Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The real hip hop is... over here; D.I.Y. rock 'n' roll is... over there!

Ah, show hopping. You know you really can't do this in a big, hip, indie rock metropolis like NYC or Chicago. Certainly not in L.A., Atlanta or Miami. Venues have to be close enough together, you have to have enough money (or know enough people well enough) and you have to have time. In big cities, shows start late and end early. Everything's rushed. Most concerts in big cities end before midnight. There's no real downtime between bands to where one can go outside and have a smoke or get some air. And re-entry? FORGET ABOUT IT.

That's why I like Tallahassee and cool towns like it: Asheville, Gainesville and even Austin fits in that outside of SXSW. The cool, venue-filled, hip part of town is very clustered, so you don't have to worry.

Hence, KRS One last night. He was very good live. The opening act, who I've seen a million times, put on their second-best-ever show I've seen from them. They just moved themselves to the A and they've definitely tuned up their live performance chops. Hell, they had to. THEY WERE OPENING FOR KRS-ONE.

So it was a good show. KRS had a good set. It was marred by technical problems, but it was still a good set. I went in and out of the B dub' the whole night. It was the first time I could excersize my post-21 right to gain re-entry into the bar on the night of a big show. I didn't even know there was a Saints show that night.

So I switched between some fucked-up, diverse D.I.Y. bill with these guys (who I heard one and a half songs of, but I really liked), these guys (who are just local scene garbage), this dude (...I dunno) and The Pharmacy who I didn't get to see, but seem really weird and cool. I would check them out.

It got me thinking about how inherently intimate all indie/D.I.Y. shows are. Hell, even your typical arena rock show is more intimate than a medium-sized hip hop show. Think of this: KRS One is full of himself. Of course he is. He's a rapper and he's supposed to do that. You'd think there'd be intimacy in the call-and-reponse shit that he does with a hundred-plus crowd, packed into a small club, but they do the same chants over and over again and you can't hear a fucking word any of them are saying.

The indie/D.I.Y. shows, as shitty as the crowds are (in contrast, the KRS crowd was awesome and very balanced as far as race and, seemingly, musical background), have a great, fun, unpretentious atmosphere. The KRS One show, however, had breakdancers. WHY THE FUCK CAN'T WE JUST COMBINE THESE TWO SHOWS, DAMMIT?!

Anyway, great night. Here's to many more.

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