WifeBro., Spice, and I gave mother nature a big "whatever-extra bold" last night and drove to Milwaukee to see The Zutons and Keane, despite snow earlier in the day and really messy roads. The concert was at The Rave/Eagle's Club, which I've heard of but never been to. It turned out to be a gorgeous old building that may or may not have been some sort of a boxing club, or men's club, or ballroom, or secret government lab. We're still doing the research on that.
Our tickets said our seats were 1-3 in row 1 on the balcony - sounds pretty good, right? Not so much with the right-ness. We were behind the bands, and our viewing choices were either sitting (and barely being able to see over the balcony) or standing (and being eye-level with a horizontal support board). We did get to see the towel guy hand the bands towels as they left the stage, so all the people on the floor in general admission were pretty jealous of us for that. "What did the towel guy look like," they asked me. I smiled in my mysterious way and told them nothing. Fools.
The show, though - on to the show! The Redwalls, an opening band I've never heard of and wasn't that impressed by, took the stage at 7:57 - three minutes early. What the ?(%?!? I've _never_ been to a concert that started on time, let alone early.
After a quick equipment change (the Rave is nothing if not efficient, apparently), Zutons came on for their set. I really like the Zutons, and feel a little like I discovered them (or at least recommended them simultaneously with Entertainment Weekly). They played a fun, high-energy show with lots of crazy instruments (a saxo-ma-phone? At a rock concert?!) and tempo changes. I was impressed. Weird, mustachioed man in the fifth row was not so impressed. More on him later.
Another quick set change, and Keane took the stage. I didn't realize that Keane had such a screamy-teenage-girl-centric audience - I feel more effeminate for owning their album. Their set was....solid, I guess. The lead singer mostly just sang and danced - only playing keyboard on a couple new songs. I feel like lead singers without an instrument always look..I don't know...like their dancing is an affectation. I'd rather see a lead singer with a guitar in his or her hands, or at least a tambourine. Or that crazy wind/keyboard instrument that Zutons used in their last song. Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs - if you're reading this, you are the exception. You keep truckin', Karen O. Spice had some good insights about the Keane set, so I'll direct you to her blog entry.
I've never watched a show from that sort of perspective before, so I've never really had the chance to watch the audience in action. There were interesting folks there last night, including
-drunk, orange-shirted pointer-guy - who registered his appreciation for Keane by wooo-ing and pointing randomly into the air (many times looking like he was pointing directly at us).
-creepy, mustachioed man - who started to bop a little bit during the Keane set, but mostly just stood in the fifth row center and glared at the band. He was well over 6' tall and closing in on 50, and he stood out.
-devil-horns, I-lurve-Whitesnake chick - who was giving the double devil-horns to the guy doing the drum test. I didn't hear her say woo to him, but I was way up in the balcony - I'm not ruling it out.
-Mini-Hammie - who looked not so much like her own person so much as a miniature version of Hammie.
-Various groupie-wannabes in the front row - who may or may not have been crying during "Somewhere Only We Know". There's nothing like watching the adoration in a teenager's eyes as she sings along a future-pudgy man with rosacia.
-one non-white face in the entire audience.
Next week - back to the Rave for Modest Mouse. WifeBro. and I have general admission seats, so we're leaving early and crowding the stage. That's good news for people who love bad news.