Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Last night we went to the big rock concert at Madison Square Garden, to see the White Stripes, Grinderman, and Porter Wagoner.

White Stripes photo from pixxiestails Flickr

Grinderman photo fromwallyg flickrPorter Wagoner photo by Randsom Flickr

A few years ago I would have been really excited about seeing the White Stripes and would have tried to get the best possible tickets. That isn't really the case right now after the past few albums and a sort of annoying show at Roseland a few couple years ago. Anyway, it was a summer show and a chance to engage in arena rock nostalgia so we decided to go. Our seats ended up being pretty good as far as being able to see the whole stage, but I didn't bring opera glasses or a telescope. I'm not sure if the show ever sold was pretty full but not capacity.

The show started off quite well...about 5 songs in I realized that they hadn't played anything newish yet. Of course this meant that the second half of the main set was less interesting, but that was an opportunity to go and buy popcorn. There was either a really long encore or a short second set in which a bunch on songs that would have punched up the second half of the main set. Anyway, Meg White is still officially Jack White's sister, and they seemed proud of themselves for playing a big room and it was a fun show overall.

It was a good arena rock nostalgia experience, and I'm sure it was some kid's first concert and they got a fun time. It was fun to see a bunch of behaviors that you don't see too often, like the hundreds of fans who can't wait until the next day to wear the $30 tshirts they bought at the show. I guess there is no school tomorrow to show off your tshirts as concert attending proof, but maybe summer camp?

Other points:
  • Was Jack White thinking of $180 kilts when he was sitting in his little room?
  • There were counterfeit/bootleg/"unauthorized" white stripes tshirts for sale afterwards. I guess this is a sign of success?
  • Getting out of the show from high up seats was a bit challenging. Escalators were turned off and there were no staff people to direct anyone.
  • It's a shame that the concessions people can't have a tip jar. I imagine the disparity between what the drink pourers at MSG get paid by Cablevision and what the average night at somewhere like the Mercury Lounge is for the bar staff is pretty big.
Country Music Hall of Famer Porter Wagoner's band played a short and sweet set. I think the band was on stage for 25 minutes and Porter was on stage for less than 20 minutes. That was probably the right length to keep this audience happy, but the set was fun and enjoyable. I think they're playing on Letterman tonight.

Grinderman was sort of predicatably sort of awesome and sort of stupid. Awesome because it was Nick Cave and stupid because these were Nick Cave songs written in like 5 minutes. But I liked them overall, even if I don't need to download the other half the album from emusic.

1 comment:

nyctaper said...

What would an arena-rock show be without hundreds of kids wearing crappy t-shirts that will sit in their closets for 5 years until they go away to college and their mother throws the shirt in the garbage.

Seriously, it was a kick-ass TWS show, lasting almost 2 hours. I recorded the show and have posted a download on my blog. Hear for yourself!