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Bow down before the one you serve...

Wandering through the concourse at Rexall Place last night, after retreating in disarray from the absurdly long and crowded merchandise line (Andy and Jen got matching tour t-shirts, aww) I idly reflected on the stream of humanity filtering its way in past security and into the concert. I also noted that, since "actions contrary to public safety" were banned at the band's request (quoting a sign at the arena entrance), I would have to save fomenting the revolution for another time. As it turned out, this wouldn't be a problem, because someone else would do it for me.

The opening acts were a mixed bag, but tending to the good. I vastly preferred Queens of the Stone Age to Death from Above 1979. DFA wasn't well-treated by the arena setting, I think - the noise element of their music tended to overpower the actual music. Assuming there was any there. I'll have to listen to some album tracks to give them a fair shake. Really, I'll have to listen to both soon enough. The bright stage lights that always seemed to shine directly into my eyes did not really help either. Queens were more enjoyable for me, and an absolute golden moment was just before they played "Little Sister" (my favourite track of theirs, as an aisde) when Josh Homme (the frontman) absolutely RIPPED into someone who'd had the temerity to heckle him from the mosh pit. Not for any excess of wit, though I was laughing, but the sheer venom of his tirade was a wonder to behold.

Was about two hours after the show started when NIN finally came on stage, after some fairly significant preparations that bore out in a spectacular set of stage effects, fog machines, pyrotechnics, and Trent Reznor storming about on the stage like a mad genius. The set hit most of my favourite songs, except perhaps for The Fragile and The Great Below. They did do The Frail and the Wretched, to my great joy, and Head Like A Hole, and Starfuckers Inc., from the collection of their older material which I greatly enjoy. There was even a little "movie" section of the act where they ran a little film- really, just a chain of disjointed, but oddly effective video clips of stuff like war scenes, nature scenes, and footage of George W. Bush speaking (which drew the expected chorus of boos) on a screen in front of the stage, that bore a vague relation to the song playing. His "encore prevention tactic" of destroying his instruments after the set was over (I missed this, as I was getting all my stuff together, but Andy told me about it) was particularly amusing.

I should not have been so surprised at how many people skipped the pretty good opening acts and just came for the headliner, but it made for some annoyance for me - I was the only person in my immediate vicinity, save for the couple snuggling next to me (not Andy and Jen, the pair on the other side. :P) who spent most of the concert in his seat. Being shorter than the average bear, this presented a difficulty in seeing the stage which I eventually corrected by sitting on the armrest or on the lifted edge of the seat. Really, it's not as if it was any less comfortable than it would normally have been. Rexall Place, meet cushions. I know you're strangers, but really.

Last night was a very long-awaited event, by everyone who came, and it showed. The lighters/candles/cell phones that lit up during certain songs in particular (Hurt, Something I Can Never Have, Closer, especially) gave every appearance of a worship service for the misfits and the maladjusted and the freaks and the geeks of our fair city. Not to mention the ever-present aura of marijuana smoke - they must have been close, or there must have been a lot of them, because otherwise I really shouldn't have noticed it in an arena. It did, however, give the eerily accurate impression that we were attending some sort of mass cult ceremony. It affects you, the dynamic of the madding crowd. It always has, in my experience - like you're tapping into something vastly greater than you, some uncanny group consciousness.

Just seeing everyone who had come out to watch was near as much a spectacle as the actual show was. I was even recognised by someone...though, as usual, I had no bloody clue who they were. Andy had a lot of fun observing the mosh pit, and, really, so did I. Though they earned the ire of a lot of people by holding up the concert for twenty minutes by nearly taking down the barricades keeping them from the stage, an incident that had me vocally advocating how nice it would look from our seats in the second deck, if large sections of the unruly floor crowd were suddenly set ablaze with flamethrowers.

All in all, though, I had a great time. I can't say this is the best concert I went to this year - really, that still goes to VNV Nation because of the combination of the band and the Starlite Room, followed by Garbage because how much I like the band (which is a whole lot) doesn't quite make up for the sheer suckitude of Red's as a venue. So this one ranks as the third of three by a very slim margin, though that speaks more to the crop of concerts I've been to. While arena shows allow for a lot more spectacle, I find myself actually preferring clubs for my live music needs. Maybe I just hate climbing all those fucking stairs.

-D.

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Comments

( Walk among 4 shadows — Cast a shadow )
opendestiny
Nov. 17th, 2005 08:24 pm (UTC)
That's generally how I feel at concerts too (when not being squished by the assholes around me). Like you're part of something far larger than yourself. Maybe that is why I love concerts so much.
evilgetyours
Nov. 17th, 2005 08:48 pm (UTC)
I heard about the barricade. Geez.
You really know how to tell it. :) This is great.
vlosk
Nov. 17th, 2005 11:03 pm (UTC)
Re: I heard about the barricade. Geez.
My concert summary: whaty ^ said. Thanks C!
euph0ra
Nov. 18th, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC)
Yay for living vicariously!
Once again enthralled by your ability to draw me in and hold my attention with bated breath til the end.

You rarely find shows with more energy than VNV Nation. Unless, of course, we're talking about The Cruxshadows, in which case you don't find shows with more energy at all. Yes, I am biased.

You WILL come with me to one of their shows one day.

Well written and captivating as usual, my dearest. *applauds*
( Walk among 4 shadows — Cast a shadow )