Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's a Holiday for Hanging

This one has a lot of pictures. I adjusted the setting on the 'suede so it only shows the latest five posts on the front page. I'm sensitive to your needs, dear reader, and I know that having a million pictures of glowing lights can slow things down and no one has time for that.

This blog is going to start becoming a lot more music oriented. The fall concert season is upon us and this is going to be a great year. It's almost ridiculous how many (potentially) great shows are coming to the Wasatch Front in the next couple of months. An embarrassment of riches if ever there was one. So far there are four shows (including this one) that I am confirmed for, three that are tentative, and two that I have to skip due to fundage and time issues. For the record I'm skipping Smashing Pumpkins and Muse, even though I'm sure they'll be great shows. I saw Muse in Austin so I'm okay there, and the Pumpkins will just have to reunite again and come back when I'm less busy. I just can't drive to Orem that many times.

Orem! You will seldom find me bagging on the SLC music scene like so many before me, but one big problem is that there's not a decent mid-size venue for the bands that are too big for the clubs and too small for the arenas (and the arenas suck anyway). One option is Saltair, but it stinks and it's creepy and full of spiders and it has burned down three times too many so no one wants to go there. The only other option is the McKay Events Center in Orem (frikkin' Orem!). I really dislike Orem but that's another entry for another day. My dislike of that city aside, it's about an hour long drive from Salt Lake and the events center is on a college campus so parking is tricky and there's only one way in and blah blah blah I don't like it.

Monday night I was compelled to visit Orem. I had no other choice really. Two of my favorite bands on the same ticket. Rilo Kiley and Modest Mouse. I love Rilo Kiley's music and maybe I have a big crush on Jenny Lewis.

I mean, how could I not? And Modest Mouse. Two years ago they played two shows at a club in Salt Lake and I procrastinated getting tickets and they sold out. Never again would I let that happen.

I was thoroughly searched going into the venue. The guy made me show him the contents of my wallet and undo my belt buckle. "Aha! This isn't a belt buckle at all, but a foldable sword!"

Missed the first opening act, Matt Costa. I heard he was really good though so I'll have to check him out. I took a bunch of pictures and at the time I was disappointed that I couldn't get a focused shot. Last fall I took pictures of the Strokes and they turned out great so I was hoping for the same result. When I got home I was really happy with the pictures though. So kinetic! Ah, there's my girl Jenny.

And the other guy, who used to be on the Nickelodeon series Salute Your Shorts, if anyone remembers that.

Unfortunately, I was kinda disappointed with Rilo Kiley. Actually disappointed is too harsh because it makes it sound like their fault. They sounded great, and they put on an excellent show. BUT they only played for about forty minutes, and didn't play anything from the album The Execution of All Things, which isn't just my favorite RK album but one of my favorite albums ever. Also, the crowd wasn't really into them. People were yelling "We want Modest Mouse!" and when they finished the set there was maybe four seconds of polite applause. No encore. Hopefully they'll come by again , headlining a tour of their own.

Modest Mouse. Wow. Those guys can bring it.

I think these pictures adequately capture their performance.

Just... wow. Isaac Brock plays like a man possessed, like the music is exploding from within him and leaving his ravaged body in its wake.

The biggest surprise for me was the song "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes." Really one of my least favorite songs. I can't bear to listen to it. But live it was souped up with an apocalyptic guitar riff from new member (and rock legend) Johnny Marr. Probably my favorite song from the whole night. That Johnny Marr is one cool mofo.

I wish I could say I'm an old school Modest Mouse fan, but I'm not. I only came on board a few years ago when "Float On" became a hit. They mostly stuck with material from the last two albums which was cool by me. Even though I'm not an old school fan, that won't stop me from complaining about the new school fans. The crowd was full of spring break party guys, moshing and crowd surfing to even the mellowest of songs, smoking reefer and jumping around throwing elbows. I tried to tell myself "These are just dumb kids having a good time. No harm in that. But if one of those elbows hits me..."

Funny: some kid said to my friend Scott "Dude, you're like, so old!" He's 28.

After the show we hung around near the loading dock hoping to meet Jenny Lewis. I was looking forward to the chance to break her heart and maybe have her write a song about me. I caught sight of rock legend (tm) Johnny Marr and said to some dude "Hey, there's Johnny Marr." And the guy freaked out. This guy hadn't even gone to the show, he just came to try to meet Johnny.

(if you don't know, and no one will think less of you if you don't, Johnny Marr was in the Smiths, one of the most revered acts of the '80s).

Johnny was so nice. He signed something for me and when I told him how to spell "Bryton" he said "Hey, cool name, man!" He chatted with us for a while, shot down rumors of an impending Smiths reunion, joked around with us. I told him the story of the kid calling Scott old and when Johnny left he said "Take care Bryton. You too Old Timer. Hey wait! You guys want some guitar picks?" and he gave us each a guitar pick. Mine is worn down too so it's one he used during the show. Awesome!

After a lot more waiting, finally saw Jenny Lewis and the gang getting onto the bus. I shouted for her to come over (politely) but she just gave a big smile and waved and blew a kiss. Right now, wherever she is, I'm sure she's full of regret and writing a song called "Blue Sweatshirt."



    "I had to hop on the bus,
    I was in such a rush,
    But I still Blew a kiss,
    To the boy that I missed,
    The Boy in the Blue
    Don't be Blue, my boy, in the Blue sweatshirt...."

  2. If I'd had any idea that you were such a fine photographer I might have let the bus blow right past!

  3. Awesome concert! For the record, I did know who Johnny Marr was (History of R&R class at the U) and yeah, Jenny Lewis is pretty hot.