Austin's Moonlight Towers played at the Barley House last night and something struck me right as I walked in the door. Thinking I would find a lightly packed place filled with SMU students, I found a packed house watching the Dallas Mavericks game. By the time that Moonlight Towers played at 10:30, the game was done and a large number of people left the place or just went outside to hang out on the patio. During the band's hour plus set, the audience consisted of me, members of Kissinger and some people still hanging around the bar. Seeing the place clear out like this, years of going to bars to see bands play gave me a moment of clarity.
I don't go out to bars unless I'm in the company of friends and/or I'm seeing a band play. I don't drink that much in the first place, so I need something to occupy my time. I go out for the music and if I were to run into friends at the place, that's even better.
In a situation like last night, I was there strictly to see the twang-less country rock of Moonlight Towers. The band was even better than the last time I saw them. Not only did they play for a solid hour of my favorites from Like You Were Never There, but they closed with a note-for-note cover of Television's 10-minute epic, "Marquee Moon." I had never seen a band attempt this song and they pulled it off really well. Following their set, I didn't really see a reason to stick around for much longer, so I went home. No roaming eyes for single girls and no drinks for me; just a desire to head on home after the set was done.
Why all this backstory? Because I'm now realizing how many more people just like to go out to bars and could care less about the bands that play in them. I've been to plenty of shows where a number of people were there for the atmosphere and the music, but as of late, I've seen the former more than the latter. Do I think there's anything wrong with this? Well, no, but I find the experience not as fun when the place is packed with belligerent drunks.
Maybe this all just goes down to my views of life. I'm not into stuff for the "party!" aspect. I may be so uptight that I can't let loose, but I'm not about loosening my grip on reality to deal with reality itself.