I took a break from the moving madness to go see The Dandy Warhols last Friday.

I had a… time.

I composed a long and eloquent post in my head about them, but never found the time to get it from my head to keyboard, and now my head has gone to further mush.

Instead you will get the Cliffs Notes version.

I shall start off by saying that The Dandy Warhols did NOT disappoint me. They were very good. I completely enjoyed them, and on stage they proved themselves to be true musicians. The set had a nice pace to it, and just the right amount of talking. Best of all, they reached a respectable point in the evening, said “this is going to be our last song” and played their last song of the night. That was it. They said goodnight and walked off stage and… no encore bullshit. No pretending that they were done, when they knew damn well they were coming back. It was a classy ending and one I’ve been wanting to see for a long time.

The opening act was The Upsidedown, which I just had to look up because it did not stick in my memory. What did stick was their tambourine player. Easily the best and most enthusiastic tambourine playing I’ve ever seen. Really. Too bad I didn’t like their lead singer nearly as much. This was a band I enjoyed more when it was only music and no lyrics, and that is very unusual for me. They played for 20 minutes and then thanked us and went away.

Here we end of the Cliff Notes portion and move on to the Throw Me Off A Cliff portion of my post.

The second act was A Place to Bury Strangers. I did not have to look that up. I never intend to forget the name of that band. It will make it easier to avoid them in the future. I do not like to rain on anyone’s parade, and I am sure they love what they do, and they obviously have fans. But, unfortunately for everyone, there were not many at the concert I was at. Definitely none in the group of people I attended with. At first I thought they were just not my cup of tea, but eventually I determined that I actively disliked the sounds they were making and desperately wanted them to stop. Seriously, when they got started, I thought they had things set up wrong, and that the screeching feedback and out of tune yowling was an error that they would stop and correct, but that is just their style.

A couple of songs in, I was mostly staring at the floor and trying to will myself to a different place, where I couldn’t hear them. I could only zone out and pretend I wasn’t there for so long, and then some kind of mating cats getting attacked by rabid raccoons sound would cause me to glance up involuntarily. I glanced up and was shocked to discover that the drummer was GONE. He had vanished in a puff of smoke and I had a brief moment of giddiness when I thought perhaps my wishing had caused it, and that the entire band would soon vanish. I glanced towards my friends and saw that they were cracking up. We met eyes and I started laughing too. It soon became clear that nobody had exploded, it was just the fog machine on overdrive. Once again, I mistakenly thought something had gone wrong and they would fix it between songs, but it turned out, they just really fucking like the heavy smog effect. It was so disturbing to watch the drummer breathing in and out that stuff. I’ve walked through fog machine output, and did not find it even slightly pleasant to breathe.

After they had been playing for too long, I thought the song they were playing would be their last, but when it ended they started another, even longer one. That one ended and, once again, they started another. It went on and on. At some point in the middle I snapped and just begin laughing until tears were leaking out of my eyes. I am serious. I was disliking the experience so much that the concern that they might never stop playing had driven me to the point of hysteria.

Along the way, Jono MOFO broke the strings on his abused instrument at which point he appeared to throw some sort of toddler temper tantrum about the breakage, and yet, they still did not cease.

FINALLY there was silence. It was a heavy silence, with very little applause or cheering. The trio stomped off stage without a word. We stood around stunned and waited for The Dandy Warhols, but I was pretty concerned that they wouldn’t not be able to do anything to save the evening.

However, as mentioned before The Dandy Warhols put on a great show.

But, when we exited the building, we only had mouths for A Place to Bury Strangers. We talked about them on the way back to the car, on the way home, and were still talking about them the next day.

Probably some of you reading this would like them, but I really, really did not. I’m sure you’ve already figured that out.

From their myspace “A Place To Bury Strangers does not so much play songs as allow them to pour out. They are songs about longing, heartbreak and confusion played extremely well and at a passionately loud volume.” They are obviously accomplished artists, because THAT absolutely expresses my impression of their performance. Not playing, just pouring and flooding and some oozing, and I am right there, with intense longing to be someplace else, heartbreak that it was still happening and utter confusion as to why it was happening to me.

I feel bad for them, and really, everyone. I think the person who booked them as an opening act for The Dandy Warhols did nobody any favors. The styles were not complimentary.

And here, is a little video clip of the show for those of you who are interested.

dumb candy

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