who: statistics, paperback, and starflyer59
where: new brookland tavern, west coumbia, sc
when: july 23, doors open at 8
i went to my first show by myself last night. being that i was by myself, i thought i'd write about the experience. this may get long and rambley, and it may have less to do with the show than with my experiences of the night.
at first i wasn't going to go because of not having anyone to go with, but i decided it was going to be a great show for 8 bucks and i couldnt let myself miss it. (i actually decided that on tuesday afternoon thinking that the show was on tuesday night and if i hadn't had to check online for directions, i would have gone on tuesday night and been quite disapointed.)
while online, i checked with a columbia, sc vagrant by the name of GirlAfraid and found that she was going as well. we promised to keep our eyes open for each other, though we've never met.
columbia is a little over an hour from me, so i left just after 5 to give myself plenty of time to get lost, eat, find my way. (i like to be well prepared.) i stopped for subway once i got into the area, then around 6:45 i found the venue, figured out where good parking would be, etc. i sat in my car and read for the remaining hour. i discovered that there is a neat little coffee shop two doors to the right of the venue, so i stepped inside, ordered an iced coffee, sat in a chair, and began talking to myself in my journal. wihle sitting here i became quite aware that pretty much everyone in the place knew one another. i think most everyone was there for the show..but some where there studying and whatnot. the shop was a long room almost like a wide hallway, and had i 12ft ceilings. there were a couple of tables outside and tables along each wall. about halfway down the room on the left were two old livingroom sorts of chairs and a small orange vinyl foot rest. on the walls were paintings by what i assume to be local artists. at the top of the walls were some mirrors hung at an angle where if you look up you are likely to see yourself or someone else in the room. also on the walls were a coupld of wooden chairs. in one of these chairs sat an old looking stuffed chicken (or maybe itwas a rooster?) i sat directly across from the chicken in one of the two livingroom type chairs and set my coffee on the orange foot rest. I wrote for about a page and a half, then decided to go check on the venue. I packed up my things, threw my coffee cup away, and walked two doors down. When i got inside, i found about 3 people playing pool, and maybe 4 or 5 other people in the whole place. i stood there for a little while letting my eyes adjust and trying to asses the situation, then decided i'd be much more comfortable waiting back in my chair at the coffee shop...so i returned. i wrote another page and a half and then noticed someone who i though could be GirlAfraid enter. i didnt say anything, though, because for one, i was enjoying watching everyone,..and for two, i dont know. she seemed to be enjoying the people she was talking with. I asked at the counter about restrooms and was directed to a door in the back that said "Library". (I thought that interesting, is why i included it)
by now its about 8:30 or 8:45, and i decided to go to the tavern to see if anything is happening. this time there are people there and someone to take my money, so i decided to stay. i stood in the room for a minute, then took a seat next to a girl whom i later found to be named michelle and met her husband named andy. oddly, andy looked a bit like another andy i know but i try not the think about that because this andy seemed a lot more normal than the andy he resembles. michelle and i talked a lot about where we're from and stuff. it was refreshing to meet someone i could talk to freely as we did. Michelle told me that they'd heard the show was supposed to start at 9:30, it didnt end up starting till like, 10:15 or so.
During the wait, i didnt see the girlafraid looking girl anymore, so just sat there and took in everything, talking to michelle and andy from time to time, and hearing about three albums play all the way through on the system.
(gosh, this has gotten realy long for not having even mentioned music yet!)
so, around 10:15 Statistics took the stage. i dont realy know how to descirbe them. they seemed to change their musical ideas/style from song to song. like..sometimes it would be this keyboards and distortion music, and others it was a guitars and rock sound. i couldnt decide whether or not to like them because they couldnt seem to decide what to play. i liked some and didnt like what they'd change to after that, then the next song i'd like them again. sorry statistic boys, you left me confused. i did like their indie rockstars look, and the singer's voice was nice..when i could hear it. i started watching the bass and guitar players feet as they'd move on stage. there's just something about the way some people get into playing the music that their feet just move so freely. i almost took a picture if it..but since motion would not have been a part of it, i decided against it. so, statistics have rockstar feet.
after the set ended, i found the girlafraid looking girl and decided i may as well go find out if it were her or not so as not to come home just wondering. i found it was her, but both of us seemed rather at a loss for things to say. i'd gotten into being alone at the show and i know she's a pretty introverted person naturally. I almost didnt go say anything so as to keep my aloneness going and avoid awkardness. shows just aren't realy good places for quiet people to meet without some common friend involved. (sorry, girlafraid, i hope you dont think it was your fault we didnt hang out. it was nice putting a face and some mannerisms with a screenname.)
now, i should probably explain a bit about who Paperback is.. before the show i heard a number of people discussing what they thought it would be. we all knew it to be a side project of pedro the lion, but didnt know exactly what david bazen was going to do with it. Paperback is basically david all by himself playing new songs that you'd not hear at a ptl show. bazen did assure us that some of these songs will probably end up on the next pedro alubm unless he writes something better between now and then. during the show it was obvious that these were newly written songs...almost completely wirtten around the poetry. bazen just started playing and singing pretty much at once and then when his lyrics were over, so was his music. it was interesting...and i liked it. i liked that i could understand most of what he sang, and i liked being hit for the first time with lyrics in this way. he closed his set with "backwards nation," which i had heard of from other people going to shows. wow...that is quite a song. (i hate how nondescriptive i am)
Last, starflyer played. Their set began about 12:00. The only other time I've seen starflyer live was at cornerstone'01 at one of the encore tents. it was a late show and i believe it was the last night of the fest..so most of what i remember is being very tired and sitting on a blanket in the very back of the tent. being wide awake and right up front for the show in a small indoor venue was a quite different experience. louder (and for the first time in years, i forgot earplugs at a show), more alive, more energetic. i do miss the recorded quality of ronnie martin's vocals. but you just cant get that in a live show. it sounded as though his voice was a litle under the weather last night from the tour, but that could have been just the balance or lackthereof. I'm not a diehard starflyer fan, so i cant give you a playlist or anything....but i can say that i enjoyed the show and that the band looks a lot different than i'd pictured them in my mind. (from the back of the encore tent i couldnt see very well.) after the show i bought the Old album from starflyer and got the free Old demos cd. The album is great...better today than last night in the car trying to find my way home. heh.
speaking of finding my way home...
leaving the venue i turned the direction i remembered comming from and then ended up in places i didnt remember being, and after a few more turns found myself passing the venue again! so i stopped, looked at my map, and decided i'd try turning the otherway from before..got lost again, came back the the mistaken intersection, and went the same way i'd gone on my first attempt, found out i'd missed a turn from that street and finally got on the road to home....about 20 minutes after my first leaving the venue. heh
in conclusion...i enjoyed my allalone show. i enjoyed not knowing anyone...once the music started. its that waiting time that is hard. and the notknowingwheretowait. once i found a place to wait, i was comfortable.
between the paperback and starflyer sets a girl told me i was beautiful. that was different.
when i got home after 2, i took a shower to wash the smells of the night from myself, now my stalesmoke scented laundry is being washed clean.
sorry, this is probably the worst sort of show review youve ever read. this is why i dont do them for a living.