Saturday, July 10, 2010

Really Old Photos: HoB Anniversary Show

It's July 10. This show happened on May 22. Whatever. I'm looking through photos and there are a lot that I've never posted, but this one has been on the top of the list for a while.

House of Blues, May 22, 2010
OK, Go!
The Shout Out Louds
Earl Greyhound
Freelance Whales

Here are a couple photos from the day. Click 'keep on reading' for my full recap and more photos.

To be honest, I didn't really want to write about this show. It had a really rough start and though all the bands were great, the show never really felt quite right. Consider it a bad character trait...if something makes me uncomfortable enough, I pretend it doesn't exist. But then another part of my character likes order, so I can post any of the last two months of photos without getting these out of the way.

I'll rewind a little and tell you what I understood about this show. It was the 5th Anniversary of the San Diego House of Blues. The show was a daytime show, with doors at 1 and the show starting at 2 (which I had verified the night before with the production manager via text message), though there was even some confusion about that since each bands publicists believed that it was a nighttime show. I was later told that it had been moved to the day because of a private fundraising event that had a huge venue rental guarantee.

What I also understood was that this was a special show for the anniversary. It was actually two separate tours: OK Go! and Earl Greyhound had been touring, and The Shout Out Louds and Freelance Whales were touring. While merging the two tours together sounds like a bonus, it actually kinda sucked because it was very clear for this show that OK Go were "THE HEADLINERS!!!" and everyone else was just supporting "THE HEADLINERS!!!".

What happened that day was a clusterfuck. I've not been shy about my guestlist issues in the past, but that was compounded by the fact that doors opened late (after 1) and the bands started early (1:15). I was waiting to get my tickets and photo pass (which I'd made sure to be on two separate bands' lists just in case one of them forgot me). I was standing behind a couple who'd flown in from New Mexico to see their son playing drums in Freelance Whales. The box office had the lists from all the bands, but the House of Blues has to "process" the lists. (I'm unemployed and type 70+ wpm if they're hiring guest list processors, btw.) I've gotten used to this process delay, but the poor parents in front of me...Freelance Whales had already started, were only given a 20 minute set, so despite the fact that they were on the list, they bought two tickets just to get in. Watching them throw away $50+ like that made me cringe to my core. Fortunately, my stuff finally came through after waiting and I caught the last 2 songs of the Freelance Whales' set.

That of course was its own problem, because you're only supposed to photograph during the first three songs, so security came and tapped my shoulder, as expected, but I explained the box office situation and they let me slide, taking a couple photos from the crowd.

Earl Greyhound took the stage second and I didn't really have any strong feeling about the band except (1) those were the craziest leggings I've ever seen (2)that was the largest bass drum I've ever seen.

Once the show was underway, the show got better, minus that little thing about "THE HEADLINERS!!!". I mean, I really like OK GO. I think they give a great performance, and their music is made to be seen live and they're marketing geniuses, but the fact that they had a full length "HEADLINERS!!!" set while The Shout Out Louds only played 7 songs was incredibly disappointing. In my opinion, it was touted as a co-headlining show and the band that came all the way from Sweden probably won't be back right away, so they could've been given a little bit more time, especially considering their tour as headliners had been selling out in other cities. That said, the Shout Out Louds are fantastic. Go buy their records.

Finally it was time for "THE HEADLINERS!!!". And OK Go are definitely headliners. From beginning to end, the band is high energy and use a lot of gimmicks...blasting confetti, lit up jackets, laser beam guitars, jumping into the crowd, and more confetti. And it works. It really works. The crowd loves it. But sometimes they love it so much they seem to annoy the band. When singer Damien jumped into the crowd to sing a song, a few overzealous fans started shouting requests. He was annoyed, responded by turning his back to them and saying the worst way to request a song is in the middle of another one. He's right, but probably should've let it go. Still, I think they gave their fans everything they were looking for. I was happy to be there and happy to have finally gotten over any bumps and frustrations from earlier in the day.

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