I love live music. I especially love shows in small clubs that are standing room only. It’s hot and rowdy. If the band is good, the crowd feeds off of them and they feed off of the crowd. IF the band is GOOD. But what if they’re horrible? Well. Then you’re just standing in a crowd of people being sonically abused. This happens more often than not with the opening acts. The headliner. The band you actually came to see, is almost always worth the price of admission. Unfortunately, they make you sit through two to three bands that no one has heard of to get to what you came to hear. Sure, you could skip the openers, but then you’d have to stand at the back of the crowd when your favorite band comes on stage. If you want to be close enough to the stage to be in danger of getting sprayed with your favorite rock star’s sweat, then you’re gonna have to get there early and endure the opening acts.
I am one of those people who gets there early. When I was younger, I kind of liked being there for the whole experience. Being in line for the door. Being there when the first band went on stage. Enjoying the build of anticipation for the band on the marquee. I went to see Bowling For Soup at the TLA in Philadelphia last night, and I am noticing a change in myself. I stood in line for the door. I got a spot about four or five people deep from the stage. I was there when the first band went on. Instead of feeling anticipation, other things were running through my head. Other things like. “Will I be able to keep this amount of personal space around me the entire night. I really hope so. I don’t have any desire to be up against any of these people.” “Ewww. I hope that puddle I’m standing in is someone’s spilled drink and not something else.” “Think I’ll check the score of the baseball game.” “My left heel hurts something fierce.” “I have not understood one word of what the lead singer of this band has screamed for the last 30 minutes.” “I wish I was watching the baseball game.” Then Bowling For Soup came on. And they were great. Really great.
It may be just a sign of me getting older. But I prefer to think of it as a sign of me getting wiser. Why should we as a populous be subjected to awful music just to get to the music that we really like? I see no good reason. I also see one obvious solution. Put my wife in charge of picking opening bands for everyone. I bet you thought I was going to say, put me in charge. Nope. As someone who admittedly loves the Britney Spears song Criminal, I am painfully aware of my limitations when it comes to critiquing music. My wife on the other hand, would cut through opening acts with the glorious bluntness of Simon Cowell, but with no British accent to make the doses of reality sound better. I would hope to be able to sit next to her and be her Randy Jackson while she judged them.
Wife: “I hope you have a fall back career because I’ve heard more melodious sounds from the zombies on The Walking Dead. And this is coming from someone who can’t stand The Walking Dead.”
Me: “Yo dog, she’s right, music may not be your thing. And, she really does hate The Walking Dead. I mean, if I’m watching it when she comes in the room, I’m subjected to a five minute rant about how it has no redeeming qualities. Thanks for auditioning.”
Problem solved. The world would be a better place.
And my left heel is still hurting something fierce.