Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew | Ira Allen Chapel | Nov 12

"Shit. I forgot my ticket."

That's what came out of my mouth as we rolled pass exit 12 on I-89 on the way to see Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew at UVM's Ira Allen Chapel last night. Because I have horrible short-term memory problems, I typically use will call rather than risk leaving my ticket at home. However, UVM only allows you to use will call if you buy your ticket within 10 days of the show. So, they mailed me a ticket and I left it in my sock drawer.

My first thought was to just explain what happened to the folks manning the will call booth and hope for a forgiving soul. However, while they seemed sympathetic to my stupidity, they couldn't let me in without my ticket.

"Can you go home and get your ticket?"
"No. I live all the way back in Montpelier."
"What about the confirmation you were emailed? Do you have that?"
"No. If I had that, I'd have my ticket."
"If you can find a computer and print off the confirmation email, we can let you in."
"Are there any computers around here?" (Pretty dumb question to ask while standing in the middle of a college campus)
"Yeh. At the student center."
"Are there printers?"
"Shit. Hey, what if I take a picture of the screen with my confirmation? Will that work?"
"Yeh. That would work."

Hence the photo below. Many thanks to the kind folks at the will call desk who bailed me out there.

Arthur & Yu started the night with a 45 minute set of alt-western folk rock. Their album, In Camera, has more of a retro-Carpenters sound to it. However, in concert they were much more western rockabilly than 70's pop folk.

The problem with their set and, for most of the entire show, was that the sound was a muddy bass-heavy mess. It was way too loud of a soundsystem for that chapel. Why wasn't this show booked for the performance space at the new Davis Center? Was there a conflicting event? The sound got cleaned up about three-quarters of the way through Kevin Drew's set but the damage had already been done.

Both bands employed the crowd blinding back lights. Hey all bands...you don't want us to use flashes on our cameras and we don't want you to burn our retinas. I think we can all agree to not blind each other. So, stop with the horizontal backlights.

Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew came out with three guitarists including Drew, bassist Brendan Canning, Andrew Kenny (formerly of American Analog Set) on keys and a drummer. The beauty of seeing a band that has one album of material (not including the few BSS tunes thrown in) that you love, is that you get a set packed with all your favorites. "Safety Bricks", "Tbtf", "F--cked Up Kid", "Lucky Ones", "Backed Out on the" and "Farewell to the Pressure Kids" all got played.

As I mentioned above, the sound was miserably bad which significantly detracted from the night. Drew even remarked at one point that he thought the sound was "utter shit" and that the sound system was too big for the room. However, about two-thirds of the way through their set, it cleaned up a lot. I have no idea what they did but it did get better.

Part of our discussion on the way home was regarding Brendan Canning's age. With his graying hair, beard and glasses, he looked pretty old. However, I checked today and the dude is a year younger than me. Ha! I guess I was the old man in the room.

For part of the show, Drew pulled his hat down over his eyes. It's weird but it was interesting in its simplicity and unusualness. I don't think I've ever seen that before and it was a cool look for a while. I showed my son a picture of him this morning and he remarked, "Like when you play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey".

Kenny came out and played guitar for a song or two while Drew moved over to the keys.

The sound ruined what otherwise could have been a great show. I'm still in love with Spirit If... enough to consider going up to Montreal next month to catch the tour when it hits Le National. The other bonus of that show is that Los Campesinos! will be opening for them.

Oh, and the sound won't suck at Le National.

Lastly, fans of Kevin Drew should check out Dan Bolles' interview with him in Seven Days. Pretty dark heavy guy but he provides some thoughts on BSS and the new album.


Bob F. said...

Great ticket story! Try pulling that next time you see a show in NYC.

Vermont rules.

Flatlander said...

Yeh. I probably would have been dismissed with a curt "No. Next." if I had tried that move at The Bowery Ballroom. Considering my propensity to mess things up, I guess it's best that I live in an area where I can screw up and get bailed out but general community kindness.

brockmasterflex said...

The feeling you get when you realize you've forgot/lost a ticket is horrible.

Great story all the same! I've yet to listen to Kevin Drews album AND to boot I've only listened to about 3 Broken Social Scene songs. I don't know why, but I've never gotten around to listening to them. However I'm amped for the Le National show. LC! is going to be SICK!