Saturday, March 24, 2007

My ears are still ringing

The first thing that struck me arriving at the Corner to see Yo La Tengo were the amount of bikes around the venue. 9.30pm on a Tuesday night and every metal pole with bolt in the ground had a bike attached to it and in many instances multiple. I had never heard a song by the band prior to entering the gig and my personal opinion was that around 70% of the night was great. The remainder seemed a little hit and miss, with the absolute stinker being 5 minutes (That's not an exaggerated!) of guitar feedback. I cringe slightly when it extends for over a couple of seconds, but at that length it left many in the crowd blocking ears. To be honest it almost ruined what was for the most part a very solid performance. The ballads were by far the standouts from the night, with carefully delivered lyrics and controlled instrumentals. Once the fast paced numbers came out, electric guitars often drowned out promising melodies. We felt sorry for one of the band members whom we estimated played the same 4 chords 400+ times during a 10 minute song. I've spent too much time on aspects I felt let the night slip a few notches, but contrary to the points above there were many excellent songs from the night, and in 2 hours of new music it's harsh to expect a entire gig to hit the spot on every song. The gems came in the encores and there were more than enough from the night for me to visit their albums.

It's a shame that I missed out on Elbow, and according to a local newspaper it's been touted as the gig of the year... ok Herald Sun, jumping the gun a bit? It's only March!

After drafting this post and saying, yeah I'll get back to that later, I've finally got off my arse to finish the post. Yo La Tengo was at the start of the month!

Wednesday night was the anticipated Augie March gig. Sold out on a balmy night I was thankful for a spot in front of the mixing desk. I can't read crowds and made a stab at 500 as the capacity of the venue. Forever curious, I found a listing for Vic, and looking at the numbers, I still can't figure 850 crammed in, but on this night, it would be the first time any imaginary dance moves would have been unachievable.

Venue capacities:

Corner Hotel = 850
HiFi Bar = 950
Northcote Social Club = 300
Prince of Wales = 950
Ruby's = 275
The Palace = 1,500
The Spanish Club = 650

I thoroughly enjoyed the gig, but am struggling to recall the set list. I figure I'm just getting old... I was hoping for more from their most recent album, however all the main songs I'd hoped for were played. Standouts that I can remember were 'One Crowded Hour', 'Bottle Baby' and 'The Cold Acre'. I was anticipating 'Vernoona' going into the night and was hoping for a campfire type rendition. A little surprised, a slightly rockier version was played, but by no means was this a bad thing. There were no missed chords causing glaring looks between artists on this night, and they were jovial and happy to engage with the crowd. The lighting certainly enhanced the atmosphere and it was an excellent gig from a polished band.

Currently listening to:
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones