Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Baking in the hot Williamsburg sun

It was time to face the horrible truth. I have never seen Superchunk live. How can this happen you ask? When I pick them as one of my favorite bands? When I can eloquently describe why I love their cover of "100,000 Fireflies?" The thing is this. What you need to understand is, up until six years ago I did not live in the United States. In fact, before college, the last time I set foot on the United States was when I was around 3 or 4. That means my formative years of music appreciation was more about being huddled next to a radio and obsessively writing down song titles.

The internet made things a bit better as I'd get listening suggestions from people and it was easier for me to track down music (though in the days when I still had a dial-up connection that was a painful process until we switched to high-speed). So in all honesty, my concert going age is a mere six years old. Hardly enough time to be following the live shows of many bands I grew to love especially when many of them went defunct when I was still across the Pacific.

Anyhow, when I heard about the free concert at McCarren Park Pool, I decided, "Free? Superchunk? Hells yea," and got my ass on the L train. It was time to get back in touch with my prehistoric emo self. Prehistoric emo me? How've you been? It's been a while...then again you never went away did you? When you'd be sitting there at home on one of the Friday nights you didn't have anything to do and were too tired to go out (or so you'd tell yourself), you'd listen to Sunny Day Real Estate and ask yourself what was wrong with you...Um, where was I?

As we say in Korea, it was a "scalping heat." The sun beating down on you could crisp your pate into a bald nothingness if you stood out in it long enough. Luckily it was a dry enough heat that finding any sort of shade meant it was almost ridiculously disproportionately cool.

The gig (hosted by Helio and probably some other folks), was touted as a "pool party," and some people came dressed accordingly, but it's really really weird then you realize that McCarren Park Pool is totally drained for gigs. They did have a little slip and slide type thing over to the side, but besides that, yea I guess you could come in your swimsuit if you have a fondness for developing melanoma.

(Decent enough crowd.)

(Some people really getting into the whole "pool" part of this "party.")

I used to be pretty good about taking pictures of shows, but for some reason fell out of habit. I decided to get back on the wagon with that. Unfortunately, moving to far away made people on the stage tiny, but from my vantage point up front (without photog cred, I wasn't trying to jump over the barricade), it basically made any drummers nonexistent. That was a shame since one of my top favorite parts of a band is, all together now, the rhythm section.

The show was supposed to go from 3 to 6, but they definitely were biding their time for more people to show up and +/- didn't get on stage until a little after four.

Oakley Hall was on next and Jesse Barnes, pointing towards a condo development in the background, quipped, "This one's dedicated to all the radically chic people who will be living there." A bit of New York/Williamsburg gentrification inside joke: "Radically chic. Chicly Radical" is the slogan of an ad campaign for the very condo development he was pointing towards.

(This picture just proves that bass players are fucking awesome. I'm so jealous of this ensemble; it makes me wish I was a thin dude so I could walk around wearing something like this. The rainbow sherbet-esque shirt, the white-rimmed glasses, even the hairstyle! I'm lovin' it like it was some McDonald's, son.)


(...and after joking request for a hat was fulfilled by an obliging audience member.)

(Hooray lap steel!)

(Mac rockin' out despite a sheen of sweat.)

(Yay, Laura! Lady bass players! Le swoon!)

The wait meant Superchunk was rushed on stage and Mac even commented when they came back on for an encore, "We usually do the wait and 'Hey, are they coming back on stage,' thing but we actually have a time issue going on."

No "Pulled Muscle" or "100,000 Fireflies," but there was "Driveway to Driveway," "Kicked In," and "Slack Motherfucker." Even a new single was played. In the end, I was glad I got over my sunlight aversion, but goddamn, I need to invest in a bottle of sunscreen if I need to go any more of these outdoor shows this summer.


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