As in February 28, 2009, at Terminal 5, NYC. Yesterday was too busy and I was too tired to give a proper run-down, but seeing that people are already hitting my blog searching the various musicians that performed I figured I should give a follow-up.
Doors opened at 6, and we were among the first in. As always, I’m amused how they all but strip-search Frank while smiling and waving me through. Oh, the irony. And based upon the price of drinks within and my jaded tastes for higher qualities of rum than that paint-stripper most clubs serve, (Bacardi? Captain Morgan? Blech! Try Gosling’s Black Seal, or better yet, Old Rum!) I vowed I’m aquiring myself a small flask for future events. Food? In the corner of the third floor they had these ‘pizza-pocket’ type things, edible but overpriced. To be expected, I suppose. We’d planned to meet friends and grab dinner before the show, but traffic on the Jersey side cancelled that.
The thing I liked about Terminal 5 is the layout. The club is your standard black on black pit of darkness, but there’s three floors. The ground is open to the stage, and by 8 it was pretty much packed up. Those of you who know me know my aversion to crowds, which can only be overridden by equal amounts of loud music, quality alcohol, and my own personal 280 lb. bouncer/bodyguard. But Terminal 5 had another option. Two floors of balconies, surrounding the stage to three sides. We staked out a spot right at the edge of the second-floor, with an excellent, unobstructed view of the stage, the mass of humanity on the main floor, and even a small counter on which to rest our plastic cups.
Now on to the ‘Salute To Texas Independence Day’ Concert.
Ray Wylie Hubbard came on around 7. This is my first time seeing him live, and he put on a good show. I would have hoped for more audience participation during ‘Snake Farm’, even if you’ve never heard that one, he made the sing-along fairly straight-forward and fun. But the shocker for me was the lanky kid to his side, introduced as his son, who played one amazingly wicked guitar. Watch this kid, he’s going somewhere! His Texas blues solo was beyond words.
Charlie Robison followed around 8. I’m least familiar with his music, and much of what he performed is off an upcoming album, but it all sounded good.
Around 9, Cross Canadian Ragweed came on. This would be my third time seeing them live, and hands-down the best performance I’ve seen to date. I would have been there for them alone, everyone else was just a happy bonus. They kicked off, appropriately enough, with New York City Girl, and it only got better. And while they were short their own drummer and had to borrow Robert Earl Keen’s, everyone was in superb form. Guys, if you’re reading this, well done. Keep coming back to NY, we’ll be there every time.
And finally, Robert Earl Keen came on, also in excellent form. His live performances are legendary, and while this was my first time seeing one, he did not disappoint. I was particularly pleased with ‘Feelin’ Good Again’; it truly suited my mood for the night. He left the stage, all went dark, the crowd chanted, and he came back on with Cross Canadian. They did the most epic jam of ‘The Road Goes On Forever’, with amazing guitar solos. All in all, a perfect end to a great show.
And now, a rant. There was one negative to this night, and while those with me said I let it get to me too much, I feel I need to discuss the issue of ‘Concert Etiquette’. We’re not talking classical music here, where coughs must be choked back and crinkly wrappers kept in check. So my guidelines of courtesy are much simpler. Scream, shout, dance, show your appreciation for the band and the performance they’re putting on. That’s what we’re here for, at least that’s what I’M here for. Those tickets cost me a chunk of change. So did they parking and the round-trip ferry tickets, not to mention the over-priced drinks and (?) food. Bottom line, I’m here for the music, and that’s why I was in the door early to stake my spot where I can see, and that’s why I didn’t move from that spot for five hours. If you wanted a good spot, you should have shown up earlier. So when my husband steps away between bands, that’s not your invitation to shove your way into his place, pushing my arm off his space at the balcony edge, then laugh and ignore me when I warn you he’s coming back. He did, and gee whiz, a bit to big to push around. Big enough to shove you back where you belong.
But that wasn’t as bad as the group that took the spot to my other side, when the couple who’d shown up early left around 10. The space was open, so fine. I even squeezed back to give you a better view. But you were just there for your dates, not the concert. Or you would have actually faced the stage, not had your back to it the whole time while you shouted to one another about who said what, who was wearing what and ‘Ohmygoddidyouseeherhair?’ The entire time Robert Earl Keen played, you leaned to each other, right against my shoulder, and shouted into each other’s (and by proximity my) ear about every inane thing that could have been discussed elsewhere, so close your voices competed with the music onstage, while those pointy cornered little stylish purses you wore tucked under your armpits jabbed me in the ribs. And ladies, when you’re that stinking drunk (and you were) breath mints, please. I asked them to keep it down or move it elsewhere. I don’t think that was unreasonable. I was ignored. Finally I leaned over and yelled “Please, a little louder. I can still hear the band over you.” And yes, those were my Doc Martens deliberately stepping on your feet, when you refused to get a clue. Next time, I don’t won’t be so polite.
In the end, the show was great, despite the inconsideration of some individuals. I have some fantastic photos I’ll be loading a bit later.