To truly enjoy the good, I'm convinced that one must also experience the bad. And so it goes, from the triumphant Dan Deacon show on Friday, I now write about the disappointing Conor Oberst show last night. Let me count the ways...
1) Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band are not Bright Eyes.
I know I should have realized this more clearly coming in, but need I remind you I'm a bit of an idiot? I don't know what I expected, but I certainly did not expect to see a Wilco cover band. OK, that's a bit harsh. While Oberst seemed to be impersonating Jeff Tweedy at times (and in hat), there's no impersonation in his voice. Oberst has one of the most unique voices I've ever heard. It's instantly recognizable whether he's surrounded by cellos and synthesizers or, uh, Wilco redux. In fact, the best parts of the show, in my obnoxious opinion, were when it was just Oberst and his guitar (i.e. "Milkthistle") or when the band wasn't in full alt-country rock mode (i.e. "Cape Canaveral"). Sorry, MVB, you're good, but I'm just not that in to you...
2) I'm no longer 19.
If it wasn't evident in my snippet on Oberst in yesterday's post, Oberst used to top my list of indie rock crushes. Well, I'm sad to say that proverbial ship has sailed. Back in the day (hmm...how many cliches can I type in a row?), Oberst was a brooding, shaggy-haired emo kid who sang about his mythical brother drowning in the bathtub. Here he is at my alma mater circa 1999 doing just that:
Today, Oberst no longer seems depressed. It's abominable, I know! Instead, he dances around on stage like he's having a good time. He smiles. And in place of any bathtub incidents, he sings about not dying in a hospital. Apparently, he's happy and that's just dandy for him, but what about me and my memories?! I don't get crushes on happy! Does he not owe me anything?! At least he still has shaggy hair. And that voice...
3) The crowd.
While the above two complaints stem from my own immaturity and inability to accept that a person can change, grow or otherwise develop artisticly in the span of 10 years, my last complaint is definitely not my own damn fault. Not to allude to my first concert in hell again, but for comparative purposes, I need to. That concert with its sucktastic crowd has nothing on the sh*t The Law and I endured last night.
a) The douche.
Of course, a loudmouthed DC douche showed up, but it was our luck that he stood right behind us. Then he said this to us mid-conversation with some other girl:
Douche: I suppose you two are here to see Conor, too.
Douche: I knew it! Every girl is!
Me: Well, you do know he's headlining, right? Aren't you here to see him, too?
Douche: Um. Yeah.
After that we turned around and he started chanting "Ben's Chili Bowl" for no reason. Not even joking.
b) Two sorority girls.
And speaking of food, some ignorant asshole Beta Kappa Gammas or whatever decided during a very quiet part of one of the few songs I truly enjoyed ("Cape Canaveral") that they'd chat about if they'd eaten a meal of food that day.
Gamma Lamda Alpha #1: Like, I haven't eaten alllllllll, like, day. Like, seriously.
Kappa Retard Dumbass # 2: OMG! Like, I totally haven't eaten, like, all day either! OMFG! We, like, should go get some food or something, right?
#1: Like, totally. But where? Like, what's around here and stuff?
#2: Like, IDK. Maybe like a sandwich or like a burritto. I, like, don't really know anything around here. Gaaaaaawd.
Seconds later I snapped, as any sane person would.
Me (whispering, as not to disturb others, although they were already disturbed): Excuse me, can you take this conversation elsewhere? It's hard to hear over your banter.
#2: WHAT? We're, like, talking.
Me: I realize that. That's the problem. There's a show going on here. No one cares where you're going to eat later. Please be quiet.
#1: Why don't you, like, just move forward! Gawd!
Let me just say here that this stupid bitch was lucky that Oberst's voice is so damn enthralling because at the exact moment I was contemplating actually punching this asshole in the face, he bellowed out something so wonderful sounding that I was compelled despite my will to turn my attention back to the stage. By the time I remembered these insolent brats needed to be taught a lesson, they had vanished. I guess they were smarter than I thought.
c) Ass crack.
Question: When did half-shirts come back in? Girl, pull your pants up! Those things are dangerously low!
4) My photos.
Unlike Dan Deacon's show, I was unable to get close enough to the stage to snap a decent photo, other than the one of some random girl's unfortunate low-riding jeans, so here's what I got. They're embarrassingly bad (although still not as embarrassing as those pants above), but so was my overall experience last night, so, I suppose, it's all serendipitous. It also means DC is back to normal!