A locus for eccentrics (hopefully)

Monday, June 05, 2006

I'm Bleeding on Your Walls

Well hey, since at least one person's interested, might as well get to it...

Who: The Walkmen
Where: St. Andrew's Hall, Detroit (Deeee-troit!)

Last Wednesday, the Econ Lady and I set out for the burned-out, desolate moonscape of downtown Detroit (Deeee-troit!) to see a show. The Walkmen--one-time would-be rock saviors from New York featuring warbly vocals and low-fi guitars (my musical taste is become a self-characture, I think) were playing a show, and I was there to provide you with the Tale of the Tape.

Transportation: C+
A big "fuck you!" to the Michigan Department of Transportation, which closes 1/4th of the interchange to I-94 that's closest to the girlfriend's apartment at random. We lost valuable, valuable time. I will say that the dinner in the next town over was excellent; if anyone from Ann Arbor is stalking this, know that Red Sea >> Blue Nile.

Venue: B-
I was at St. Andrew's last fall to see Spoon; it was pretty tight. One big concert hall that fits about 900-1000 people all told, with one large bar and pretty good sound. Unexpectedly (to me anyway), the Walkmen were housed in "The Shelter," which is essentially the basement of the larger St. Andrew's complex. A neighborhood homeless drifter, Papa Smurf, was nice enough to direct us the right way (and said that we looked great together! Before asking for money.). Acoustics were rougher, and the milieu much dingier all around.

Crowd: C+
The most obvious reason for the show being in the basement was that it wasn't particularly well-attended. Even the smaller venue was no better than 2/3rds full. It drew less, for comparison, than Ted Leo did for his Ann Arbor show in March (see earlier post). I'm not really sure why that is; they're not U2, but I'd think that the Walkmen are "buzzworthy" enough to get a little more play than that. I was reminded of This is Spinal Tap, when the manager tells the band that "No, the gig's been cancelled. Don't worry, Boston's not a big college town." Lots of Chuck Taylors (the shoe, not the bloodthirsty ex-dictator) in attendence, though.

Beer Selection: A
I went with Boddington's to a giant Newcastle to... I don't remember, something else English. Can't argue there.

The Actual Show: B-
You know, I'm not even sure what to write at this point. The opener was pretty good, although I don't remember their name. The main set was rough because while it was entertaining, it was also only 50, 55 minutes long at best. That's pretty weak sauce. Spoon played for like 2 hours in my aforementioned first trip to St. Andrew's; they (the Walkmen--my backseat editor thinks that pronoun was ambiguous) also didn't make much of an effort to connect with the (admittedly thin) audience. Was I entertained? Well, yeah, and I don't feel ripped off per se for the 15 + 5.30 I spent for my ticket. That said, I expected a lot more going in, and left feeling a bit disappointed.

I also need to start wearing earplugs to these things, because I'm officially old. But that's a whole separate can of worms.


Blogger Jefe said...

50 minutes is pretty weak. I had kind of heard that they are a sort of posing, detached band live so was a little leary of buying a ticket. Maybe I'll skip this one (it's on a Tuesday anyway) and stick with my Band of Horses show I already have tickets to see.

7:08 AM

Blogger neill said...

That's pretty much on target. They've got a lot of talent, but need more love

10:06 AM

Blogger steve said...

I hear you about the earplugs. I was at some concert in Urbana for some local band and I was just like "huh. This is clearly damaging my hearing and I'm not interested in that."

Also, 50 minutes. Ugh. Not quite an Eminem 30 minute set, but still... I'm personally not that into the walkman from listening to their first album (one of you two gave it to me).

10:35 AM

Blogger Jefe said...

Are the fish really better in Sweden?

4:35 PM

Blogger Jefe said...

Actually I really like both discs...especially Bows + Arrows which I just got. I just heard they kind of sucked live, at least in the sort of too cool for school way. I just got hundred miles but haven't listened to it yet. Maybe that can be next post.

7:38 PM


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