We’re going to a downtown venerated music venue. As always, when the term ‘venerated’ is used, it means run down. But, its a good place to see a show and we probably won’t die when the balcony collapses. We get off the train and walk to a nearby bar. The problem is most of the bars I knew from when I worked in the area are gone or under new management. As always, when the term ‘new management’ is used it means over priced. But we sally forth.
As we’re walking towards one and, although I’d written the date all day long, it didn’t dawn on me until I spurted out with,
“Aw fuck. Its Saint Patrick’s Day.”
That’s a high holy holiday around here. The first five bars we see have lines outside. We turn around and there’s a place I’m sure is still there, still the same, and, because its sort of hidden on a side street, will be crowded but not over run. At least that’s my theory.
And I was right. Right away my girlfriend gets a bar seat and we’re good until show time. Looking around I can tell some of the regulars from offices around the area aren’t thrilled that their usually busy but not overly packed place is in this shape. But I don’t care. I’ve got a beer, there’s a girl across the bar covered with blinking green things and I won’t have to talk to anyone because the music is so loud.
A seat next to my girlfriend opens so now its even better. Some drunken idiots (and if you think I’m making some derogatory judgement about these men, let me correct you. That’s how they introduced themselves to me) stand behind us and start hitting on the girls next to me. I have to say, they were very good sports about it even though one of them kept bumping into the bar rail and apologizing to his own reflection in the mirror.
We finally decide to travel to the venerated venue. Its a few minutes away and, with any luck, we’d have totally missed the opening act. To be honest, I wouldn’t have cared if we missed the headliner either. I know some of their songs from the radio but, what’s that? Twenty minutes of music? I fear what’s going to happen for the next seventy plus minutes of their set.
We hit the beertender, place our order for two beers and he says,
Please believe me here when I say, yes, I am dyslexic but that is not a typo.
We get to our seats just as the opening band hits the stage. Yes, I still have show timing. The crowd cheers, the music begins and, well, let’s say the best description of their opening fifteen minutes would be dark. Not in the audience. On stage. We were lit pretty damn brightly. The people we came to see were filtered in a swath of darkness. What a great idea! Don’t let the fans see you and you could have two or three of the same ‘band’ travel the world! No one would know the difference. A genius plan.
I was also disheartened to hear the second and third songs. Because they were two of the three ‘hits’. People went nuts for ten minutes and then we settled down into what could be considered a delightful evening of looking. Even true fans of the band were, at best, swaying. And this is considered a dance band. I always looks at the audience at a show to see if the band is connecting. It didn’t seem like it to me.
And I had eighty more minutes to sit here waiting for three songs I knew. One of which, I was certain, would be the encore which, if I was lucky, I’d be gone for. So that makes it two songs, seventy minutes. Its times like this I pray for an extended drum solos. During every song.
The songs were well executed and catchy but the band was still shrouded in darkness. The best was to describe the entire show would be a light show with people standing in front of it. During the show I counted three times when the lead singer was lit to be recognizable. Other members? Could have been my neighbor. Can’t be sure.
Of course, because my girlfriend won’t leave a show until the stage has been cleared, I got to hear all five songs I knew. So it was a good night for me. I finished my fourteen dollar can of beer and we hit the streets.
It wasn’t until we got to the train station when I said,
“Aw fuck. Its Saint Patrick’s Day.”
Ending the festivities as we got onto the crowded train, was the sight of a woman on the platform, her ass buried as tight as possible against a wall, vomiting onto her shoes.