Monday, October 24, 2011

CSS and MEN at the Bluebird Theater October 13, 2011

From The Sound Collection

I tend to get excited for concerts. Small concerts, large concerts, basement shows, whatever. This show is not an exception. Four days before this concert I got a killer sinus infection. It wasn't just any sinus infection, it was one of those sinus infections that latch on to you and go away when they want to. I was pretty unhappy with that, so I went on meds to make sure that I would be myself when the concert started. So I decided to take six ounces of cough syrup throughout the day to make my coughing go away. One hour before the show, and I was two coughs away from making my lungs fall out. But I did go to the show, and it now has a spot on my "favorite shows" list.

It just so happened that this show fell on the night of my Mom's birthday. When I was buying tickets, my mom was almost begging me to let her go with me. I didn't want to say no, but at the same time, I remembered that she liked the Sonic Youth concert that we went to a year ago. So I let her go with me. I thought that it would be a good birthday present. Who is lucky enough to see CSS on their birthday? (I got reeealy close to seeing Wild Flag and Sonic Youth on my birthday, but of course, I didn't go)

Nothing really stood out to me when I went in the door. I seen merch, stuff that I wanted to buy with my limited cash that I had left over from saving, and just other various odds and ends that were inside the theater. For a while, I started to look at my hands, and the big black X’s on them (I'm starting to show my age...Hint Hint...). I really wasn’t paying attention to the opening act, but it did make me laugh. I looked at my phone to make sure that my camera settings were correct, and I had to make sure that my awesome followers on twitter knew about the awesomeness that was about to go down at our small venue. I put my pocket and looked up right on time. The opening act was throwing some type of alcohol on the 25 or so people that were there. I didn't get entirely drenched. Even though I wasn't entirely drenched (unlike the people right in front of the stage)  I started to get excited for the music to come.

The gig was pretty much empty. It was still kind of early, but at the same time, I was kind of worried. "What if people didn't know about this concert?". Yes, I do get worried when people skip out on amazing things, and at the same time, I do feel bad when people don't go to amazing concerts with me (I'm looking at you target audience!).But who really cares about that stuff. Less is more when it comes to shows like these. The less people you have, the more awesome the show is. I didn't know it then, but my hypothesis slowly started to take shape.

My coughing slowly started to slow down, but at the same time I started to slow down. Guaifenesin does that to people. So I actively tried my best to stay awake. But instead of trying I decided to go buy a Coke. I didn't want to loose our prime standing position near the front, so I sent a text message to my mom.

"Can you get me a coke? I'll share with you?"
"Ok sure!"
"I just don't want to move and loose our good standing position"

To counter this, I then adopted the widest stance that I could. I don't mind it when people stand next to me at concerts, but I was kind of "loopy" that day. Anyway, my Mom came back with a coke in the typical red plastic cup. Normally, alcohol is served in the typical red plastic cup, but at this venue, alcohol is served in typical clear plastic cups. A group of semi-angry people behind me were not aware of the cup rule.

"Hey see that kid over there?"
"With the cup?"
"Yeah! I think they are drinking Jack and Coke."
"How? They have X's on their hands?"
"Their friend bought it for them."
The ironic thing is that I have extremely good hearing (even when I have ear plugs in. I have those musicians earplugs that somehow "boost" your hearing.) and I heard every word that they said.

"This really isn't an alcoholic drink. Alcoholic drinks are in clear glasses. And plus, who would drink an alcoholic drink from a straw?"

There was a slight pause, and then I heard a response.
"Oh, I guess that is true."
Men Let me just say this now. I've been listening to Men for a while, but I never got around to writing an adequate review for their album. (To be even more honest, I have a whole electronica section in my music library that I haven't told anyone about). So when I seen them on the line up for this show, I got pretty excited.

I was looking at the ice in my drink. Right when I decided to look up An almost blinding yellow light went right into my eyes and into the eyes of everyone in front of me. A couple of anguished screams later, and the lights were dimmed. After gaining my sight back, I realized that the crowd size didn't really grow. I thought "No one wants to see the 2nd opening act? They don't know what they are missing!"

I was impressed. I wasn't expecting a bad set from Men, but at the same time, I wasn't expecting them to run through most of the album I just love when bands do that. They even threw in a new song which I wasn't expecting. It might have to do with this article, but then again it might not (I don't want to give away any new album details!). Anyway, it was a fantastic set, and I forgot about the next band for a while. That is a true mark of epicness. I would have taken pictures of their set, but I focused my energy on pogoing and trying not to spill my drink.

After their set was over, I looked to my right and then I seen a blond yuppie and her equally yuppie boyfriend. They were having quite an interesting chat about the concert:

"So who is is this band again?"
"I'm not too sure. I think they are from Brazil or some place."
"Oh! I'm glad we went! This looks fun!
I couldn't say it then, but I started to get slightly annoyed. In reality, there is nothing wrong with yuppies. Absolutely nothing. However, yuppies get on my nerves when they stand extremely close to me at concerts. I don't think that they understand the concept of personal space. I thought "Well, I can always spill my drink on them, or even better, I could cough on one of them, and then they might leave". I don't always think that way, but I really was about to spill my drink on them.

After mindlessly looking at the crowd for about 5 minutes, the outstandingly yellow strobe light shone its obnoxious rays on my face, so I squinted through the madness to see the amazingness of CSS.


From The Sound Collection
I always say this when I go to concerts, but I really didn't know what to expect from CSS. I've watched various live clips from youtube, I seen their live stream from Coachella, and I've listened to most of their songs. Before I went into this concert, I knew that CSS would be totally amazing, and I couldn't wait for them to get set up. I looked around again, and more people slowly started to trickle in. I was expecting for the place to be packed to the brim, just the Sonic Youth concert that I went to a year ago, but just my luck, the concert wasn't packed. This is a good thing, because it made the concert better for me and everyone else that decided to show up on that Thursday. You don't really get to see 2 bands (for the Ticketmaster price of one) at a small venue, with not a lot of people. So that was a added plus for me.

Literally 30 seconds after my thought, CSS was on the stage greeting us. After the swift entrance, a myriad of lights fell onto the stage and the band rushed into "Off the Hook". This was a surprise for me. I thought that that they would start with something more recent, but they did pick a good song to open. Then I noticed Lovefoxxx's costume which was made up of Batman like pointed tips (oh wait, were those fox ears?), a sparkly punk jacket, and stretch pants. By the next song, those were swiftly changed for jean shorts and a shirt (it went really well with pink hair by the way).

The set list was pretty balanced, and I enjoyed that. I thought that they would only play songs from the new album, but the mixed set list exposed me to the songs from the new album, and songs from the old album. I honestly didn't care about the set list when I was there because I was so focused on dancing (and my drink). But they did play some of my favorites, and that just made the experience even better for me.

I started taking more pictures halfway though the concert. And again, I must give CSS even more props for having a pretty spectacular light show. Everything about this concert screamed "party" to me. I enjoyed every minute of it, and I'm sure that most of the other people did too. I also feel like the yuppies (although shocked at first) had a good time (I seen them move. Trust me). It was really nice to see the crowd getting into it (it took the attention off of me for a while), and plus, the band started to pick up on our energy.

I must give CSS props. They put on the most exciting live show that I've been to and it was just amazing. I talked to both bands after the show and they were all really nice! I would have said more and videotaped the conversation, but I was really under the influence of that cough syrup. So if any band members are reading this, I'm not usually on cough syrup. Thanks for signing my shirt and my ticket!

And thank you for reading all of this! Here is the set list if you want to look at it. I'll post more pictures on my tumblr page. If you want to be up to date on all of my blog postings follow me on twitter.

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