Monday, October 18, 2010

DC Music Scene is Lame

I moved to the DC Metro area in 1993. It's a smidge over 17 years ago, now. In that time, I've seen DC go from being a mediocre music city to being a horrible one. Many clubs have died and the ones that remain aren't what they once were. Worse, the crowds that were never the liveliest ones, to begin with, have become completely lame.

Tonight, we went to see the Halloween Hootenany at the Post Pavillion. It's never been one of my favorite spaces - as you have to drive up to Columbia to get to it and it's not terribly well run (seriously: the power is out to one of your box offices when there's all these people doing WillCall or buy at the door??) or laid out (stuffing a second stage onto the slant of the lawn seats was pure brilliance, by the way).

Alice Cooper was awesome, if barely contained by his control-garments (kinda reminiscent of the OLD Elmer Fudd cartoons). But, for doing the schtick for fifty years, he's still rockin' out. Still well worth seeing if you like theatre-rock.

Rob Zombie put on his usual excellent show. It's been years since I've seen him, but he's still a balls-out performer.

Unfortunately, the crowd was completely and utterly lame - even by the low expectations I have for DC crowds. My buddy, John, had gotten us tickets in the pit. Now, it used to be, if you were in the pit at a Zombie show, you were coming home sweaty and bruised. Tonight, I came home neither. People were more concerned about being able to take digital pictures, stealing the (dozens of) balls fired out into the crowd and just not being bumped to even consider getting into the music enough to raise a sweat or any welts.

As I'm standing there in this total buzzkill of a crowd, all I could think was, "do you think Rob Zombie likes that, instead of  dancing or moshing, people at this show just stood around like statues with digicams in their hands?"

And, to be honest, I don't get the whole digital cameras thing. I mean, yeah, take a few snaps so you have something to remind yourself of the show. Just remember, though, that: A) you're not a photojournalist; B) the pix you're taking with your crappy cell phone camera or consumer-grade digicam are going to be horrible; and, most importantly, C) while you're busy dicking around taking pictures, you can't really get the full feel and enjoyment of the show. So, all those dark, blurry, color-smudged "photos" you're taking are going to, at best, evoke memories of half of the experience you could have had. Congrats.

I guess this all just really shows my age. I'm old enough to remember that, if a guy was holding something over his head at a concert, it was a woman, not a digital camera. I'm old enough to remember that, if you were down in the pit, you were there to be part of the experience: not to take pictures; not to not be jostled; not to be a human statue.

Perhaps, what's saddest of all about this is that, at 40 years old, people in my age group (and older!) are more into the shows than the idiot twenty-somethings. All I can think is, (big-time) "WTF".

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