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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Triple Bypass of Concert Viewing, Y'all!
or lumping all the goodies in one basket

Artery #1:

Okay, so since I've been back from Beachfest, I've had a steady diet of live musical events. First was the evening I flew back. I literally stepped off the plane, hopped in the car and headed to the Avett Brothers/Nicole Atkins show.

How magnificently Jetsetter-y of me.

By the time I parked and met up with Mary Ann-ski (AKA Betty from SXSW), Nicole Atkins was a quarter way through her set. This was the maiden voyage of the new Stage AE's outdoor venue. Same building, they just pressed the Genie garage door opener, flipped the stage around to face the fenced-in back forty, put up a back curtain and VOILA!! Instant outdoor venue in the heart of downtown.
where the beers are literally
bigger than yo' face

The only SNAFU was the security issue. Only one way in made for a very long line. But wait...the line for the ladies' you-touch-me-like-you-know-me frisking frenzy was non-existent, while the men's side backed up to Youngstown.

Can you believe it? A situation where the men's line is waaaaay longer than the girls'. Bizarro world. But, hey, you can't be too careful when it comes to checking the contents of someone's package.

This is my second time seeing Nicole Atkins. She held the crowd really well for an opener, but I must admit she doesn't really do it for me. I like several of her new songs and her voice has an interesting power to it, but on the whole...meh.

Conversely, never saw the Avett Brothers live before and was blown away by their energy. They had the packed house of 7,000 up on their feet from the first note, pogo-sticking and singing along with practically every tune. It's difficult not to enjoy yourself when the performers are having such a great time themselves.

The cellist, Joe Kwon, was a hoot to watch, constantly bouncing, whipping his lustrous locks and wielding his cello around like it was a wee bass.

I can see why people follow them from venue to venue. At one point Papa Avett who himself was booked at Club Cafe the following evening joined in on the penultimate song of the set.

Loads of fun and a great welcome back to the Burgh, Baby!

Artery #2:

Friday night found me searching my posse for a willing subject to join me for a night with the Irish band, Bell X1. Geo was on his annual Billy Hawk golf weekend rendering him unavailable.

See, I'm not the only one who gets to go away with buddies. In fact, whilst I was recharging in the South Carolina sunshine, Geo was spending the weekend with our other musical love, Francis Dunnery. The guys went to the Pirates game, hung out and went to a Francis' house concert where Geo worked the merch table. Über cool!
Geo, John and Francis
at the ball park without moi :-(

In case you were wondering, yes, I was very jealous. The perfect opportunity to utilize cloning. Get on that science nerds. My social life depends on you.

But I digress...

My buddy Howard finally stepped up to the plate as my proxy husband for the evening. We hung out at the front corner of the bar for a change. Everything was going swimmingly, great vantage point, easy access to alcohol, somewhere to lean... until this couple of asswipes stood in front of us and decided to have an in depth conversation at the top of their lungs.

Beyond rude.

It was bad enough their melon heads completely blocked my view of lead singer, Dave Geraghty, but I seriously could not hear the band over their incessant din. I am not kidding. They were that loud.

Where's a Honey Badger when you need one? Or Mike Doughty for that matter.
don't make me come over there.
i'll rip you a new sphincter.
i don't give a shit

After stewing for a while, I finally grew some stones and gently sent these dudes packing. Hey. I said please, dammit! No sooner had the Chatty Cathy Y-chromosomes moved on, an obnoxiously loud drunk chick and her equally lubed, tooth-challenged beau picked up the ignorant baton and ran with it. So I screamed at her, "Shut the F**k up before I kick you in the balls!" Or so went the conversation in my head.

Sheesh! Some people's kids.

Anywho, the show was fantastic. They played lots of favorites likes these two.

I don't know what the Hell was going on, but the crowd was unusually aggro that night. The incessant chattering went on and on and the point where someone just snapped a twig during a particularly quiet musical moment, reared back and bellowed SHUT UP!!! into the crowd, startling Geraghty mid verse. As an attempt to lighten the room, Mr. G offered this witty tale regarding the back stage area:

Apparently rudely drawn images of the male appendage are prevalent graffiti on dressing room walls. Notice how his lovely Irish brogue makes even the crudest of words sound eloquent and classy. I swear you could get away with anything in America as long as you said it with a brogue.

Artery #3:

The Three Rivers Arts Festival is one of my favorite times of the year in the Burgh. Lots of artists, craftsmen and musicians swarm the lower downtown area, livening up our streets for ten days. The best part is it all takes place literally right outside of my work door.

Sunday's free musical offering was the legendary Talking Heads splinter group, The Tom Tom Club. I wasn't sure I'd enjoy their entire set, but Tina Weymouth, Chris Franz and company kicked it, old-school, 90s dance style.

They were great fun. Much better than I anticipated. The cross-cultural crowd was with them from the beginning, busting their moves on the great lawn. After 30 years (30 years?!?!), they can still bring it in their uniquely peculiar way.

Plus it was the return of the mysterious Hoola Hoop Girl!! Bonus, of sorts.

After regaling the happy horde with their hits including Genius of Love as well as a right-proper rendition of You Sexy Thang, they broke out Talking Heads classics, Take Me to the River and Psycho Killer (Qu'est Que C'est) for the encore.

Score one for the old farts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, look! It's Butter Face, the Hula Hoop girl. You know--the only one at the concert who can TRULY feel the vibe, as evidenced by her awesome gyrations--her personal homage of movement to the band. On the bright side, at least the hoop creates a natural three-foot barrier on all sides of BF. And that applause at the end--sure some of it's for the band, but you know that SOME of it is for you, BF. Hoop on, Hula Girl. Hoop on.