Thursday, September 22, 2005

Death Cab for Cutie, Harvey Danger

Shiny, Smoking People
The Showbox, Seattle, WA

Tonight's topic is: the topic of filtering. So let's say you're looking for a new mate and you want to filter out the undesireables. Going to a bar only filters by people who go to bars, and that isn't really effective. Going through a 20-page questionnaire on eHarmony is the complete opposite and also a pain in the butt, so you don't want to do that either. A happy medium? Attend a rock show featuring a band who wears their political and sentimental beliefs on their sleeves. A *benefit* rock show that is super hard to get into on account of it sold out in 30 minutes. A rock show that is highly likely to feature tons of people in your demographic.

Welcome to a living, breathing Match.com ad. This crowd is attractive, fairly well-dressed, and all lovers of Death Cab for Cutie. Each one has a story of how they got their ticket ("I was on hold for like an hour!" "I kept hitting refresh!" "I love Craig's List!"), and how they are either attending or not attending Death Cab's two sold-out shows at the Paramount next month. These boys have arrived, so opportunities to see them in a small venue are not to be missed.

My review-writing was stymied not long ago by a spate of dull audiences. Where is the joy? Where is the dancing? This evening I pray to see the manic crowd that I witnessed at OK Go, the Presidents, Hot Hot Heat, etc. So when Harvey Danger plays their excellent pop hits, I crane around to watch the freak-out. BUT THERE IS NO FREAK OUT. Why???? Are you people so cool and beautiful that you can't dance to freaking HARVEY DANGER?

Which brings us back to the filtering. I witness people who are at the club as part of a couple checking out other folks constantly. And how could you not? With the exception of unknown variables like desire for children and mental illness, you may be compatible with a full TWENTY FIVE PERCENT of this audience. A couple of guys in baseball caps (filter!) complain about how some girls want to be picked up but act so snooty, which is a turn-off. I think the girls are just sending off very specific filtering vibes. You go, girls!

Since the crowd is lovely and well-behaved, I almost lose hope of seeing a good altercation until about half way through Death Cab's set. A guy I know, who earlier bragged that he went backstage and Sean remembered his name, made an alcohol-fueled decision to go ahead and invite himself on stage with Ben and the boys. He was promptly nabbed by security and firmly escorted out of the venue. His friend is annoyed but stays behind to watch the show (as is his god-given right). But then his cel phone rings - Chip and I are all like "don't answer the phone!" but the friend answers it anyway and then of course has to leave himself to go rescue Mr. Drunkypants. So the rule here is: do the crazy crap you want to do, but if you get caught, don't ruin your friend's night by whining for help.

Excellent show overall that includes beautiful singing along to "I Will Follow You into the Dark". For once the archaic "smoking allowed" rule serves a valuable filtering role, but the drinking of PBR does not since we're all drinking it "for Katrina relief!". And poor Chip, who had to get up early this morning to fly to Michigan, just sent me a text message: "Beautiful people see Death Cab, the rest fly to Detroit."

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