Thursday, July 27, 2006

muse, aragon ballroom, 7/27/06

show review! i love show reviews. i get to prove to people i don't know that i am a lady of taste, and i get to remind my friends that i am kool.

i am kidding, of course. remember when i reviewed hanson?

if you are reading this, jmk, i'm sorry i abandoned you. i was sick of getting stepped on by overzealous 12-year-olds (dad standing in the back of the venue). which reminds me of the last song i stayed for - they broke for an encore and i left - "stockholm syndrome." i'm glad they played it because it is my favorite muse song - in fact, my itunes tells me that it is the #3 song in the list of those that i play most often. number one being spoon's "they never got you" and second being the cloud room's "hey now now." as "stockholm syndrome" goes, "this is the last time i'll abandon you."

that's probably a lie.

you'll have to forgive me, as i drank a jager bomb and like five miller lights at the show. that sentence officially deems me a sorority girl. or a beer wolf.

so i think that i could easily get back into my Year of Something Different, retroactively. this was Weird Week. you can't plan Weird Week - it has to just naturally happen - weird shit has to just arrive. monday saw a very strange email that i don't want to get into as well as a brit walking up to me at 10:30 in the morning to tell me that he just crossed the street to tell me that i am hot. this would have been flattering - and it probably would have worked - had he not immediately got all weirdo, singing shakira's "hips don't lie" and telling me, after i said that i had to go back upstairs, as i was just stepping out for a cigarette, "i wanna see you walk." i said "that's creepy" and he said "i'm a man." point taken. asshole. tuesday was yet another weird email arriving to my inbox that i don't want to get into. on wednesday, my boss basically started having a heart attack at work and had to go to the ER - they kept her overnight and she was all hypertension-y and her blood pressure was 170/100 - i don't know anything about healthy blood pressure but i hear that's bad. today wasn't DRAMATIC, but when we walked into the aragon ballroom to see muse, we walked to the t-shirt table and i saw a bunch of t-shirts for the cloud room hanging next to the $40 muse t-shirts (uh, no thanks). i thought that was weird - like i said, i listen to "hey now now" allthefuckingtime, and i missed the cloud room when they were touring, and i immediately got really fucking excited. it hadn't even occured to me that there would be an opening band that i would want to see, and this was probably the one band on my list of favorite-song bands that i have never seen. weird. well, not heart-attack weird, but weird enough.

so the cloud room played and i was disappointed. i mean, i think "hey now now" is like a totally perfect single, and when they played it (last in a semi-boring set), the mic was turned down way too low and all of the feedback was annoying and overpowered what a great song that is. plus the lead singer was wearing a vest.

i like muse a lot, but i understand what their critics say (thom yorke has purportedly dissed the lead singer for ripping off his style, and recent reviews of their new album are all like "what is this freddie mercury bullshit?"). the crowd was way too nerdfanboy for my taste. i stopped counting muse t-shirts before the cloud room came on because there were so many of them (did they not get the memo? don't BE that guy). every time a stage hand would come on stage they would all cream themselves and start screaming - i guess because that meant that muse would be on in a half hour or so. the mad surge for the front was surprisingly hostile when they came on. i'm somewhere between six feet and six-one, and i felt a little bit unsteady as i was swarmed by the acne mob. i stayed around for the first three songs, and let them win by wandering over to the beer line after "supermassiveblackhole," which i do think is a hotasshitsong, and staying to the side for the duration of the show.

kids, listen to me: i don't know why a mere 10 - err, maybe 15, to be honest - years makes you so different from myself, but it is NOT COOL to be such a spaz. if you like a band, keep your feet firmly planted. you can stomp a foot if it is particularly awesome, but this pogo shit is TIRED. it was tired when the kids would pogo to the offspring way back when you were in diapers (or not even born - shudder). to demonstrate appreciation, nod your head in time to the music. your arms should be folded across your chest or perhaps clutching a beer (contraband in your case - which might actually be super kool to you, especially if your dad, who is standing in the back next to me, bought for you). clap and yell BETWEEN songs. when the band demonstrates that they want audience participation, be wary, and do it half-assed, even if the band onstage is like your own fucking personal symbol for all that is good in this world. do not flail your arms. DO NOT FUCKING PUSH OTHER PEOPLE. do not wear the tshirt of the band that you are there to see - if you just bought said tshirt, you may drape it nonchalantly over your shoulder. do not try to snake you and your friends up to the front by stepping squarely onto my foot and then standing a mere quarter-inch away from my body. a good formula is that if you stick out your elbow and can touch someone that you don't know, you're too fucking close. don't sing along too loudly, and if you are going to jump up and down, arms flailing, at least do it with some rhythm. these are really simple rules, and you will be the koolest (or least-annoying, at least) 15-year-old in the venue if you can manage to follow at least half of them.

i digress. muse is like pablo honey radiohead fronted by a gay jeff buckley with strained vocal cords. the fan pointed directly at the lead singer (muse is one of those bands i really like but know nothing about the members, and i prefer it that way) looked both necessary, as it was sweltering in there, and also very low-budget special FX. the set was the second-cheesiest i have ever seen for an expensive stage set - the first was at the coldplay show at the beacon in new york, which was filmed for AOL and chris martin totally dissed in spin as being an embarrassing low point (i did happen to like that show, but the top-of-the-pops-reject stage design was super lame, and you could tell that the cameras circling them were distracting and uncomfortable). even when muse fucking rocks, which they can and do, it seems pretty much like they're saying "don't we fucking rock?" i mean, at the drive-in fucking rocked, and they knew it. they didn't have to try to prove it.

so i liked the band but wished they didn't try so hard. the cloud room was not what i had hoped it would be. and the crowd . . . i swear, one of these days i'm going to say that i am done with all-ages shows and actually mean it.

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