Random Play by Graham Reid

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Random Play: “Thank you, you’ve been a lovely audience”

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  • Chukkkker,

    "SUMMER OF '69!!"
    - at a Ryan Adams concert

    Also, watching a guy in the front row of an over-sold(!) Icehouse gig doing his very best to spit at Iva Davies.
    And Iva Davies doing his very best to dodge.
    Electric Blue never sounded better.

    Since Nov 2007 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    "SUMMER OF '69!!"
    - at a Ryan Adams concert

    I bet he gets that a lot :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    This did not please some of the family groups, and soon disgruntled parents started yelling at them to sit down as they were blocking the view of the stage.

    Last summer, the Klezmer Rebs played in the Soundshell at the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Before the gig, the MC made a point of indicating the dance area up in front of the stage, and exhorted people to get in there and boogie.

    The next day we were in a cafe with family and family friends. One of the family friends heard that we'd been at the gig, and proceeded to moan about how it'd been terrible, there'd been all these people dancing up the front so no-one could see anything... Clearly: she also made some disparaging comments about the band without recognising my wife as their lead violinist. Someone diplomatically made her aware of this before it went too far, thankfully.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I'm of the opinion that patrons who are being clearly offensive to the artist and the audience should be expelled. I often quietly and politely seek to have them removed.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Hah. Always good form to complain about free concerts...

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Many years ago (<sigh> here he goes again) when I was a kid doing a bit of sound engineering with the NYT we got a one hour mandatory session at the beginning about volume. And what it did to your ears. Too much makes you deaf...

    So occasionally I'm at a thing where it really is loud and nasty. You can tell if the tech has had too much of their own art when they wind up the mid / top-range: it sounds like there's some white-noise/broken-glass sound involved.

    You can't hear what is being shouted at you unless it's straight in your ear, and your ears ring when you put your hands over them. It genuinely is hurting you - and you won't notice the damage until a significant other leaves you because they've been driven wild by you constantly saying "what" and "pardon".

    ...

    defend yourself, so take some ear-plugs. It makes the world of difference, and the next morning you don't have Tinnitus.

    Amen. I never leave the house to see live music without them. Proper ones that knock out 35 decibels. If I can't get any, I won't go. I think that loud music is a major unrecognised health and safety issue. A venue should not injure its patrons.

    I'm only 25, but already I've lost a good amount of my hearing. I don't want to lose any more. I miss hearing the higher frequencies.

    At least my dad can excuse his hearing loss on the basis of working with chainsaws in the 1970s and 1980s, using the most rudimentary of earmuffs.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Reid,

    I meant to mention Evan Dando at the Dogs Bollix having to face down some hooting drunk who bellowed his way through Dando's set: "I remember what it was like the first time I had a drink," said Dando. Sarcasm doesn't work on yobs.
    (I'm told he got off the stage and belted someone in Wellington. Anyone confirm that?)

    He was well out of it when he came with the remnants of MC5.

    Out of it or what? Bob Dylan at the Supertop being so far gone at one point he looked at the hat in his hand and you could see the cogs turning: "uh hat . . . head?"

    By the way I have tinnitus and it isn't pleasant. I blame (and thank) Cheap Trick at the Auckland Town Hall. Brilliant!

    Oh, and a table of middle-aged women at Shona Laing's gig about two years ago in the Town Hall Concert Chamber. One of them kept calling out for her favourite Shona song, "1927, 1927".
    (When Shona did sing 1905 the woman didn't appear to recognise it until Shona was halfway through.)

    That's what the second glass of chardonnay can do to you, folks.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    a concert isn't like the CD at home which you turn down to talk over, and the sound is never going to be as pristine as that shiny disc

    Turn it Down?... Talk Over it? Sacrilege.
    Concert sound should never sound like a record, its a live performance.
    Tho' David Bowie Western Springs 1978, was the best imitation of a very fucking big and damn impressive record player I've ever heard.
    And I enjoyed every moment of it.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    I don't think I've ever been to a gig that was actually, genuinely too loud. However, in my younger, wilder days, I did seem to fairly consistently allow myself to be shunted towards the speaker stacks. Probably a function of my inherent politeness, I can't mosh because I have to apologise and move out of the way every time I come into contact with anyone, no matter how lightly.

    I remember in particular an orientation week gig at VUWSA in '95 (Law Students' toga party, if I remember correctly) where I was deafened in one ear for a week after having myself pushed up against the stack while South Side of Bombay performed the extended version of "What's the Time Mr Wolf?". A similar thing happened a couple of years ago at the Mars Volta's set at the BDO.

    Most of the concerts I've been to have had extremely well behaved crowds, come to think of it. Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie tour stands out as being an absolute highlight for me-thousands of hyped up, happy people lapping it up, and a band that seemed to be doing the same (even when the Supertop leaked and dripped on top of Jimmy Chamberlin.) About the only "rowdy" part of the night was a guy standing next to me with a fork (why a fork? I have no idea) as the person in front of fell backwards into him. Very minor injuries resulted, but all was dealt with in good humour-although I distinctly remember reports of a "stabbing" in the Herald at the concert days later. I always wondered if they'd been talking about the forking.

    Funnily enough, a Shihad gig during the Fish album tour at the Powerstation was the only time I ever found myself in physically hurt at a concert-a guy who wanted to go crowd surfing decided to jump up without warning anyone and kneed me in the nose. We laughed about it afterwards...

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    About the only "rowdy" part of the night was a guy standing next to me with a fork (why a fork? I have no idea) as the person in front of fell backwards into him. Very minor injuries resulted

    That pitchfork again? Or was that a different thread?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    That pitchfork again? Or was that a different thread?

    Completely different. This was a salad fork. I don't know where that sits on the rock'n'roll scale, but I imagine it'd be quite low down.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Resonancy buoys...
    what da fork?
    salad fork or pitchfork?
    meet ya half way...
    ...with a tuning fork

    good vibrations all round :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • Mike,

    "And yelling out for your favourite song? Was it Ryan Adams who said "Well, we actually have a set list worked out so . . ."

    Was that the gig at the Powerstation earlier this year? I remember that douchebag yelling out and in quite the excited frenzy up the front. He was on a totally different wave length to the rest of the crowd. I couldn't help thinking that if he was a real fan then he would have known that Ryan Adams doesn't usually respond well to that sort of doucheyness. Luckily Mr Adams was in great form and merely singled the guy out, telling him that there was a setlist and that we'd get to those songs in good time. He then asked the douche to calm himself down as there was a pretty high chance he was bumming EVERYBODY around him out, not just the band. Cue applause and cheering.

    Great gig otherwise.

    Since Sep 2009 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Reid,

    At a Sweetwaters, the second I think, I saw a guy asleep in one of the speaker cabinets at the side of the stage.

    Anyone know who that profoundly stupid and possibly deaf guy might have been?

    I worked in a t-shirt stall at the Tom Petty-Bob Dylan gig at Mt Smart back in the day. I was with a young girl and we were taking $20 notes hand over fist while Mongrel Mob and Highway 61 guys glowered at us and said, "Gizzus a t-shirt bro'."

    When I made light of it and said "Oh mate, the boss'd kill me" they just stood around glowering and wathcing me shove literally hundreds of dollars into the front pouch of a toolbelt. (A sporran?)

    It was terrfiying -- but mercifully most were so out of it they crashed right there.

    I was watching the gate and people were guzzling their bottles of Jack, then coming in and falling over immediately. The police were simply lining up the bodies along the fence.

    I'm too Scottish to pay for a ticket then miss the show. Although when the Powerstation had to start closing early I twice went at the appropriate rock'n'roll hour of around 11pm in time to hear "Thank you . . . and good night".

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Sharon C,

    I was at the Lowe/Cooder concert last night in Wellington - great show...and not a bit too loud. The promotors, however, were obviously keen not to take chances.

    Outside the doors upstairs was a large box containing little packets of ear plugs - and a warning sign about the possibility of loud music ... just in case, obviously.

    As for yelling out - not too bad, despite one fan who was very determined to hear Yellow Roses ... he didn't.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Wignall,

    I don't think I've ever been to a gig that was actually, genuinely too loud.

    Psychedelic Furs at Sweetwaters. Richard Butler's voice was an indeterminate roar inside my head. We were down front too so I'm thinking most of it was from the on-stage monitors.

    By the way I have tinnitus and it isn't pleasant.

    I've had tinnitus since birth, so it's normal for me - I guess that helps, for some definition of 'helps'.

    Talking Heads at His Majesty's Theatre. Not loud, no flashy lights. I don't recall any dancing. Utterly mesmerizing.

    I still hate them for tearing down His Majesty's

    Since Nov 2009 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    @ Dave wignall,
    Wouldn't let us dance at Talking Heads.
    Nor at Bad Brains.

    I still hate them for tearing down His Majesty's

    .. in the middle of the night!
    Still, Leonard Cohen was a beauty at Vector.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5923 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Psychedelic Furs at Sweetwaters.

    Damn those old JBL long throw horns were efficient.
    Even outside they could make a voice sound LOUD.

    His Majesty's

    You're done it now.
    Sob, sniffle, whahhh

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Slevin,

    Paul Kelly, Wellington, mid 1990s, with great dignity, to a heckler who kept yelling for 'Darling It Hurts' -
    "A man is not a juke box."

    A few years earlier a pal and I would have annoyed everyone around us calling for Bradman throughout a James Cabaret PK concert. The following year I interviewed the man for Active and mentioned it. "Oh, that was you" he said.

    That night, also at James Cabaret, he walked out into the spotlight to start the show, leaned into the mic, said "This is for Dan" and played Bradman for me, then called the band out. So that man is a jukebox, in fact.

    Billy Bragg played Scholarship is the Enemy of Romance for me at the Town Hall in 1989, after I'd mentioned it in an interview.

    Ok, that's weird because 'Cruel to be Kind' and Cooder's cover of 'Little Sister' are exactly the kind of song you should be dancing (or drunkenly shuffling) to in a dive of a bar with the jukebox cranked up to eleven.

    Except Nick Lowe didn't play Cruel to Be Kind in Welly - no room for Ry in that song maybe? the only disappointment last night was that Lowe's showcases weren't (what I think of as) his best work.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart,

    "I worked in a t-shirt stall at the Tom Petty-Bob Dylan gig at Mt Smart back in the day. I was with a young girl and we were taking $20 notes hand over fist while Mongrel Mob and Highway 61 guys glowered at us and said, "Gizzus a t-shirt bro'."

    I had a similar experience at Strawberry Fields manning the coffee tent to the right of the main stage. After first being shouldered to the ground by a stauncher-than-thou bogan, wasted Mob members and prospects started tearing the tent down after the generator crashed and our lights went out. The on-site police were unhelpful and basically useless.

    Since Nov 2006 • 116 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    There was some good banter when Dimmer played AL's in Christchurch a few weeks back. Shayne introduced his cover of The Gordons' "Machine Song" like this:

    "A song by a Christchurch band. No, might be from Ashburton actually. Bit of an Ashburton classic, this."

    That gig was filled with great little moments like that. I seem to remember him engaging a conversation with a heckler about his shoes.

    Dimmer gigs tend to have their moments like that, my favourite was back in 2004, at the Otago University Union. It was the "You've Got to Hear the Music" lineup with Anika Moa, and the two just bounced off oneanother brilliantly. Shayne's mother was also in the crowd, and so naturally he pointed her out to everyone.

    Also, his retort to the heckler who kept on (ironically) requesting him to play "She Speeds" was great:
    "We'll play it at 1am. Just for you. Stick around."
    Followed with an ear-shreddingly loud rendition of "Powerchord" from the first album.

    Which also reminds me of a wonderful Phoenix Foundation gig, where near the end, the band, clearly starting to feel the effects of free liquor tried a narcoleptic cover of Prince's Purple Rain, that fell apart in slow motion, prompting Luke Budda to retort "it's only fucking three chords" in slow motion.

    At the same gig, they did a great version of "Bruiser" that segued into the Modern Lovers' "Roadrunner" (Budda again: "see, it is the same song!")
    Nice that Reid mentioned the Wilco/Jeff Tweedy line at the Big Day Out, I had forgotten about that.

    Along similar lines, Wayne Coyne's remark that "Metallica had never played the Peach Pit" ( a reference to the Lips baffling performance on Beverley Hills 90210) got a huge cheer at Big Day Out 2004, especially from people like myself who had spent the whole day getting squashed by Metallica meatheads.

    As an aside, I think the reason why live albums rarely live up to their promise is down to the fact that being there is so important, you miss things that sometimes can't even be captured visually. Which is why even live DVDs don't quite capture it either.
    That said, I have a few fave live albums, off the top of my head, - John Coltrane at Village Vanguard, Bob Marley Live! __at the Lyceum 1975, Curtis Mayfield's __Curtis!/Live, Charles Mingus At Antibes, Bill Withers at Carnegie Hall. All of those get pretty close, and all seem to capture artists at their spiritual and musical peaks.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 436 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    people like myself who had spent the whole day getting squashed by Metallica meatheads

    Although! The meatheads had occasional redeeming qualities. That was the year I was sitting in the stands in the afternoon for one of the middling main stage bands, and I looked over to my right and saw a woman who had The Most Wondrous Tattoo Ever: a full-arm-sleeve of the disembodied heads of *every single member of INXS*. Every one! And Tim Farriss was the biggest! Michael Hutchence was like a squashed little afterthought! I mean, INXS is not my cup of tea, but respect: that woman clearly loves her music more than me. Maybe more than anyone.

    (Loudest show ever: Primal Scream on the XTRMNTR tour. Dear lord. Luckily I was... less than coherent at the time.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    That night, also at James Cabaret, he walked out into the spotlight to start the show, leaned into the mic, said "This is for Dan" and played Bradman for me

    What a moment!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7320 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    One of the most meaningful performances I have been to was Breaks Co-op at the Bruce Mason theatre. They were playing support to Goldenhorse at the time. And yes I'm biased because Hamish is my brother. But one of the loveliest moments of my life was when Hamish rapped the song Sound Advice and dedicated it to my father, who had died only a few months previously. Why was that special? Because the main line of the rap is "You'll never know how much I miss you." Gold, personally, and pure. It meant alot to all of us.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3121 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Outside the doors upstairs was a large box containing little packets of ear plugs - and a warning sign about the possibility of loud music ... just in case, obviously.

    I've seen earplugs on offer at TSB Arena too. It wouldn't even have occurred to me to wear them at WOW or the roller derby.

    Loudest gig ever - Pansy Division at Waikato Uni in 1995. It wasn't enjoyably loud. It was "Shit, something physical is actually happening to my right ear." I was left with a weird muffled sensation in that ear for about a week.

    I've never experienced that since, and it makes me angry that someone willingly made the music go that loud.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1843 posts Report Reply

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