Dispatch No. 2 from Cleveland's preeminent rock concert expert landed in our inbox over the weekend, ladies and gents. His feelings have certainly calmed a bit since last week's tirade about bad rock fans. Do enjoy.
My wife and I attended the Bonobo concert last night at the House of Blues and had a completely vindicated experience from last weeks “Its not cool to stand at George Thorogood rock concert" situation.
Yes sirs. These Bonobo fans really know how to whoop it up from the very moment he presses play on his record player.
Admittedly, I was skeptical of seeing a DJ “perform”. I mean, lets face it: Pressing play on your mac book isn’t really a performance. Hell, they booted Milli Vanilli out of the Universe for doing pretty much the same thing back in tail end the over indulgent 80’s. It sort of closed that decade with shame, in the same way that The Hells Angels crushed the decade of Flower Power at Altamont Speedway Free Festival while The Stones performed Sympathy For The Devil.
Anyways, as I was saying, there was no sitting at this show. Standing room only. I should really say dance floor only. And believe you me, there were plenty of people who worked all day that have wanted to sit, but it was simply out of the question. Take that you sitters at shows! I know, I know…There is a difference between a Bonobo show and George Thorogood show.
And I gotta say, at first, it did feel a bit awkward, you know, the fact that we were all essentially standing around watching a guy work on his lap top waiting for that alleged beat to drop. At one point, I was convinced that the musicians performing various small accent pieces were really actors miming along to recorded music. I had it all worked out in my mind that the new school roadie was just an out of work actor who could open up a table and lay a black sheet across it then plug in a lap top and perform any task from starting the dance party in the crowd to dancing on stage with a flute pressed to their lips. Trained like a high species monkey to press buttons and crash land rocket ships into the ocean.
I realized that these DJ’s are the future Rock Stars. No more endorsing guitars. They will endorse things like folding tables. No, no. Not turn tables buddy. I’m talking about the LIFETIME brand lightweight heavy duty folding tables available at Gold Circle for 29.99. I can see it now: “When I gig, I only use Lifetime folding tables” or “Nothing holds my lap top like a LIFETIME”. Just you wait and see.
I was totally grooving to the music, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t like watching your fiend play a video game and the entire time you were secretly praying that his ship would get hit by an asteroid so it would be your turn. And now that I really think about it, the beat was pretty similar to the blips and synth cuts from my old Atari 2600 that my pals and I would take turns on.
But all that passed. My reset button was hit when I went to the men’s room to make room for more beer.
What really shocked me last night was discovering that the bathrooms at the HOB have bathroom attendants. Initially, I was surprised. Typically, I don’t really care if there is attendent in a bathroom unless I need to take a particular urgent growler. And let me tell you folks, I have growled in the worst of the worst (including at the incredibly disgusting and now defunct CBGS’s). What really occurred to me after seeing the attendant was that it unknowingly increases ones perception of a place. And the fact that people are less likely to piss in the sink, do blow in stalls and write obscenities on the walls with Sharpies is sort of the added bonus for HOB. That being said, I noticed that they didn’t get many tips. That seems to be a thankless career choice.
Anyways, once I got back to the fray of the crowd, I watched Mr. Bonobo it really occurred to me that just having a human up there on stage play music that he created was a way that we could all drift away and think about losing ourselves in the music. And it doesn’t really matter if they are over exaggerating the show. Its a show. And a good show is having the human move around and use the music to connect with the audience. So who cares if the actions are real or just theatrics? A magician performs illusions, not magic.
Alright, with all that being said, I do feel that there is an apology in here somewhere. You see, after my note to Scene was posted on the World Wide Web, I received many emotionally charged comments from Scene readers. The anonymity of the Information Super Highway seems to really boost the testosterone levels in ways that may never be fully understood to people like me. And in those comments I acknowledged many things. However, last night it was clear that when someone is hooting at quiet moments of the show and dancing provocatively, it can be inappropriate. Forget the fact that it was wife making all this goddamn noise and pole dancing to the horror of the hausfrau’s next to us (and delight of every heterosexual male in the house), that is not the point. The point is that it occurred to me that there is a time and place for everything.