Live music really isn't my scene. I'm more at home at home listening to the vocal talents of bands and artists after they've been churned through the production studio to achieve a near blinding gloss. This is perhaps why I feel like the need for earplugs when I'm outside in a venue that has managed to lure the human flies into a dull-lit den of eye-watering cigarette smoke and heartskipping bass rhythms. The times when I have been subject to the full force of the speakers has most often been in during the burning light of day.
Mr. Belvedere had some reservations about the City Lights, and I can only concur to that point. With the US War on Terrorism™ on Iraq in place of bin Laden soon to take place it wasn't out of touch for the establishment to have their windows blacked out with curtains. It felt like being in London all those many years ago.
Openers, The Reservations, seemed quite apologetic to the crowd, the regular thanking for those who came early really wasn't needed all that much. They managed to test the boundaries to a certain and respectable extent.
In contrast The City Lights opened up the eardrums to what it means to listen to live music. Paying to be deafened amidst thick clouds of ashen sweat and smoke. It wasn't until they finally stopped that I was glad that my ears were only ringing with a muted silence. Listening to alt.rock/rock (or whatever I was subjected to that night) seems to be an acquired state of wear on the membranes. Perhaps the amped up volume of the instruments was to cover the weak vocals of the bands. If this was the case I couldn't tell. I tried to fall asleep during the second set. I think I felt my ears bleed out on listening to these guys play.
Finally, after some time had passed since The City Lights cleared the stage of their hurt, and the headline act, Peabody, fronted. I've only heard this band once before and admired the fury present in their musical antics. They played to a crowd which really got into their music, more so than was given to the warm up acts earlier in the night. Almost deaf at this point I chose to rise above the cloud to watch their final song of which I have no idea on the name of. It was worth the wait. The energy and intensity at which these guys unleashed toward the throng was almost reason enough for me to want to enjoy the scenes playing up the live music. Peabody could have redeemed the night for me, but two against one are hard odds to go against.
Long term hearing loss is of concern to me and trading that in for short term entertainment is hard. Not my kinda scene.
At least not in enclosed spaces.
Reviewed on Saturday, 18 January 2003