God, this won’t end well.
Reblogged purely to make Amanda smile.
This is the best thing that was ever made so just turn off the planet now because we can all go home. Thank you, it’s been a great show.
MOTHER OF GOD.
Remember a while back when I said I wanted to make this a blog about live music, and then promptly didn’t do that? Indulge me while I try to make good on my promise.
I had never considered going to a show alone before last night, but it was a decision I wish I had the nerve to execute a long time ago. To think of all the shows that I wanted to see but couldn’t because no one was available to come with me! In a way, the ideal way to go to a show or concert is to go alone. If the band is good enough you might not even pay attention to whoever you came with. This definitely applies to going to the movies as well. Shared experiences are great but you can’t always wait around for people to get on board, especially when it’s a local show.
When I heard that Frank Black, lead singer of the Pixies, was playing a acoustic solo show at the Wonder Bar down the street, there was no way I was going to miss out. Last time he came around this area, it was with the Pixies for the Doolittle anniversary tour. I had free passes from a friend all lined up until I realized that my then girlfriend and I had already planned a whirlwind vacation that weekend in… Wildwood. Hooray.
Buying an advance ticket ($20) for this show was out of the question because I’ll be damned if I’m then going to pay an extra $9 for convenience charges. It was $24 at the door, so I decided to take a gamble and hope there were tickets left. All day the Wonder Bar had been blasting my Facebook wall about the likelihood of the show selling out and to get there early, so I rode my bike down to the bar around 6 (doors opened at 7) and found no one.I hung out around the desolate Convention Hall like a creep for an hour until I saw people starting to gather around the door of the bar. Funny thing is when you go to a show alone how quickly you’ll make friends. I was one of three or four other people who had gone alone, and we quickly found common ground. I had a spirited conversation with a guy from Waretown about being terrified of the Pine Barrens and whether or not one would grow extra limbs after swimming in Barnegat Bay.
I was first in line when the doors finally opened, and I was relieved at the sight of the cashier holding a stack of about 80 tickets. I paid my $24, spent $5 on a beer (my convenience charge instead went to good use), and my adventure in flying solo began.
- How quickly our band of lone wolves disbanded as soon as we entered the bar. However I found a seat closest to the stage and a girl I was talking to outside sat down next to me. We made small talk about the local bar scene (she too was not fond of Belmar) and how most of our musical heroes are dead and how we’d never want to meet the heroes that were still alive. When her Ivan Drago looking boyfriend arrived I thought best to turn my attention to the Knicks game on the t.v.
- The Wonder Bar had a long, red painted U-shaped bar as soon as you walk in. In the back corner of the building is the stage, about 15’ x 15’. The place small to say the least; it could fit about 200 people at maximum capacity.
- I wore a red flannel shirt, black skinny jeans, black Converse All Stars (high tops), a black beanie, and my black thick rimmed glasses (prescription, naturally). To the layman it was a standard hipster uniform, but it’s a style I’ve been the most comfortable in. There were at least four or five other people dressed exactly like me at the bar. Or maybe I was dressed exactly like them.
- Like the Morrissey show I went to in February, the age spectrum of the concert goers was wide. Being that the show was 21+, it was funny to think that even at the minimum age to enter, there were still people who weren’t even alive when the Pixies were making new music.
- Reid Paley was the opening act, and I watched him from the bar. For someone I had never heard of and had no interest in seeing, he was actually pretty good. I later learned that he and Frank Black collaborated on an album.
- When he finished, I casually walked from the bar up to the stage to get a good spot for Frank. I’m talking the very front of the stage. Now this was a predicament for everyone but me, for you see I am “that tall guy” at the show. 6’1” to be exact. So I’m sure walking up to the front of the stage pissed some people off, but a) I was alone and therefore couldn’t embarrass anyone had they come with me and b) I just didn’t give a fuck. The Wonder Bar is pretty small for a music venue, so technically you could stand anywhere and still have a good view, but I felt entitled to the best view. Sorry!
- Frank came on stage around 9:30. He looked exactly how he does in pictures: short, fat, and bald. He walked onto the stage without making a scene and casually presented the audience with each guitar, microphone, pick, and amp he’d be using, to much cheering. He looked glad to be there but mostly he looked as if he had just showed up at a friends house to dick around and play guitar.
- The show was fantastic. It was mostly solo stuff and covers, with a few Pixies songs peppered into the mix. I think he looked a little annoyed that no one sang along to anything but Pixies songs, but what could he have been expecting? It was awesome to see that his voice has held up so well after all these years.
- Also, I liked the how the girl behind me picked a quiet moment during a song to chastise her boyfriend for not paying attention to her.
- The encore consisted of four songs with Reid Paley, and that was it. I think the audience was holding out for him to play “Where is My Mind” as the last song, or at all. Well at least I was.
After 13 months of living in Asbury Park, I finally felt like a local. It was fun to feel smug/proud when the people waiting outside asked how far I had to travel to see the show. “Oh, you know, just a few blocks away. I rode my bike here. No big deal.”
But this is all just minor league stuff. Once I land a job in New York and move to Brooklyn… I’d actually have friends to go to shows with, now that I think about it. Almost everyone I know lives in Brooklyn. I should get on that.
Convention Hall. Finally open, but eerily quiet…