Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The world will come crashing

I'm pretty sure I received death threats from Sharda this weekend for being such a bad blogger. But seriously, you guys, I have not been home. Plus since the weather is changing here, my head has been just one big ball of searing pain. Migraines are awesome!

I have to tell you about Virginia Beach still (3 months later), our trip to Miami U and our Halloween party, but I need pictures for all of them and don't have them here. So instead I'm going to tell you about what we did last Monday. Last Monday we went to see Jack's Mannequin at The Grog Shop. I have never been to see a concert at The Grog Shop, but it is roughly the size of my living room and the stage is about 1 foot higher than the rest of the place. What this means is, it is both simultaneously awesome and horrible at the same time. Because while you definitely get the feel of a more intimate show, unless you are in the first 6 rows, you can't see shit. So I guess overall, I'll say it kind of sucked-the venue I mean. Now, had I been in the front row, I'd probably be saying it was the greatest place to see a concert in the entire continental US.

I've made no secret of my intense love of Andrew McMahon and every thing he does. He is, simply put, a genius. We went to see him a couple years ago and Johnny Virgil has also spoken about him. In September, JM released their new album "Glass Passenger" which after one listen you're like, "This is pretty good. Not the greatest album ever released." Then after a couple more listens you're like, "Holy eff this is phenomenal!"

The Grog Shop, I think, mostly caters to punk bands so it explains why I haven't been there before. When we walked in we were surprised at how small it was. We were also surprised at the mutilated baby dolls hanging from the ceiling. Seriously they were everywhere. One had a snake wrapped around it with fake blood everywhere, one had legs in its eye sockets and a rat coming out of it's stomach, one had a skeleton body, one had it's arm cut off and was being burned over a fake open flame, one was gagged and bound and hanging from a noose and so on and so on. We tried to convince ourselves that they were just leftover Halloween decorations or possibly an art installation by a local artist because honestly we don't want to think about what the implications are if that's just their normal decor.

We arrived about mid-way through the first opening act's set. There were 2 opening acts. We had heard of neither of them. The first one was called Treaty of Paris, and they were roughly 14 and pretty good. They needed haircuts, though. I'm aware that makes me sound like a parent. I am okay with that. The second opener was a band called Fun. They started singing, and they had a very different sound. I instantly liked it. After a minute or so, I turned to Drew and said, "This guy sounds like the lead singer of The Format." Everyone agreed. After another minute or so, I said, "Okay seriously this guy sounds EXACTLY like the guy from The Format." Out came my Blackberry and after a quick search, I found this. If you don't want to go read it, here is the first line: "Fun is an indie pop band based in New York, New York that was formed by Nate Ruess, formerly of The Format." What. Is. Up. I am awesome.

As a result of this new info, I had what's called in the medical profession, a complete freak out. I have talked to you guys many, many times about my love for The Format. "Interventions & Lullabies" is in my top 5 favorite albums of all time. I happen to think it's nearly perfect. One of the biggest reasons I love the band is because the lead singer's voice is awesome. And here he was, performing live, and I didn't even know he would be there. Sharda asked if we thought they'd perform some Format stuff, but I didn't think so. Less than 5 minutes later, Nate (the singer) said, "Here's an old song." Then they played "The First Single" and I Completely. Lost. My Fucking. Mind. One of my biggest regrets is not ever getting to see The Format live, especially now that they are on hiatus (hold me), but I got to hear my favorite song performed live, and I almost cried. Then a little while later they played "She Doesn't Get It", and I died and went to heaven. Format, please come back. Please, please, please. I swear I will buy Fun's new album, but then just come back. I love you.

After Fun, we waited what seemed like a million hours for Jack's Mannequin to come out. Every time a roadie would come on stage the crowd would go nuts. Then it would immediately get quiet again. During one of these quiet times, Diane who was obviously drunk after several different flavors of ales yelled out, "JUST COME ON ALREADY! LET'S GO!!" It was so loud. And so amazing. And so embarassing. But seriously we are old. Stop making us stand longer than we have to. My back was for real hurting.

They finally came out. And as usual, they were amazing. If you are a JM or Something Corporate fan, do yourself a favor and go see Andrew McMahon perform live. He sounds amazing on his albums, but is approximately 1000 times better in person. He's like pure energy and passion up there, and he's effing fantastic. Also he's really funny.

He had a crazy mustache which gave him kind of a 70's porn star look. I'm not sure how I felt about it, but he did say this to a guy in the front row who had a mustache: "I grew this so you and I would have the same mustache." Awesome. As I mentioned, this place was really small and when it came time to do the encore he said, "This is normally the part of the show where we take a bow and leave the stage and pretend like we're not coming back and you guys are all like, "What assholes they didn't even play my favorite song." then you cheer really loud and we do this act where we come back on stage like, "Okay okay-we'll play a couple more. Since you asked." But tonight...well...frankly there's nowhere for us to go. So welcome to the encore!!" Cue "I'm Ready". Cue me peeing my pants. Cue them playing my favorite Something Corporate song ever that I have never heard played live. Cue more peeing. I almost punched Diane and Drew for talking during it.

As usual, we were about 10 years older than the average age of the crowd. There also seemed to be a lot of "bouncers" there. Not like bar bouncers-although there was a wicked hot one of those standing near us-but I mean like fans who literally jump up and down as high as they can during the song. It made me tired just watching them. The whole time I just wanted to say, "Okay you know what? You're at a 12. I need you at a 7 or 8. It is a Monday night."

Here are my scores for the night:

Venue: 5/10
Performance: 13/10
Overall hygiene of audience: 3/10 - Seriously is there a water shortage I don't know about? Or is soap too expensive these days? I will buy you kids soap if you will just promise to take a shower once in a while.

Andrew, never ever stop writing songs. Please. I heart you.


Anonymous said...

You know I was so close to threatening you with bodily harm if there wasn't an update today. You got lucky, don't eff with pregnant rage, or strength. I picked up a bed, with a matress on it, by myself last night. I had a nesting freak out, don't judge me.

p.s. my word verification is "uncomby", I often think that is what my hair looks like, real uncomby.

Fizzgig said...

seriously. I was gonna threaten you but since im a stranger, I thought you might take it serious and have me arrested.

I havnt heard of one single person you mentioned here. Either I'm too cool for you, or you're too cool for me. I vote for me. Cus I know me better. K?

p.s. decorations at the grog sound pretty bad-ass

Matt said...

Man, only 5 of 10? I love the Grog Shop. Hands down one of my favorite places to see a band in town. It's small, dirty and cheap. Perfect in my book. Bands are all too sterile and House of Blues corporate these days.

Russ said...

The new Grog is twice as large (and many times cleaner, matt) than the old Grog, so lucky you went when you did. And it's not so much a "punk club" as a venue for a couple hundred people, so basically anyone rockish that doesn't need a bigger venue will play there. I saw David Bazan there alone with a guitar, hardly punk.

Crystal said...

Dude. The Format is like one of my favoritest bands ever. Thanks for telling me about Fun! I am going to buy that shit. Oh yeah, I am going to buy that shit good.

Anonymous said...

The bit about the roadie coming on stage made me laugh... aaah, I do love the disappointed sigh of an audience waiting to see a band. Or the cheering of a soundcheck!

Skeezix said...

Ok, so now I'm going to have to download (legally) Format.

I busted out laughing at the part about punching Diane and Drew.

I will be hanging out in a dive-y bar this weekend with lots of people who don't believe in showers. I'm not happy about it but the music is supposed to be excellent so I'll deal.