Went to the Belle & Sebastian/ The New Pornographers show tonight. Some of the notable moments:
-Seeing a mother with her teenage daughter. Balls of steel on both of them to be so blantantly and intentionally uncool and parading it around in a public place. Balls of steel, friends. God, I wish I was that self-confident.
-Selling my extra ticket to this German guy for a booku bucks. Frown at me if you want--it's capitalism, Robb.
-Having a setbreak conversation with the college girls next to me about Pavement.
-Hearing, after a particularly lively B&S song, some redneck in the audience yell, "TURN IT UP!"
-Hearing a guy in the group next to me respond, in a Macho Man Randy Savage voice, "OHHH YEA!"
The New Pornographers opened. They were missing Neko Case and Dan (I can never remember his last name, but his solo project is called Destroyer), and they sounded like it. Their substitute members filled in courageously, but, in all honesty, they played a little like the band kids who had a mean director. It was like they were afraid to hit the wrong note and get yelled at. The result of which was mostly on-key--polite, even. But it was most certainly not rock 'n' roll. It was boring. I was so bored I kept trying to come up with more ways to describe how lame it sounded. One comparison I liked: the band that was playing onstage (under the misnomer The New Pornographers) sounded like a New Pornographers cover band. But in a way it was worse because cover bands are always too energetic, too eager to prove themselves worthy of their heroes--not entirely a bad thing. The New Pornos Cover Band sounded like they were ashamed to be playing under their own name.
During the second to last song, their lead singer flubbed the first lyric of the verse and then stopped. He proceeded asked the audience if he should try again. The crowd yelled "Yeah!!!" I yelled "No!!!"
Belle & Sebastian was a welcome improvement--hell, they were downright good. Great, even. In fact I'd go as far as to say it was perfect. The crowd got into it, Stuart referenced "gay disco night 1985", "White Collar Boy" and "Judy and the Dream of Horses" (two songs I really wanted to hear) were played. Perfect--save for the bald-headed fucker grinding against his girlfriend directly next to me.
Now I don't know why, but seem to have a history of going to shows and attracting this type. Regardless of the concert (Jack Johnson in Charleston, Widespread Panic in Clemson, Jack Johnson in Charleston, again+) I am always next to That Guy. You know the type: the one screaming "I'M AT FUCKING JACK JOHSON!" at the top of his lungs while slamming a Natty Light while high-fiving his frat brother while breathing alcohol breath all over everyone else around him. Pressing his whiskey dick against some girl equally as dumb--maybe even dumber--she thinks he's funny. You know, that guy.
Well, this particular That Guy had a bald head that was one of those frightening bald heads--not friendly like Shaquille O'Neal or Michael Jordan's. Hell, not even friendly like Billy Corgan's, which isn't very friendly at all, actually. And yet I couldn't stop staring at it, this guy's nasty bald head. It looked like a big veiny basketball. Big Veiny Basketball-Head, in addition to thrusting himself upon others in a public place, also enjoyed smoking cigarettes and pot in a non-smoking building and talking during quiet parts of songs. His four-foot tall Asian girlfriend enjoyed singing loudly out of time and out of key. Some people are really made for each other. And some people should also be sterilized.
+I had really, really bad taste back in the day. In my defense, the Widespread Panic show was when I was in high school and the Jack Johnson concerts were freshman year of college (2001-2), when Jack Johnson was considered somewhat, just a little *gasp* underground. Hard to believe I know.
Oh, in case you were wondering, I didn't really have fun at any of those shows.
Belle & Sebastian: a great f-ing indie rock band from the UK.