Monday, March 14, 2005

Everything's running late

Friday night I was at Crash Mansion for Nora's birthday. Great time, tho the place just felt a little...weird. Something was off with that club. As was the theme of the weekend, all the bands went on late (No fault of theirs, of course). They were all good, tho I'm afraid I didn’t really give them my full attention all night.

I was excited to go see The Wrens at Maxwells, but I kinda slacked on checking out the details of the show. Went off the info on my ticket that said 9:00 doors, 9:30 show. Last time I went out there it was for Britt Daniel and the place was so packed we got stuck around the corner near the bar the whole time. I was hoping to get there a little early to snag a good spot. Well, at 9:15 when I showed up (It really doesn't take very long to get to Maxwells if you're near a path stop, fyi...) and the band was still on from their earlier set. They didn't even get off the stage till after 9:30 I'd guess. Around 10:00 they reopened the doors, and me and maybe fifteen other people wander into the otherwise empty club. Hmm. This was a very sold out show. I was really thinking I had missed a memo about this thing. Later I was told that there would also be an opener, which I also did not expect. Then around 10:45, this band called Koester came on, who I actually thought weren't too bad, but it fely like they played way too long and I was getting tired and antsy.

So finally, at around 11:30...A full 2 hours after my ticket said they would be going on stage, The Wrens finally come out. And they were fantastic. Easily made up for the wait. I don't think any of them stopped smiling the whole set. When a band has that much fun playing together, it always rubs off on the audience. Despite going on stage around the time I was planning on being back in the city, it was really hard to complain. A great set.

Yesterday I went out again to see Atmosphere at Bowery. I've never really been a fan of any of the live hip-hop shows I've ever been to, but this one was different. Maybe it had to do with that he had a live band backing him. Or I just like his songs a whole lot better than most of the other acts I've seen. Perhaps I just get a kick out of a dude from Minneapolis who can drop a line like "Houston and Ludlow, Maxfish, Vampire" without it sounding forced or pandering.

He is the kind of artist who has the full attention of every single audience member in attendance. Lyrically, there aren't many better from any genre, and as far as putting on a live show, there is no other rap act I’ve ever seen who can match the fun, heartache and intensity that Slug does. If I could expect all hip-hop shows to be more like this, I'd be a much bigger fan of the genre.

And yeah…Atmosphere went on about 90 minutes later than I expected them to due to an extra opener who was added to the bill.


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