Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pleasures Remain

I wasn't the only one who needed it.

People and music, that is.

I have to assume that's why all those warm bodies were pressed into Balliceaux tonight after a week of enforced holiday/family events.

The surprising part was that the show had already begun when I arrived.

I was assured that Anousheh was only on her second song, but I hate to miss even one song when it's as good as her band's are.

My trip to Italy had precluded me attending her CD release show back in October, so I felt owed.

Because her set had begun, I could only muscle so far before hitting a wall of people and being in the way of moving barbacks.

That lasted through a couple of songs where people came in and stopped right in front of Anousheh singing and had long, loud conversations that blocked the view and sound of her.

Fine, it's a bar, so talk away, but do you have to do it two feet from the singer/keyboardist?

All I'm saying is that it made it very easy to move in front of people like that and enjoy the rest of the set from the front, unobstructed.

"You might know this," Anousheh said late in their set, "if you're old."

I turned to the guitarist next to me and said, "I'll know it."

It took the crowd a bit before they began to recognize Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence," but I was getting it from the start.

As good as she sounded, she looked just as good in little leather shorts, leggings and booties with a drape-y cream shirt swinging as she sang and danced.

What was interesting was watching her low-key husband (and musician) watch her become a pop goddess in front of a roomful of pretty people.

Well, not just pretty because fans like me and others were there, too.

Lots of bangs, lots of earnest looking metrosexuals.

Coats stuffed into the rafters for lack of anyplace else to put them

A favorite drummer tapped me on the shoulder, the photographer walked in with me, the physicist said hello, the French singer looking brooding, the cute couple, he with his winter look on.

The neighborhood musician who usually just nods his head slyly when he sees me, but tonight spoke.

"It's never a shock to see you out, Karen."But it's always a pleasure."

Blah, blah, blah.

During the break, the DJ played songs like Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" and "Oh, Sheila."

Then came White Laces and by then the room had to have been at capacity.

As is my habit, I'd moved to the back banquette for the best view and I heard a guy comment on how big the crowd was.

I'd attributed that to the bands' avid fan bases, meaning less overlap and more distinctive subgroups.

After a sound check where White Laces' singer Landis inquired of the audience if they sounded too loud, too quiet or okay, we did our best Goldilocks and reassured him that it was just right.

"Thanks to Anousheh for playing that Depeche Mode cover," he said. "Way to stoke my ..."

You get the idea.

I'm a fan of the band and, granted, I was way in the back, but I didn't see nearly the rapt attention I have at other White Laces shows.

Not nearly enough applause from the distracted crowd.

After their set, the DJ chilled out with Washed Out and other more current music, getting a mini dance party going while others made beer runs and pit stops.

Wisely, I stayed put to keep my seat and a guy came up and asked if he could sit next to me.

I must have looked like the keeper of the banquette.

Alright, so I deigned to let him.

The Trillions were last and if anyone had any doubt who they were, they had to have been deaf.

Singer Charlie mentioned it several times in a row and between almost every song.

It was as if he sensed that the crowd wasn't paying attention or (horrors!) was a little too inebriated at this point to remember.

Naturally the four tallest men in the room congregated directly in front of me as I tried to see one of the shortest bands in town.

Meanwhile, the band hit us with their poppy rock assault and midway through the set they had a good-sized crowd of people dancing in the center of the room.

I'd already done my grooving during the first couple sets, but some people were just getting started.

People and music, that's all we needed tonight.

You might have known that if you were old.

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