Monday, April 14, 2008

Say Anything, Eli “Paperboy” Reed & The True Loves, Manchester Orchestra, Weatherbox @ House of Blues, 4.13.08

Fortunately I got my act together on Sunday afternoon and checked the House of Blues site. I was on the list for Manchester Orchestra who were playing with Say Anything, Eli "Paperboy" Read and The True Loves and Weatherbox. It was 6:45 and the site said the doors were at 6, show at 7. Damn those all ages shows. I hopped in my car and was downtown by 7-ish, found some yellow zone parking, and made my way to HoB. The line at will call was longer than I'd ever seen- I think there was some promo because everyone seemed to be on Say Anything's guest list. I finally got my tickets, filled out my press form, and made my way into the venue.

I was a little disappointed, I have to say. I realize the rules have to be different when the show is 90% tweens, but this time they searched purses, turned people away with cameras, and between sets when I wanted to go to chill in the bar, they locked the doors from 6th Avenue, so you had to leave the venue, walk around the block, and enter the bar from the 5th Avenue side. I'm comfortable enough downtown, but my feeling is if House of Blues is going to send people down a kinda sketch area of C Street, they should be responsible for having security there making sure their patrons were safe and not harassed, especially when there were so many kids being redirected from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue.

I got into the show a little late and Weatherbox was finishing up, but the guard let me take pics of them anyway. Then it was The True Loves, then Manchester Orchestra. I took a ton of pics, but since I was there for Manchester Orchestra, I'm gonna post those pics here, and you can read and see some of the other pics from the night after the jump.

Starting off with Weatherbox, since I was there for one song, I didn't really form an opinion about the band, other than I guess they sounded exactly what I had expected the bands to sound like for this young crowd. They were all over the stage and also had a bunch of guys from the other bands join them for the song, so they were in a frenzy onstage and it was clear that the bands all really enjoyed touring with one another.

After they finished, I had a beer in the upstairs bar, hung out with Chickrawker Lyn for a few, and waited for Dagart to meet me to get the other ticket until we heard Eli "Paperboy" Reed & The True Loves hit the stage.

I had no idea what to expect from them, but they were really fun. Kind of a throwback to motown or 50's early rock with heavy blues chords, and a bit of some James Brown hoots and hollers. There was a horn section and I liked how other than the singer, the band had the look of a bunch of skaters and didn't suit up like one would expect for their genre of music. They'd work well on a big party bill with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Lady Dottie and The Diamonds, and The Tighten-Ups.

Man, I got the best story about one of the sax players for this band, but you'll have to ask me in person if you wanna hear it. It's not quite something I want to be held responsible for publishing.

Anyway, another break between bands so I went back to the bar upstaris and had another quick Peroni then made my way back into the venue. I was once again impressed by Manchester Orchestra. Their set was a little more rock than the last time I saw them, but this setting and this crowd demanded it.

The band made their way through the majority of their release, I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child, and while not too many in the crowd seemed familiar with the material, everyone seemed to enjoy it. There wasn't the obnoxious chatter that usually drowns opening bands at the House of Blues, and I guess that's because kids are better listeners when it comes to shows or something. Or maybe it's that they're not all liquored up.

I wasn't gonna comment on the hair, but it looked like Andy went to shave his head, then changed his mind. Kids these days.

There was a moment when between songs, when Andy chanted, "Satan, satan...satan satan, satan." Then followed with a "said dance!" and repeated the verse from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The kids didn't seem to get it at all.

The band was awesome, and didn't disappoint me by closing up with "Where Have You Been?" the song that I've made everyone whose come to my house or been in my car in the last two months listen to a dozen times, and they did an interesting alternate ending that I'd like to hear recorded. I was happy.

I could've called it a night at that point, but I was hanging with Dagart and wanted to see what Say Anything was all about, because honestly I didn't know them at all, or didn't think I did.

I was the only one in the photo pit, but the kids were hanging over the railing and kids were coming flying in over my head. On top of that, it was hot as hell, and the room, despite probably the best A/C of any venue in town, was humid and sticky. And damn those red lights! Unfortunately that meant my camera just wouldn't focus and I had to dodge the four security guards catching the kids flying into the pit, so these were the best I could do.

I didn't recognize any of the songs until there was the "she touched herself" song, and for all the music snobbery that exists, and the high school weirdness of punks vs. emo or whatever is the trend these days, I guess I kinda got what these kids were relating to. Every song was a singalong. Every. single. song. And I realized that it wasn't that long ago that I was one of those kids, at Soma or Worldbeat or Chabalaba, singing along to every. single. song.

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