Saturday, July 04, 2009

This was supposed to be joyful...

But I just read this. I know, I know, this horror has been on the horizon for at least two years, but it doesn't make it any easier. Richard's is hands down my favorite concert venue in this venue-deprived city. Small enough to feel intimate, big enough to have crowd-induced-energy, and with the most frightening washrooms in the city, it is (soon to be was...) pretty near perfect. I am not convinced that the "new" venue will come anywhere close (art galleries? not that I don't like art galleries...but really, art galleries?). I was really looking forward to seeing Blitzen Trapper at Richards. Sigh. Where will they be now? The Plaza? Sigh.

SO - I will try to regain some joy talking about what was, it seems, my LAST concert at Richards - Dirty Projectors.

As usual, we got their early (for the last time...sigh. OK, I'll stop). Sometimes when you are there before doors open, you will see the band members wander out of the club and out for dinner. We saw a bit more than that this time around. The band van was parked in front of our car, and Dave Longstreth and Angel Deradoorian wandered out and opened the back of the van, to rifle through their suitcases. Dave pulled out his show jeans, then turned around to see us, parked right behind him trying to look nonchalant - which doesn't deter him from taking his pants off. Once changed, he sits on the back of the van to tie his shoes, all the while staring exaggeratedly up into the air like a dark-eyed, slightly unbalanced version of one of Rafael's angels - a way, I suspect, of trying to pretend we weren't there. Meanwhile, we were pretending to face each other and not notice, ever the polite Canadians. (For those that care: boxers). A nice FINAL story about waiting to get into Richards...sigh.

When we finally did get inside, it didn't look promising from an attendance standpoint. I always fear the awkwardness of seeing a great band playing to 20 people in a venue that holds 20 times that. Luckily, by the time the band got on stage, the floor was full of happy, adoring fans.

And what a treat the show was. They are such a rhythmically and melodically complex band that things could easily go horribly wrong - but they are so GOOD that it doesn't. Dave Longstreth moved like a slightly distracted, jerky raptor across the stage, his crazy guitar lines just seeming so ... easy. So good. And the rest of the band? SO good. Crazy harmonies from the women. Great semi-naked drumming. And very, very happy audience.

Thanks, Dirty Projectors, for making my last (*sniff*) night at Dick's so great.


DJ Wongski said...

What? Closed already, even before I get back to Vancouver? I agree that it's a huge loss. And I'm also suspicious about the plans for the former A&B Sound space. Glad to hear the Dirty Projectors were great. My last show at Richard's was Jens Lekman. I'll always have fond memories of other gigs I went to there: Lee "Scratch" Perry, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Keren Ann, Shelby Lynne, the Pointed Sticks, etc.
Chris in Rome

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