Jesse and I went to the Commodore Ballroom and saw Brian Jonestown Massacre, Saturday night. Doors opened at 8. I think we entered around 8:30, grabbed a drink and settled at a table at the front. We chatted while waiting for the opening band to come out. I think they came out around 9:30 or 9:45. The Hugs: a group of energetic kids that looked like they were still in highschool (which would make them younger than everyone in the audience) – but they were pretty decent. They finished around 10:30 maybe. We had got up for the last couple songs and decided to stay and secure a good spot for the main attraction. BJM should be coming out soon.
Some bodies meandered about the stage setting up equipment, towels, water, and a mighty stock of beer. Looked good. Any time now. Any moment… Oh wait, gotta move the guitar a little… pluck a few keys on the organ. Adjust the mic stand. Move the guitar again, maybe give it another tune. Wow, they were certainly in no rush it seemed, and most probably stoned. Finally, the lights dimmed, and almost immediately, a large portion of the audience lit up. A spooky loop (must be their entry music) was playing for what seemed forever…. and eventually, they finally came out. At this point, I’m guessing it was 11:30.
Anton, the lead singer (it’s basically his band), took a little while longer… and looked like he really didn’t want to be there. Clearly intoxicated, the first thing he said was something along the lines of, “Don’t throw anything at me. That’s the quickest way to get kicked out. We’ve hired a hundred skin heads that will kick the shit out of anyone that fucks with us. …We’re gonna play for you tonight because you really deserve it, don’t you? So just… enjoy the show.” The crowd, of course, loved them, and this behaviour is what’s expected from Anton. The music was awesome when they were playing, and I have to admit, the lead singer telling off members of the crowd and even his own band were particularly entertaining.
At one point, Frankie, one of the guitarists, started to say “You guys are the best audience we’ve ever had in Vancouver…” but he was cut off by Anton: “Frankie, sit down and shut the fuck up! I’m tuning my guitar!” I think that was the only thing any of the other band members ever said.
Requests were not being taken. People would yell out the names of their favourite song, and Anton would say, “We’re not taking requests, so fuck you.” or “I already told you we’re not doing requests! I request you shut the fuck up!”
The show was very entertaining, to say the least. It ended at 1:00. By the end, somebody from the audience did throw a bottle. I didn’t see what it hit or where it landed or what, but it’s safe to say Anton went on a bit of a rant, calling whoever threw the bottle to come up on stage so he could kick their ass. He did have a very valid point, though: “Don’t throw bottles.” Seriously people, don’t pay for tickets to see someone and throw bottles at them on stage. That’s dangerous and a good way to ruin the rest of the show for everyone else.
- All of Brian Jonestown Massacre’s albums are available for free download on their website. I thought that was pretty damn cool and that’s one reason I decided to go when Jesse made the suggestion.
- There’s an interview with Anton Newcombe that provides a little background and is a pretty interesting read.
- A poor quality video on youtube of some clips from the night. At about 3:50 is some dialogue between Anton and the crowd that must have been after Jesse and I had left. In the description, it says the band was held up at the border. Shame. I’m sure some better quality videos will appear later.
- A review in the Georgia Straight of a previous show in Vancouver. Sounds similar…. The “holy wall of noise” happened a couple times, where the band was just banging out the same piece of music letting it grow in loudness and intensity. This lasted for minutes at a time. It was very trance-like and very awesome.
Listening to both bands has reassured me of one thing: I should acquire a drum set when I obtain the means. For some reason, I think I’d really enjoy them. Maybe I just like the idea hitting things….