Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gnomes & Indulgence

On September 3rd I went to see Mr. Gnome at Mohawk place, and I was literally the only person at the show. I'm not exaggerating. For the first two songs I was the lone audience member, standing all by myself. I made sure to cheer extra loud after each song, just to make sure they knew someone was out there, and maybe so they didn't feel like they were just practicing. Eventually, about 5 other people wandered over to watch, but I'm pretty sure they were in the other bands that had opened earlier that night. You can usually tell who these people are by their casual interest in what's going on. Anyone who came to the show with the intention of seeing the band is always front and center as soon as the sound check starts. As the set went on, the other observers slowly drifted away, once again leaving me as the sole observer. They're a two piece: female guitarist/vocalist and a guy playing the drums. It's a formula that's gotten popular recently, and I'm not complaining. I am a total sucker for a girl rocking out with a guitar, especially if it's in a low-fi duo where the music has been stripped down the barest elements and you're left with a raw mix of honesty and distortion. They put on a great show, and I have to say that I was really impressed by some of the crazy beats the drummer was hammering out, simultaneously super funky and precisely calculated. Like a drum machine with soul...I made sure to go chat with them both after the show, although I felt bad that I couldn't buy anything due to my severe lack of funds.

On September 19th I finally saw Mindless Self Indulgence live. They played a packed show at Town Ballroom, and all I have to say is this: Kids these days don't know how to cheer for an encore. The entire venue was packed to the brim, and it's a huge place, hundreds of people were there. The crowd went nuts the whole time, lots of great band/spectator interaction...however when they played their last song, instead of continuing to cheer and chant for an encore...everyone just stood there. I was baffled, I'd never seen anything like it...usually a crowd will either choose to disperse immediately, or more often they will chant wildly until the band comes out. I mean, that's just basic concert going 101, right? The band finishes, goes backstage, and will wait about five minutes to see if the crowd is up for another song. The road crew doesn't start breaking down the equipment yet, because it's expected that the band will come back out. I've often seen the crew and security encouraging the audience, gesturing for them to be as loud as possible, basically saying. "these guys are planning on coming out again, so your cheers will not be in vain." For whatever reason, everyone in the audience just stood silently and expectantly....then the road crew started breaking their shit down and people began to leave. I was pretty disappointed, but the rest of the show was great, so I can't complain.

Then, something happened that I really didn't expect. After 50% of the kids in the audience had left, and there were just a bunch of people like me sticking around for no reason...the band came out to hang out with the crowd. I was really impressed and it made me respect them quite a bit. Usually when a group gets to their level of fame, they stop giving a fuck about the fans and become bitter and jaded about their "unwanted celebrity status." However, I get the feeling that MSI knows who their audience is, and they appreciate them as much as they did when they were playing little venues for 30 people. The lead singer stuck around for a good 45 minutes, signing every single picture and ticket stub and taking pictures with anyone wanted one, giving big hugs and chatting away. It made me really happy, and of course I had to get in on it so I shook his hand. I've been a huge fan of these guys for the last 8 years now...they remain one of my favorite bands and I'm glad that seeing them live only cemented that fact.

I have to mention this too. There's this girl I went to high school with, Angel, who's in a local band that has a certain amount of fame. She was standing right up against the front of the stage, and at one point handed the lead singer a CD, her bands last album. He took it and said to the crowd, "Hey, cool! A demo CD! Big fucking mistake giving it to me though!' He then proceeded to bash it against the side of his head until the jewel case shattered into tiny shards, then took the actual CD and snapped it into about five little pieces. He held the broken fragments up to his ear while strutting back and forth on the stage, snapping his finger to the imaginary music coming from the obliterated album. "Wow, man, the way you guys merged thrash metal with a xylophone...genius!"

The photos below from the Buffalo show were shamelessly stolen from here.

There was also flurry of dance parties recently, and they've all blended together in my mind. None of them were really seems that I used to be able to write endless paragraphs about the nonsense that would occur, while now I just have nothing to say. I always have a ton of fun, but now that it's become a regular occurrence it's not as new and fascinating as it once was. I still see Natalie and Samantha routinely see at these things, and if I'm not there with anyone I'll usually dance with her crew. It's nice to know that there will be someone I know at these things, who don't mind that I'm always a drunk idiot. I constantly run into the spazzy kids as well. I'll try to "out spaz" them at least once at these events (an impossible task) They're like dance super heroes, seriously.