Monday, September 23, 2002

BAMBOO TWO: Becky does Interpol:
I got to the Interpol show late, missing the first band. I opened the club door to a wave of heat and the smell of people pressed tightly together. I passed a woman trying to talk her way in and got my stamp. Say what you will about online fees (lord knows I have) but they do guarantee entry into sold out shows. The second band was just starting up as I worked my way forward and staked out my spot. I took a look around and man, it's like I was drowning in the sheer coolness of these people. Black frame glasses? Check. Ironic T-shirts? Check. Dyed black hair? Check. These were the scenesters, here to check out the latest buzz. The people who frequent Popscene and the illegal smoking bars. You know the people I mean.
Anyway. The second band was fairly similar in sound to Interpol, but without that thing. That thing ˆ be it the look, the hooks, the words ˆ that makes a band truly distinctive. It didn't help that the sound was kind of muddy. I couldn't make out a word the singer said and the music was distorted. Bad equipment? I don't know. It's rare that Bottom of the Hill has any technical difficulties, so maybe so. I can't tell you their name because I couldn't understand when they announced it. But it might have started with an E.
Sweaty Scratching Guy next to me was singing along with them and knew all the words so I considered asking him what their name was, but then he scratched his armpit. Not one of those I'm just adjusting my T-shirt, might as well take care of this itch real quick‚ scratches. No, we‚re talking under the sleeve, fingernails and all. So sorry. I didn‚t get their name. I was too busy being grossed out.
After they finished up a bunch of people went to the bar, so I moved up a little more and found myself next to Bob 'Bitch Tits' Paulson. Only with a mullet. And a beer belly. Nice guy, though. Seemed really into the band. Oh yeah, the band... The singer, Paul, looks barely old enough to have his braces off yet he opens his mouth and this incredible world weary, intense, Ian Curtis voice comes out. (Is saying "intense, Ian Curtis" redundant?) His right hand blurred as he closed his eyes and sang. I took my cue from him and closed my eyes too. I let the bass resonate right behind my breastbone and had to put my hand over my heart to keep it inside. Intense isn't the word. I forgot all the cool kids around me and got lost.
*This* is why I go to shows. None of the boys up onstage in their button down shirts and ties said much
more than "Thanks" or "Can I get more guitar in the monitor?" But they didn't need to. They only played a little over an hour, encore included, but I didn't feel cheated.
And I didn't even notice the parking ticket on my windshield until I got home.

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