On my birthday, a couple of weeks ago, I went to hear Built To Spill play (I try to go every time they’re here in NYC). Generally I’m not fond of crowds…I know, I know then why do you live in NYC? Well the museums, the theatre, the music, the parks, the all night everything, and the extraordinary people. Crowds, though, remind me of majority rule, how strong one voice has to be to break the walls of idiocy, and unquestioning compliance. Just because something is popular doesn’t make it good, ethical, thought-out or right. I digress…the show was sold out. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of kids there….a new generation has discovered this excellent band from the 90’s! Good for them. Slam Dunk, a band from Victoria BC, opened the show followed by The Warm Hair. Slam Dunk was fun excellent pop-punk stuff. The Warm Hair was either an ill-conceived novelty act playing on stereo-typical rocker tropes or just really not very good. For The Warm Hairs rock posing and posturing, tough guy shirtlessness, and audience provocation…they had NO searing solos! (A prerequisite for rock, real or invented, to fly). The line-up actually made me wonder whether Built to Spill put the weaker act on before they went on for an even more impressive show by contrast. In any event, Irving Plaza filled up by the time Doug Martsch and company were set to take the stage, not a comfortable moment for those of us who treasure immediate personal space as most new yorkers do. We especially recognize personal space as a commodity whether it’s a seat on the subway or a nice apartment….a better price usually trumps space though. All of that said, there were at least 3 or 4 songs where the crowd joined in! We knew all the lyrics! We were gathered in the same spot for the common joy of reveling in these awesome songs! It didn’t make me like the people I was surrounded by any more than before but I certainly garnered a feeling of community which used to be the norm at shows I attended years ago.
Here’s an excellent review, setlist and photos of the show: http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2013/11/built_to_spill_25.html
Here’s a piece on introverts (which oddly enough I think may be): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/20/introverts-signs-am-i-introverted_n_3721431.html
P.S. Next Appearing: Philip Lynch w/ Ben Kraus (on bass) Saturday November 30th, 2013 @ 7PM The Way Station 683 Washington Ave. Brooklyn, NYC