Rock Show! (1 of 2)

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Thursday, September 08, 2005
the redwalls

First, some statistics
When: September 1st
Where: Dantes
Number in Our Party: Four(Bec, David, Garri, moi)
Time Arrived: 9:30ish
Hand Stamp: spider
Cost: 5 dollars at the door or 6.50 if you bought a ticket

I have been an OK Go fan for a couple of years, but had never seen them in concert before June of this year. Their live show is A LOT OF FUN. Now that the show is over, I wonder how I ever thought I might not go - the hour was late, but once some other people were on board (for the record, David and Garri), it was a no-brainer. Although I did buy tickets ahead of time because it was easier not to weasel out since I'd already spent the money, and also because it made it harder for others to weasel out.

SHOW: We didn't manage the lucky princess parking, but we did get parking that is good enough to be deemed 16th in line for the throne and only have to walk about a block. (and we weren't even in mega-sketchy town, which is around every corner in Old Town). Things were looking good!

First Act: We were on the right hand side of the stage, near where the club has recently punched a hole through the wall to join the lounge and Dante's proper. We are standing by a bunch of equipment, including the redwalls drum kit. Bec took this picture:
drum kit

This group, who I think is called Climber (warning - annoying flash-heavy site) is playing a pleasing piano-pop coldplay/radiohead-style. It is nice, but doesn't really get my heart pumping. Maybe if we had heard the whole set it would be different - they were definitely in the last half when we got there, though. Climber is another band that could be put on an OC soundtrack without raising any eyebrows. 2 things I notice before giving my attention to the club at large: the guitar player is very tall (he later came and stood sort of in front of me, so I can verify this), the singer/keyboard player was wearing a trucker hat and a t-shirt. I can only see his back. Fashions will soon escalate dramatically with successive bands. I ask Bec if she thinks that Dante's has access to the Shanghai Tunnels. I totally think they must because of the brick interior and the location of the club (third and Burnside, right near the river for your kidnapping pleasure and convenience). She agrees, I am vindicated. Everything's coming up Milhouse!

Second Act: The Colour: OK - these guys are working the rock-star cliche. Ladies, if you wonder why you can never find slim-fit women's (or girls) jeans at the thrift store, this is why - soon to be rock stars are buying them all up because men's jeans just aren't tight enough. This band starts what David calls the "boys with bangs" phenomenon. I think on the street it might look a little silly, but on stage it totally works. Vest with no shirt? check. Striped oxford shirt with upturned color with jeans so tight one couldn't sit down? check. Lead singer watching himself in the Lounge monitor like he was dancing in the mirror? check (that was sort of adorable, really).

The Colour have a 5 man line up: 2 guitars, bass player, drummer, and the unencumbered (except by his ego) lead-singer. Lead singer swings microphone by the cord, shimmies around like he is channelling Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison, god help us all. (He also has a strange affinity for a modified Chicken Dance - maybe he is one of those guys under the mask in Burger King's Coq Rock ads) They play a pretty fun set - the sound at Dantes was not great, but they are working an old-school bluesy rock sound, so the distortion isn't bad and helps muddy the words to songs "for the ladies", which as far as I could tell was "you're a treasure" over and over again. Wordsmithing is not their strong-suit. Prancing around the stage like 160lbs of testosterone in size 6 ladies slim-fit jeans is their strong suit - and they make it work! Just goes to prove that everybody has their niche. (although I found the singer's habit of searching out and making creepy long eye-contact with all the women in the audience to be, well, creepy, I am sure that it is a hit with some.) I have read that they are all really nice guys and work hard. I wish them well on their quest to bring about the Age of Tight Pants. (PS: they are not English, just Pretentious, which is almost as good)

Third Act: The Redwalls: I was kindly disposed to The Redwalls because someone at their merch table gave me stickers when we first wandered in. There, I've said it. I can be bought! I can be bought with adhesive paper!! There are four Redwalls, and I have lately learned that two of them are brothers. I don't know which two, though. The newspaper had said that they played a sort of 'thrashy beatles' style, which was OK with me because I like both of those things. What I wasn't quite prepared for was how Beatle-y they were, at least to start with. It made me think Cavern Club at least a couple of times. These guys are really young, but you know the Beatles were young way back when too. David observed that they were teeny tiny pocket people (they were!) with big giant bobble heads. I decide they should be called The Bobble-Head Beatles and ditch this Redwalls business. Actually, their drummer might be tall, and that's why they make him sit down all the time. The three guys in front (let's call them John, Paul, and George - although I couldn't tell you who was who) all took turns singing, Ringo pounded away on the drums like a monster machine! I was impressed - he was ferocious. Clothes were as follows: Ringo - normal clothes - he could have wandered out into the crowd and nobody would have said boo. thing one: dressed and had the haircut of Peter Tork, which is fine with me because I (shockingly) also heart the Monkees, although am less fond of leather vests over tunics. Thing two: rock star thrift store - tight tight tiiiiiiiight pants, button down shirt and a corduroy jacket that was so small it was split at the arm. Maybe he was in a tug-of-war thrift store fight with The Colour. I don't know how he didn't pass out from the heat. All I can tell you is that he did NOT have any sort of cooling device in his pants. Thing Three: This was my favorite ensemble, really. This would be George or John, aka one of the guitar-playing Bobble-Head Beatles. Except he was Prince tiny (maybe even tinier!) and wearing his Bob Dylan costume. This was appropriate, because he is also the harmonica player. I wonder if this was decided the same way they decided who would get to be Sporty or Ginger Spice? "no, YOU have to be the Monkee Redwall, I am Dylan Redwall because I have the hat, I mean play harmonica."
Other related notes - opening patter, not a hit. I'm not proud of it, but it is inevitable - someone from out of town says Portland OreGONE, and some sincere, well-meaning Oregonian always has to point out that that's not how you say it. Peter Tork handled it pretty well saying "well, you say it your way, I'll say it mine." There was a lot of "How the FUCK are you? I said HOW THE FUCK ARE YOU?" With the extra 'hey, I'm swearing here' emphasis - which made more sense when I later found out they are all about 12 years old. (hee! I am such a fogey)
Their set turned way bluesy toward the end, which was fine except the time between each song got a little bit longer, and a little bit longer, and they were still on stage at MIDNIGHT, when OK Go should have been on stage for a half an hour at that point. So, hooray for the B-HB, or the Redwalls if you must, but I got kind of resentful that while they were nominally an OPENING act, they got a sweet headliner's spot. be continuted
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