Sunday, April 11, 2010
Of course it's always wonderful when you expect a great show and you get a great show. Or when you don't expect anything and get a great show.
Tonight, at the Girls concert, I experienced something a little different. I was at a show that went from about a 5 to a 7 then to a 10 1/2.
I got to the Pabst Theater early so I could catch the Dum Dum Girls opening set. It was fairly good, but didn't exactly blow me away. The matching outfits were cute, but the act probably would've been more impressive in a place like Mad Planet. This is by no means the fault of the band, I just don't think their psycho-surf rock meets '60s girl band thing quite works in the Pabst. Not to say I won't get their album though, it's definitely fun music.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Girls. And initially I was not too impressed. They seemed like they might not really want to be there and while the songs from their album sounded good, they sounded no different than the album. A nice, sleepy Sunday night show. I was okay with that, figuring I'd be home earlier than expected. Then halfway through the show, the energy switched. During "Darling" people started standing and dancing. The theater was awake and the band woke up too. They brought it during the next few songs, which included the hits (indiewise) "Lust for Life" and "Hellhole Ratrace." Then they actually spoke to the audience more than just "thank you." They noted that they couldn't really see anybody and wondered why there was a big platform separating the audience from the stage. Having been sitting in the third row for the show (hooray going solo and general admission), I'd wondered that as well.
Then the magic happened, they invited everybody up on the platform during the next song, a cover of The Everly Brothers' "All I Have to Do Is Dream." I'm not really a "jump on stage" person, but the crowd was small enough where everyone easily got swept up there, so I went. Everyone was respectful and just swayed and sang along. You couldn't not smile! And I think the band was surprised at how awesome things had just become. Instead of going to a break and coming back for their encore, they just played through the rest of the set list. The bassist especially kept encouraging the rest of the band to stay up there. I think there were about 4-5 songs until they'd burnt through their original material, including "Summertime" and "Lauren Marie." They finally ended with a cover of Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You in the End."
And then the band stepped on to the edge of the stage for high fives and group hugs.
It was a magical music moment.