Saturday, May 17, 2014

Minority Report

I'm used to being in the minority.

When you don't have a cell phone and don't use air conditioning, you're all but guaranteed to be one. Add in that you don't wear pants or jewelry and even the minority you are part of shrinks.

Now take those parameters and have her go to a jazz fusion/math rock show where she's one of less than half a dozen females in the room, furthering still her shrinking minority status.

That was me tonight.

It wasn't difficult to find a companion for the show at Gallery 5, but of course he was a guy, as was 97% of the room. But I expected that.

Of the few other females in the room, I overheard one say she was bored and wanted to go to Postbellum.

"That's, like, a fifteen minute drive from here," her date told her to discourage her. I debated informing her that Postbellum was a mere mile and a half from where we stood, but refrained.

Dumb Waiter played first, exhorting the crowd, "Come up, come closer. Get excited!" for their experimental jazz fusion.

Who wouldn't want to get closer for a song called "Vegan Mustache Jazz"?

They clearly had many fans in the room tonight so the energy was high voltage as they got the crowd not just warmed up, but ready to go.

During the next band's extended set-up time (really, half an hour?), I talked to a favorite musician about tonight's overwhelming testosterone slant.

"Why don't we have more female-fronted bands?" he wondered, claiming he could only think of about five, a paltry number compared to male-fronted bands.

What happened to grrrl power, ladies?

Eventually Whatever got set up and just as they started playing, 20 people came rushing back in from outside to swell the crowd around where they were playing on the floor in front of the stage.

Meanwhile two girls in cute dresses moved to the back of the room to escape the audio onslaught. Or maybe they just had important things to discuss. I don't want to be too harsh on my fellow minorities.

Loud, fast and doing a lot of stop/start kinds of compositions, Whatever's set clocked in at just under fifteen minutes or roughly half the time it took them to set up. These kids today...

During the break, two hat boy types got a delivery of pizza and began chowing down, perhaps to mitigate the copious amounts of beer they'd been downing all evening.

One decided to get slick and offered a slice to Postbellum girl, who happily took his pizza although her boyfriend looked none too happy about the gift.

First he denies her Postbellum and then another guy woos her with pie right in front of him, obviously not a relationship built on solid ground.

Headlining was Trioscapes, which to most of the guys in the room was exciting because the guitar player, Dan, usually plays bass in progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me.

After a far shorter set-up time than Whatever, Dan called out, "Hey, let's get nice and close, guys," and every guy in the room took a giant step toward the stage, as if they were playing "Mother, May I" and just been told they could take one step forward.

The trio of guitar, sax and drums was playing their first show in Richmond on the next to the last night of their spring tour and from the first math rock sounding notes, I saw some mighty happy looking guys.

And in case you've ever wondered what guys look like at an experimental jazz fusion show, I'll tell you. They stand facing straight ahead, hands in both pockets, bobbing their heads and looking slightly glazed.

Understandably, most of them looked completely zoned during a new song called "Digital Dream Sequence."

More than a few had Trioscapes t-shirts slung over their shoulders, future proof positive that they saw the band back before they were big.

I don't need no stinkin' shirt. I'll have this blog post to prove I was there way back when.

Nobody but guys will care anyway.

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