Here's a recap of last night's show at the Beat Kitchen, warts and all:
An outsider looking in at two details would say the show was a disaster. "Only" 65-75 people showed up and we didn't add any money to the book printing fund. As far as an insider's perspective (aka, mine), the show was an overwhelming success.
From a fan's perspective, I thought all of the acts really stepped up last night. You could say that Nick's music under the Dogme 95 moniker is more performance art than traditional musical performance, but I think the guy has quite a few sweet tunes with all the smoke, beats, loops and percussion. Plus, he really sang his head off. With Hirudin, Kyle told me how the band seemed to have more crappy shows than good shows as of late, but I think he would say that last night's set was pretty on-the-mark great. They were tight as hell and they rolled through an inspired mix of mid-'90s-styled post-hardcore and driving punk. Kyle came across as a likable but slightly intimidating frontman with how he held himself together (part charming, part devilish). With the Firebird Band, this was my first chance to see them with their new line-up and a live drummer. As somebody who had only seen them before with iPods, keyboards and guitars, last night was a really charged set with more of the live elements involved. Chris always has a kind of wild intensity with performing but now with a second guitarist/keyboardist, a new bassist and a live drummer in the band, they were ten times better than when I had seen them before. Finally with the City on Film, they finished the show on a grand note. Bob played with a violin player and this made his already intimate songs even more engaging. Playing a lushly quiet rendition of "For Holly," I stood there in amazement as he just knocked every song after that out of the park. Playing covers by Lifter Puller, Tom Waits and Dexy's Midnight Runners along with tracks from his new record and a slowed-down version of Braid's "A Dozen Roses," this was the kind of set that Bob usually plays but there was a special feeling to it (considering the fact that he was running a fever but played so well in spite of it). As he finished up with Dexy's "Come On Eileen," I felt that the whole show had started strong and continued strong through the whole night. This was the kind of show I would've paid good money to see, so getting the chance to see it was massive.
If I was in the mindset of immediacy, the lack of whatever that didn't go as "planned" would be offsetting. However, I felt so happy to be doing things like loading in with Nick, having dinner with Hirudin, watching baseball with Kyle, sitting with Bob and Chris as they wrapped about what was going on in their lives, talking to Sally about photography, talking with Adam about how musical perspective changes with age, seeing Chris's grin as Bob finished up "A Dozen Roses" and other little moments like these will stay with me longer than business logistics.