Nathan (vovat) wrote,
Nathan
vovat

  • Music:

Sober, life is a prison. Shitfaced, it is a blessing.

Yesterday was the Magnetic Fields concert at Town Hall in Manhattan. Before the concert, bethje and I met Tavie in Jersey City, and went out to eat at some bistro I can't remember the name of. She's easy to get along with, and it's rare that I hang around anyone who isn't Beth or a relative of hers, so that was fun. Then Beth and I took the PATH into Manhattan, and ended up getting to the venue about an hour before showtime. The doors weren't open yet, but when they finally let us in, I bought two buttons and a Distortion T-shirt at the merchandise stand. I believe the shirt is the first deep pink one I've owned. I have a few light pink ones, but they're nowhere near as bold.

I'd only been to Town Hall once before, for a They Might Be Giants concert back in 2001 (the same day that the first Harry Potter movie came out in theaters, actually), and Beth had somehow managed to get us seats way up in the front. This time, we were in the balcony; and while the view wasn't bad, the seats so close together as to make movie theaters seem spacious. We heard some pretentious-sounding guy behind us talking about how the show was the "anti-Oscars." I probably wouldn't have watched the Oscars regardless (as I mentioned in an earlier post, I'd only seen two of the movies nominated for anything), but I didn't plan the concert specifically as an alternative. Anyway, the opening act was a group that put on a radio show sort of thing. Beth hated it, but I thought it was all right. It felt really long, though, even though it was probably shorter than an actual band's set would have been.

As far as the Magnetic Fields go, the line-up had five people. Stephin Merritt played bouzouki and sang (albeit much less than I thought he would). There were two female vocalists, one of whom played piano. A guitarist and cellist rounded out the group. The songs sounded pretty similar to how they do on the albums, which I guess isn't too weird since their arrangements tend to be fairly minimal anyway. By the way, Stephin's speaking voice sounds pretty much the same as his singing one (or at least it does when he's on stage). The set was pretty heavy on songs from Distortion, starting with "California Girls" and including my personal favorite, "Too Drunk To Dream." Older songs in the show included "I Don't Believe You," "All My Little Words," "Come Back From San Francisco," "Lovers From The Moon," "Grand Canyon," "Papa Was A Rodeo," "I Thought You Were My Boyfriend," "I Wish I Had An Evil Twin," "Smoke And Mirrors," and "The Book Of Love" (the last one of the night). There were also two Gothic Archies songs ("Walking My Gargoyle" and a song about a tiny, suicidal goat from their first record, which I still don't have), and the 6ths' "Give Me Back My Dreams." I really didn't know what to expect from their live show, but I was definitely satisfied with it.

Incidentally, speaking of the Magnetic Fields, I recently came across this comment, quoting a post about how they received a bad reception when they opened for TMBG in 1996. I guess times have changed, since I've never known TMBG to sell out a venue the size of Town Hall four nights in a row. Then again, that's not a totally fair comparison, since the Magnetic Fields tour a lot less often. Hence, people might well be more eager to grab up tickets as quickly as possible, while they might have more of an "eh, I can see them anytime" reaction to TMBG (especially in New York City).

Okay, that's pretty much it, although I do think I should mention that I had a dream last night about being lost in Princeton during a carnival. I was with Beth and my dad at various points, but I ended up being separated from both of them, and sailing away on some boat. It was probably inspired by my difficulty in finding the PATH station in the Herald Square area during the waking part of last night.
Tags: concerts, dreams, social events
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