Single Status Update
So I'm finally going to see the Legendary Pink Dots live in October. I've got the ticket and the day off and everything. Here's to hoping they're as amazing live as I hear they are.
I'm really overdue for this. Last time I saw a band live was Skinny Puppy back in 2003, or whenever it was they had they reunited. Being an avid music fan, 5 years is WAY to long between shows. I've been really itching, and this is the exact opportunity I've been waiting for.
And since all of two other people even know what the Hell band I'm talking about, here are relevant links:
The semi-official long-running fansite
The brand-new official band site with all kinds of content
The Wikipedia entry
So this weekend was a blast. Saw The Legendary Pink Dots. Decided to take the 12:30 ferry out of Bremerton on Saturday, since the next one was at 3:00 and I didn't feel like waiting so long to get over to Seattle. Got there, wandered over to the International District, but it was pretty crowded so I went down to Pike Place where I hung out for a few hours. Got a lamb gyro there. Man, I love those things. Got bored and headed over in the direction of Westlake. Walked around that area for a while and got myself Sbarro's for dinner. It was only 6:30 at that time, though the doors to the club didn't open until 8:00. I said fuck it and started heading in that direction anyway. By the time I got to the area around where the club is it was pretty dark and I was having trouble picking out the street signs (it was a dimly lit area too). Then I saw this strangely familiar couple walk by and the girl was wearing a LPD t-shirt so I went and shadowed them. Took us down this side street littered with dumpsters and around the corner to El Corazon, this dingy little club that's practically under an underpass next to I-5. Having located the club, I realised I was pretty thirsty, so I went back a few blocks to a corner store where I got a Snapple. I was thinking that the couple I followed was familiar, but I just shrugged it off as them kind of looking like typical oddball music fans.
I came back to the club and it's just me and this couple there, though this other guy shows up soon after. I keep thinking more and more that the girl is familiar, and finally I realise it's this girl I was friends with in Jr. High named Kitty, and that her friend is this guy named Matt AKA Goatman who is also a local. So we all get to talking and talked a bit to the other guy (who said this was his first live show ever, which was amusing to the rest of us who are all long-time concert vets). Anyway, we're standing out there and we can actually hear the band playing in the background while they're doing sound checks. It was just the four of us standing out there, and people kept showing up that we thought were more club-goers but they just kept going in to the club and we're thinking "WTF, there's going to be more employees than fans there". Then as we're standing there, this guy walks out to the cars and I'm thinking "hey that looks like Niels van Hoorn" (the saxophonist). Then sure enough, around the corner walks Edward Ka-spel himself along with the rest of the band!
Me and Kitty to each other: :O
Then the band gets in one of the cars and takes off. "I think they went out for burgers" I quip. It was still just 7:30 or so. For the longest time, it was just the four of us standing there, but eventually a bunch of people show up just around 8, and we're let in around 8:15 (they needed to find a register or something). Kitty gets in just fine, Matt gets rejected because his ID expired, and I just BARELY got in because my ID is so old that I look rather different in the picture (the club has a reputation for being a bit facist with its rules).
So Kitty and Matt are left outside while I go in (3rd person in, yay) and make my way to the merch table. And OH MY GOD. I brought $80 with me, expecting to grab any CDs they had, but I never imagined them having just about the entire discography there plus everything from their side projects (sadly no Tear Garden I wanted though). I bought my 5 favorite CDs then sat down on one of the comfy benches around there for a well-needed sit down (I had been on my feet since 1:30 or so). Leslie calls me (I had called her earlier to make sure she'd be there that night) while I'm sitting there and a bit after that, I decide to get down to the stage area to pick a good spot to stand. Oddly, pretty much everyone was sticking to the corners at this point even though there was only like 15 minutes before it was time for the band to get on, so I just found a spot center stage and stood there. This girl starts chatting with me about LPD and flirting a bit, but I get interrupted (oh well) when Kitty comes running in and I notice that the big pink dot in the middle of her shirt has been signed by Edward, and me and her and the girl are like OMG OMG OMG. Turns out that she waited outside for the band to get back to plead with them to get Matt in. They did come back, she did ask them, and they did plead her case, but the club security are a bunch of motherfuckers, so Matt had to sit the show out. But she did get the totally awesome signature. So we chat a bit with each other and these other guys in front of us about LPD and Skinny Puppy and such.
Finally the band comes on, and let me tell you, this is the FIRST time I've seen not security buffer in front of the stage (for a reason, this band doesn't generate mosh pits). So the band was literally mere feet in front of us. Fucking amazing. The band just had an amazing presence that I'd never seen before and they really connected with the audience. The way Edward sings is really dynamic, with him half-acting out every lyric, and he exchanged a few friendly words with audience members between songs. Niels van Hoornblower was even more interesting, because as he'd be playing, he'd get up really close with his sax to audience members (at one point he even touched foreheads with the girl who was flirting with me), especially if they were paying more attention to Edward. He even walked around the club playing, and you could see him going through the audience with a flashlight in his sax. Near the end of the last song they played, he actually went around and snuck up behind us, and ambushed Kitty with his sax (brushing past me with it in the process). Not only that, but he made it obvious he was a very good musician, playing the flute for a couple songs, even playing alto AND tenor sax at the same time for "The Grain Kings", and playing this weird-ass instrument that looked like a cross between a sax and a synthesizer. The Silverman was kicking ass on the synths, and he has some weird light-theramin built into it which was interesting. Martijn de Kleer was totally in the zone on guitars. It was just EPIC in every sense of the word. I've never seen a better show. After playing mostly new songs, the band went offstage, then came back to do an encore of stuff from Crushed Velvet Apocalypse (probably their most popular album). At the end, no one in the audience wanted the show to be over, and kept asking for another encore even after the lights went on.
Anyway, here was the setlist as far as I can remember:
My First Zonee
Peace of Mind
No Matter What You Do
The Grain Kings
--break before encore--
I Love You in Your Tragic Beauty
Just a Lifetime
I know there are a couple I forgot, and I have the order of the new songs mixed up a bit. I remember Grain Kings was the last before the encore, and that they opened with My First Zonee, though. Not that most people reading this even care.
So after the show, Kitty wanted to grab the setlist (which was sitting where Niels van Hoorn was), and she got the band's sound engineer to take a picture of it for her instead. Then she bought me a beer and took off. A bit later Edward and Niels came out and mingled with the crowd a bit. I shook Niels' hand, and said some dorky words of compliment, but Edward was swarmed with people, some of whom seemed to be friends of his. The staff began herding people off into the bar, so I just decided to take off.
At that point, I still had time to make the ferry, but I decided to call Leslie anyway just to hang out. Her place was actually just across the highway and a few blocks away, so I headed over there (though I had a bit of a hard time locating her even though I was on the phone the whole time with her...I blame the tons of similar-looking apartment blocks all over the place there. So we chatted a bit and sadly her CD player was broken so we couldn't listen to any LPD there, but she looked up their Myspace and listened to a few songs on it. Then we went for a walk around Capitol Hill and first of all, took me on a tour of this fucked-up stretch of road where someone had bought out all the store fronts and replaced them with bizarre art displays. Like one had plants growing on the inside, another had some bizarre industrial diorama, another had some hanging pieces of art that if looked at from the right angle became a face, another had flashing neon signs saying "go away" and "don't come here" and such, and some alleyway with a glowing octopus and some moving light dot. It was like one fucked up bad trip.
The next thing Leslie showed me is that people on Capitol Hill like Dick's. There's this burger stand called Dick's that apparently is only open from 10PM-2AM, and when they are opened they get fucking swamped my a huge crowd of people buying stuff there. Luckily, they have very fast service. No seriously. VERY FAST. You haven't seen anything like this. I went up, said "I'd like a cheeseburger, and slid them a fiver, then within 2 seconds a cheeseburger appeared there and my change soon followed. To top it off, those are some pretty damn good cheeseburgers for just $150 or so. So I can proudly say I ate Dick's on Capitol Hill and liked it.
We got back to her place and chatted some more while watching some SNL (with Sarah Palin WTF), and then some Almost Live. She went to bed and I flipped channels for a while, then rolled around trying to get to sleep (while one of Leslie's cats attacked me with claws of love). I was too wound up and dehydrated anyway so I didn't fall asleep until 3:30 or so. I woke up around 10, met Leslie's boyfriend (who I think I heard come in around 7), then left. Walked down to Pike Place, to this place that sold bags of tiny donuts, and got myself a dozen cinnamon donuts to much on as I made my way to the ferry. Made the 11:25 just about in time and got home.
Man, that was fun. Oh, and if anyone wants to see any LPD live footage to get a sampling of how awesome they are in person, they have a bunch of footage on their website: