp” because most of the bands were active at Roboto at that time and I was heavily involved with Roboto then as well.
This was the first Behind Enemy Lines song to get released. Aus-Rotten had called it quits the year before and from the ashes came Caustic Christ and Behind Enemy Lines. I remember picking up a CD-R of this track off the band at a show. Eric the Red and I went to his car after the show and out it in the stereo. As soon as the song kicked in we were floored. The power of the drum roll followed by Dave’s growl is such a great way to start a song. I knew immediately that this track needed to be the first track on the compilation.
For me, this song is such a perfect encapsulation of the time in the PGH punk scene. “Every single action could be the start” sums up the ideology of that time. We successfully started Roboto. We had moved into the Roboto2 space (that would get shut down a couple months later). The Big Idea and Free Ride were in their infancy. We were doing things, making stuff happen — much of which is still happening today 13 years later.
Most of the bands that appear on that compilation have a special place in my heart. That was the golden age of Roboto. That CD is in many ways the definition of nostalgia for me; I listen to it and it takes me back. But it’s not fruitless nostalgia – it continues to inspire me to create, to do, to be part of this community.
LIGHT IT UP!