It’s too loud; I’m too old
Last Tuesday I had the chance to enjoy one of the advantages to living in a metropolitan area—attending a “hey, let’s go see these guys” concert.
The band was “Great Northern,” one of my newer favs. And, sure enough, they were playing in a small venue just off of a Metro stop. Luckier still, the tickets were only $8.
I convinced my new roommate and his lady friend to come along (I’ll introduce them in a bit, need photos and some facts like social security numbers to post). And we headed out after grabbing some dinner. The show started at nine—a little late, but not too bad. We’d have until around midnight before we had to bail to hit the last train home.
We made our way down the couple of blocks from the station to the bar/venue itself. The Black Cat is a strange spot—nice enough and a good bit of space, but no chairs or seats to speak of. It’s like you’re supposed to just stand around, six deep, in front of the bar.
“The Backstage” (there are others in the building, I hear), was where the band would play. Again, a good space, and the lack of seats made sense here. This wasn’t a jazz club, so the standing-while-listening approach was fine.
Well, unbeknownst to me, there were two other bands scheduled to play that night. And, of course, they played before “Northern.”
Now, I’m not one for knocking music. And I’m definitely not one for knocking people who have the gumption to take a stand and produce/perform music in public; but damn it kids—more volume does not necessarily mean more “rock.”
The first two groups blasted the hell out of my ears. I couldn’t hear any bass, I couldn’t make out any treble; it was just a garbled mass of produced beats and some vocals.
The second guy played some produced tracks from his computer. And they were fine enough, though I could have done with a couple of fewer songs, because by the time “Northern” actually took the stage, it was 11:40, and we had time to hear just a couple of songs before we had to scoot.
“Northern” was almost as loud, and they even made the comment to the sound guy a couple of times if they could get more vocals, as the instruments overwhelmed everything like the prior two bands. Still, though, I could at least hear some of the tracks that I liked, and, by that time, my hearing had been reduced to the point where it muffled the intense volume.
Not every concert needs to be ear-bleeding loud. At least that’s my take, but I am in my late 20s, after all, and my influence over what is good and proper is quickly fading, if not already spent.
So, cheers to “Northern,” for what it was. Either I’ll have to bring ear plugs and up my dork factor, or I’ll just stick to hearing my artists on CD. I can’t take the heat, as the saying goes, so I should probably just watch TV.