Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ranking Full Stop...

So, as promised, here's the Dave Wakeling blog. I know you were all (all 3 of you?) holding your breath.

It was at the same venue I whined about in early blog (the Grizzly Bear night), so we tried new seats - up on the balcony, but right at the end, very close to the stage, far away from the bar, and RIGHT infront of the flown speakers (sorry, ears, really I am). Much much better choice.

So. Where to start.

DW & the Band - As my brother said, you couldn't have asked for more. They sound fantastic, played everything (that didn't feature Ranking Roger as lead vocal) and were having an exceedingly good time. For over 2 hours. And they were determined to make sure everyone else had a good time too - somehow a positive spin was put on everything (including a fight and some dodgy moments thanks to the monitor tech which I will touch on later) - which might have something to do with the super upbeat DW consuming a steady stream of Red Bull. It was an unbelievable love fest.

The Audience - oh, where to start, where to start. A roiling boil of skanking 40+ year olds would be the quick description, though that is probably only 70% true. Falling outside of that would be the female Tom Waites look-alike (in body, hair, and outfit...and yes, female) who wandered up on to the stage to start some sort of incredibly slow, incredibly stoned 'oooh I'm moving in jello' dance until she was finally coerced to leave by some friends. At which point she continued the same slow dance with the wall, though my gut call is she couldn't tell the difference. I could go on. People's need for acknowledgment at concerts baffles me sometimes. Are you trying to connect with the band? Do you need to have 500 people's eyes on you to feel special? I don't get it. The band seems to get it more than me and had no problem trying to accommodate their needy fans, including those feeling the need to share the spotlight on the stage. A fight did break out at one point - even the oldies can get feisty I guess - but the perp was ejected like a cannon ball, and DW glossed over it in his own uber-positive way.

The Sound - A small drama all on its own. There were some major monitor issues during the opening band, which resulted in VERY cranky sound tech hopping up on stage in the middle of the set to verbally tear apart the obviously not very on the ball monitor tech - using the lead singers mic, so we were all part of the joy. When DW et al start playing, DW mentions that the sound is GREAT despite the problems he heard about earlier. Then his voice starts to crackle. And sound guy storms over to monitor guy. Who hops up on stage and manages to switch DW's mic cable in between verses. Which DW praises as soon as the song is over (remember the 'positive spin' mentioned earlier). I have seen so many bands that would have been having major fits over this kind of stuff. But, in DW land (or rather, Red Bull land) EVERYTHING'S GOOD. And really, I've gotta say, it was.

Me - Yes, I get my own heading. It was a weird time warp for me. I found myself thinking about who I was when I used to listen to the Beat all the time. What I wore (what happened to those red and black loafers anyway?). What I thought my life would be. What my view of the future was. And I've got to say, nothing has turned out how I thought it would. Not that it has turned out worse - not that you can judge better or worse when you only end up living one way I suppose - it has just turned out differently. And I have to admit relief that my teenage fear that I'd be wearing polyester elastic waist pants when I hit 40 has proved unfounded.

It has taken me so long to write this that I've actually seen another concert since then - a fantastic evening with Guy Clark, Joe Ely, and musical demi-gods John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett. Every time I see Lyle Lovett live I am floored by his voice. It is so easy for him. What an incredible treat. And to the lone off-beat clapper in the middle of the super-quiet audience...oh, I'll stop. It's not good for my blood pressure.

7 comments:

haikugirl said...

J - loved this review and loved the previous post (trip down music and fashion memory lane). You should do music reviews for a living! Great photos - I need to put more on my blog. Party on girl!

tracy said...

oh you make me smile!

what were those shoes called? you know the ones - two-tone; kinda pointy; thick crepe soles; laces or a buckle i think; i had black leather with grey suede and special ordered them from a skate shop... hmmm... so good.

i am getting old...

tracy said...

creepers. (jeepers!)

BunkleLife said...

too funny! thanks for that T ;-)

Jennie said...

i had big black seude ones, I think they were a handmedown from some other skawannabe in my apartment in Montreal - each shoe felt like it weighed about 5 pounds! not too much creeping around in those bad boys - it was all about the shuffle, and i nearly threw my knee out once trying to dance in them!

tracy said...

hey! this is almost a class reunion. (susi where are you??) xo

BunkleLife said...

Man, wish I had more 80's bands in my upcoming concert lineup - apparently I'm not the only nostalgia hound.

Good to hear from you Jennie!