August 10, 2009

Phoenix @ Terminal 5 - NYC

A good music friend of mine and uber-fan of Phoenix bought us tickets to make up for some self-proclaimed dickness of late and I happily jumped at the chance to catch them in support of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, one of the better indie releases of 2009 thus far. I especially looked forward to the inevitable argument that ensues over NYC venue Terminal 5 - (I detest it, so do most of my friends, yet he loves it?). Was it worth the risk of getting elbowed in the boobs by the indie-loving frat boys who seem to live there? Oui!

Since we're both perpetually running "10 minutes" late, much to my dismay we missed psych-rock openers Amazing Baby who I'm sure were awesome. On the way, my cabbie informed me that his previous customer was Courtney Love and I was sitting in her seat. Speechless, I tried not to let my fear of possibly contracting chlamydia spoil my evening. Of course he mentioned her generous $20 tip, which I said I'd happily match whenever I, too, marry a former member of Nirvana (Dave Grohl specifically, if he's reading this). Until then, my brokeass was only shelling out 15%. He laughed.

The show. I hate the impersonal nature of T5 and feared it would detract from the Phoenix-ness but their music definitely holds up even if you can't quite see the stage. They were straight-up the business of music and they sounded just as great live as they do on CD. Not better, not worse, just the same smooth, dulcet tones I've come to appreciate. There was a shortage of playful obnoxiousness, stage banter, comments about NYC crowds, or witty anecdotes about touring, but their fans didn't seem to mind. They played most of W.A.P., a bunch of old favorites, and closed with a killer encore that fully satiated the crowd. My friend claimed it was the best show he'd been to all year and watching his enjoyment was enough to spark some of my own. Indie rock enthusiasm is delightful and certainly contagious.

The show's highlight was a bit of a personal triumph over drunken idiot female concert go-ers who attend shows of bands they probably wouldn't even know about if it weren't for their boyfriends. This girl sashays in front of me, blocks the view I spent most of the evening staking out, and acts like it ain't no thing. She then tries to wave her tall boyfriend in unsuccessfully, as he refused to do so due to good manners and instead watched from the side. She then turns around, asks me if I'd mind if they stand right in front of us, while bumping into me and spilling my drink without an apology. After I leaned down to pick up my cup (yes, me), I gave her my signature, non-threatening "do whatever you want, you annoy me" look as she reached for her dude. Clearly irked, my friend then gave her this "You did not just spill my friend's drink and your boyfriend is so not standing in front of us. Are you fucking kidding me?" look that proved to be much more effective. Then, her awesome boyfriend stepped in, apologized for her retardedness and took her away so we could enjoy our highly coveted, unobstructed railing view. Perhaps bringing tall boys to shows who are much more capable of dirty looks is the key to the good live experience? Either way, it was a small step for mankind, but a huge victory for short show go-ers everywhere.


Brasilliant said...

If you hate the venue so much, why go? It seems like it kind of ruined your night.

Mona said...

Sometimes you gotta go for the music. If the band is super*awesome, the hatred doesn't compete. Such was the case for Wolf Parade (I went both nights), but supbar performances (The Shins) only enhance the ick! :)