Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Full weekend

Ed. Note: I'm sticking with the royal we for most of this because introducing and explaining all the players might be confusing, but as a quick break down, Friday's show was attended by Kelly, Alex and myself. Saturday's was me and Kelly. Finally, Sunday's show was attended by Kelly, Ciaran and myself.

March 30, 2007 - Bloc Party, United Palace Theatre

I had weekend guests over this week. It was an exercise in the interesting considering my apartment might be considered just right for one person.

For those of you unfamiliar with the United Palace Theater, it is a seated, assigned by the seat, type of venue. Something we were pretty glum about.

Sebastien Grainger's (of Death From Above 1979, which was actually a pretty funky little outfit) band, who introduced themselves as The Beautiful Denzel Washingtons or some such, were not my cup of tea. I later on described my impression of their sound to Kelly as "premature ejaculation music," because I'd find myself starting to get into a song at certain points, but then maybe 5 seconds later I'd be all out of it. The whole set was full of those moments where I'd be all "Oooh..this is...this is...kinda...oh wait, I'm done." Yea, yea, and don't tell me it happens to everyone.

Albert Hammond Jr. on the other hand was damn good. That's all I'll say. The set was fantastic. Check his stuff out if you have not already.

As soon as Bloc Party began playing, the crowd stood up. After the second or third song, the general consensus was "Fuck this." and the stage was bumrushed. The usher/security type people sort of forced us back to our seats the first time, but we soon ran to the front again and after that and the staff gave up.

Throughout the show, Kele would look up because pieces of the theater itself seemed to be falling onto the stage and at one point he was pulled into the crowd. The house staff freaked the fuck out at this and they were trying to reel him back onto the stage, but since they couldn't get to him physically without the risk of being pulled into the crowd themselves they tried to do this with the mic chord. Yea, not the smartest thing I've seen done, but it seemed like they were working in panic mode.

Not that the crowd wasn't encouraged to be enthusiastic. At one point Kele declared that this was a rock show and "not a Snow Patrol show."

March 31, 2007 - Bloc Party, United Palace Theater

There were more people selling tickets at this show. The crowd was decidedly different, it was skewed a bit more towards the older crowd and it even looked like there were less out of towners. We witnessed one older looking guy in a fringed cowboy jacket excitedly related to two younger girls behind him how he didn't even really like Bloc Party. When he turned back around, the two girls looked at each other with a "WTF?" look on their faces.

I saw that there were some burly house staff looking types posted in front of the stage and it worried me that this would put a damper on any plans to bum rush the stage. We wanted to get a bit more to the front than yesterday so we formulated several plans based on how things went down last night. All that planning was unnecessary in the end, however, because it seemed like they were just posted there for precaution and no one was stopping anyone from bumrushing the stage tonight.

Kele told the crowd that on Friday night things got so hectic that the show was almost stopped, but that shouldn't stop us from having fun tonight. Nonetheless, it was noticeable he was being a bit more cautious yesterday. While he allowed himself to be pulled into the crowd on Friday, Saturday night he was careful to just barely hang himself over the crowd then back off before he got sucked in.

He commented how this was the New York crowd he expected to see, and even brought up Matt Tong's wife to dance with him onstage.

After the show we hung around to see if we could get anything and a stagehand handed out some picks.

"Whose is it?" we asked.

"Bloc Party," he answered.

"Yea, but who??"

"Bloc Party!" he answered in a bewildered manner. It was almost like an Abbott and Costello skit.

He eventually gave up and said, "The guy in the middle!" So I'm assuming I have in my possession Kele Okereke's pick.

We talked with the house manager who asked us if we liked the venue. We answered that it was nice, but quite honestly, we were more used to general admission.

"Yea, this was the first time we had a crowd that did not want to stay in their seats," he said almost in disbelief and awe.

April 1, 2007 - Les Savy Fav, Bowery Ballroom

The opening bands rocked. Call Me Lightning wowed me with a five-string bass and a bassist who could play it very well. The Big Sleep had a lady bass player and I almost swooned. Bass, bass, bass.

Anyhow, Les Savy Fav went off after the first song. Thanking the crowd for coming to listen to them. The house lights came on and music played. However, a couple of minutes later they were back. Oh, those jokesters.

Tim Harrington was resplendent in a Native American getup. And not the good kind, the kind that goes for 20 bucks at a bad costume shop.

Intense moshing, headbanging, and dancing ensued. Among the outrageous acts perpetrated by Tim:

- Called forward a member of the audience and made him get on his hands and knees. He suggestively rode the guy like a horse and even made him suck on his fingers.

- Popped open a bottle of Corona and shook it. He then simulated ejaculation with the bottle and beer foam. People gathered under for some beer bukkake action.

- He digged into his bellybutton then sucked on said finger.

- He borrowed Sharpies from the crowd and made audience members sign his belly. And yes, I got in on that action.

- He kissed the bass player.

At the end of the show my friend received a setlist. As we idled about watching everyone leave, Tim came out and thanked us for our awesome energy. I give all the credit to Kelly. I was still recovering from a migraine from the previous day, so I don't know how energetic I was, but nonetheless it was kind of cool he actually wanted to thank us personally. He signed Kelly's setlist and took a picture with her. I wanted Tim to sign my ticket stub, but not having a pen he bit into the ticket. When he finally did get a pen he signed the stub and circled the bite mark and wrote, "My mouth."

I mentioned that Ciaran was all the way from Dublin (I don't know why, it seemed like the thing to say) and Tim mentioned that Les Savy Fav had played there twice before. He also mentioned something about Leo Burdock's, and I remember we all agreed that Leo Burdock's was the bomb (It truly is).

A good weekend, and I have the bruises to prove it. Bonus: Vice TV (I know, Vice TV? I thought "Wtf?" when I heard that too) was filming the show so there's a chance that there will be video floating around the internet of me actin' the fool.


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