Sep 052013
 

Last post, I whined about the high costs of going to see live music.

Let’s focus on the good.

The show itself was a lot of fun. New kids We as Human rocked out for four songs. I’ve been listening to them on SiriusXM Octane and recognized two of the four. Oh, sure, their sound was horrible, but that’s part of the rite of passage of being the new kids. That and the two inches of stage they were allotted. Lucky ducks. They got two. (cue Beavis and Butt-head laughter)

In This Moment played next, to a still empty pavilion that seemed not only unfamiliar with the band but also a bit befuddled. Musically, I think they were the most exciting on the bill. They’re doing things no one else has the guts to — but frontwoman Maria Brink looks brittle. Along with the tone change from last album to this, it looks like this poor woman has been through hell and back.

I’d love to have dinner with her.

Back to the show…

Between the knee braces and the way Maria hobbled off the stage for a costume change between each of their five songs (all from the new album. Bummer.), as well as the fact that she never moved, staying put on a platform and flanked by two barefoot, corseted dancers … well, it was bizarre. I expected that from Maria. I did. And I’m all for musical theater, too. But I didn’t expect the lack of showmanship from her band, nor would I have ever imagined that while she was off changing her coat, the band would turn their backs to the audience, almost as if we were only allowed to look on their faces when Maria was there to capture the spotlight and distract us from them.

Next time, Maria, wear the same outfit for more than one song and add Beautiful Tragedy into the set.

Papa Roach played next. Twenty year veterans of the scene, and it showed. They might have owned the best set of the night.

I can’t say the same for Skillet. While they are fabulous showmen (and I met their cellist when he was playing with local Rock Cello band Cello Fourte … and did I mention he used to work with a friend of mine?), their sound was muddied and bass-heavy. The top end got lost, particularly the vocal work by their guitarist. BIG disappointment. And Tate? Dude. I hope that’s not an addiction problem I’m seeing you with because the Tate I met, the one who worked with my friend, wouldn’t let himself turn into the slovenly onstage creature I almost didn’t recognize.

And finally, Shinedown. Ahh, Shinedown. The big draw of the night for me and my concert buddies. They were everything I expected and more — but like In This Moment, they took overly long breaks between every song. They also had long intros for each. Personally, I prefer it when a band flows from one song into the next. That’s when time stands still and all that matters is what’s happening on the stage. We, the audience, never leave the magic you are making.

Shinedown is a band who gets that magic, too. So why they interrupt it, I’ll never know. I wanted more of those moments when the concert buddies and I had our arms around each other and we swayed and sang. There’s your magic, right there. But it wasn’t enough.

Same thing that I told In This Moment: quit with the breaks and play another song. I’d have loved to hear a live version of My Name. That was my theme song for awhile there. It might still be.

And that finale? Powerful. Very powerful, and you’re hitting the exact right audience with the message, too. I loved it … except… the audience is so focused on the video screen and the story being told that the song got lost. Totally and completely. There’s got to be a better way to make the point, guys. You’ve got good people working for you. Put them on it.

All in all, it was a great night. We even jumped in line to meet We as Human and get the concert buddies some autographs. Nice group of guys, with great synergy. And they loved my pink ESP Explorer earrings.

I may have a new crush. I know my iTunes wishlist is groaning with the new additions to it.

But mostly, I realized I was wrong to stop going to see bands play live. That of all the things I gave up and sacrificed, this shouldn’t have been one of them. This is my lifeblood. Always has been and quite probably always will be.

I do need better concert buddies, though. And a few more bucks so I can afford those service charges and those inflated food prices.

But what I’ll give you for those nights out is more and better fiction. I promise.

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