November 7, 2008

Blog Post - Worst Show

Think I might start blogging again. Probably with less of a focus on music. Not sure yet. If you've been a subscriber for this long (Google Reader says I have 10!), please bear with me! If December comes and there have only been like 2 new posts, then I suppose you can delete away.

Last night I went to my first show in about 3 months. There hasn't been very much going on since I've moved to Columbus, very few recognizable bands outside of the lo-fi wave that's found some sort of a base here. So yesterday, when I saw that Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson and Castanets would be playing the Summit, I figured I'd go check it out, even though Robinson's debut was a little too Bright Eyes-y for me, and, aside from name-recognition, I'm not very familiar with Castanets. As things turned out, the performances I saw left a lot to be desired.

MBAR's rhythm section couldn't make it, so he attempted to play his set with himself on acoustic, plus a keyboardist and an electric guitarist. They were clearly lost without the bass & drums, and ended up fumbling their way through 4 songs. It seems to me that, rather than trying to play the normal arrangements without the rhythm section (which I believe is what they did), or trying to rearrange around the missing parts on the fly, Miles should have just let the 2 present members chill while he played a solo acoustic set, which - if you've heard the songs - is almost definitely how they were initally composed. Instead, he chose to play an abbreviated set of poorly performed songs. Why?

By the time Castanets finally came on, the preceding scene had left me pretty deflated, so I probably wasn't in the best mindset to really pay attention to a group I wasn't very familiar with. They ended up sounding pretty good, but also played maybe 6 or 7 songs, and their songs aren't terribly long, so it was maybe a half hour set.

I don't mean my first blog post in forever to be a whine-fest, but I really really have never seen such a half-assed show. I'm sure these people are having a hard time financially, like the rest of us, I'm sure it's not too thrilling to be playing for a crowd of about 25 in Columbus, Ohio, but the lack of effort and professionalism displayed by both bands was pretty shocking. I've seen bands in crappier venues, more informal settings, but the apathy last night just blew me away.

I write all this to ultimately pose this question: Is this a trend? Have any of my 9ish readers been to a show lately where it seemed like the performers just did. not. care?

The more I think about it, the more I think it may just be a problem with Columbus itself. Fewer bands are coming here these days than when I last lived here 2 years ago, and the turnout last night supported those who make the decision to skip this town altogether. Any thoughts?

(I'm not even going to get into the gross midwestern college student brand of alt/hipster/scenester types that made up about 95% of those in attendance, but they didn't do much to improve my view of the situation. I will just say: there were AT LEAST five moustaches in the room; that means probably a quarter of the males in the paying audience were wearing ironic moustaches. Please.)


parallelliott said...

i haven't been to any bad shows recently, but i also haven't been to many shows. indie is dead, though, so maybe that's why those performers are so tired: they are dead.

you should blog FULL TIME.

lessthangene said...

agreed, you should blog FULL TIME.