Wednesday, January 12, 2011

To All the Concerts I Loved Before - Part 9

I was almost tempted to blow off writing this installment in favor of working on the new kid's book I started on Monday, but at the same time it would be nice to wrap up this little retrospective.  I estimate there to be about two or three more.  Unfortunately, I have to start with...

Tricky at the Ventura Theatre, August 13, 1998 - This show had the potential to be great, and from the beginning seemed to be headed that way.  Amy, Lael, Rachel and yours truly, The Donist loaded in the car and headed down to lovely fairly nice Ventura.  We parked and decided to check the scene at the Ventura Theatre before heading over to the Busy Bee Cafe Diner for some damn fine greasy spoon eatin's, and to take a necessary peek in Wild Planet, which used to be a pretty amazing little odd-ball music store.  While walking past the theatre, who do we almost literally walk into?  Oh yeah, Tricky and his posse.
Now I know you're thinking, "C'mon, Donist, we already know that you claim to have seen Scar-Jo outside of the bowling alley sipping a Coors Tall Boy, and that Shaq is a 5' 10" white guy who lives across the way in a one-bedroom condo, so why should we believe that Tricky was just walking around the streets of Ventura in the light of day?"  Well, jackass, let me tell you.  When I nearly ran into him, I thought I had stumbled into a kid, and then I looked down at the guy and no doubt about it, it was him.  Just look at the cover of Angels With Dirty Faces and you will understand what I mean.  That and the guy was seriously about 5'1" tall.  A group of displaced-looking characters including a very attractive woman who I thought was Martina Topley-Bird, but I'm not totally sure about that, loomed behind the man and continued on their way past us.
The four of us were pumped after our chance encounter with the musician and could barely calm down enough to eat dinner or shop, but we did and practically ran back to the theatre to watch the show.  The place was semi-full and the curtains pulled back to reveal a large band including a giantess of a fair-skinned blond woman in an all-white jumper playing guitar.  We were psyched.  When Tricky and (possibly) Martina Topley-Bird took the stage, the crowd went wild.  The performers walked to the center of the stage and turned their backs to the audience while the music kicked in--they remained that way for most of the set.
Seriously.  Seriously!  What the fuck is that about?  Is that a schtick of some sort?  No idea, but we were all put off by the display and with each song we foolishly believed that they would turn and acknowledge the crowd to some degree, but nope.  Perhaps they did at the end, but we (and many, many others) would never know as we piled out of the theatre before the show ended.  The only positive I can say about the show was that the backup band was ultra-groovy and impressive.  If only they had been the only ones performing.  This was one of the worst shows of all time.

Built to Spill at the Yucatan, Wednesday April 7, 1999 - I did not want to go to this damn show.  I had heard Amy playing the various Built to Spill albums around the house and they just didn't grab me.  They were fine I suppose, but nothing I wanted to spend money on, but begrudgingly I agreed and thank god I did!  This concert was out of control with exploding energy and amazing sound from a band that you would be tempted to toss a quarter to if you came across them on the street.  With none of the fancy-pants glamour of a majority of the bands from this time, Built to Spill blew me away.  Although indifferent at first, I now count Keep It Like A Secret as one of my favorite albums.  A wonderful show.

The Go-Go's with Terri Nunn (Berlin) at the Santa Barbara County Bowl, July 9, 1999 - I was interested in seeing this concert, but had to be talked into going because of the steep ticket price.  Luckily, I pinched the pennies and I'm happy that I did.  The ever-sexy and fine Terri Nunn took the stage to perform newer material and plenty of her classics from her days in the group Berlin.  Her band kicked the adrenaline up a bit for each song, whipping the crowd into a frenzy and when she disappeared for a moment only to reappear atop the 10' tall amp to sing "Metro," Amy and I could have called it a night and been happy as clams.
The Go-Go's then kicked off their portion of the show--after a painfully long stage setup--and they destroyed.  For the life of me I can't remember the album that they were touring, or if there even was a new album, but they played a few new songs and, more importantly, all of their classics with "Vacation" and "How Much More?" among my favorites.  In between songs, they were charming, funny and just damn entertaining.  I would gladly see them again, even though it's eleven years later.

Kool Keith at the UCSB UCEN, February 24, 2000 - Okay, I am torn as to whether or not this was the worst concert that I have ever attended or if the honor goes to Tricky, but giving the rudeness and my anticipation of Tricky's show...yeah, Tricky definitely gets the crown.  *sigh*  Okay, the problem with Kool Keith's show is that I was halfway hoping for some mental Dr. Octagon material and I believe he only played one song from that album and chose to focus on his newer material and go back to his rap roots as opposed to maintaining the Dr. Octagonecologist vibe or the Black Elvis/Lost In Space style for the album that he was supposedly supporting.  The show started dreadfully late, was packed with hot, sweaty frat guys (possibly a plus for some readers, which is fine) and Kool Keith barely performed any of his songs, opting to let the multitude of guys--I knew not a single one of them--on stage and they performed all of the songs.  For the most part, Kool Keith just sort of bobbed his head and smiled in the background.  At the end, one of the unknowns thanked the audience for coming, thanked god or some shit and wished us good night.  We hung around for a while half hoping that what we just witnessed was the opening act, but no such luck.  Damn disappointing.

That's it for now...

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