Sunday, March 25, 2012

"These Guys are Amaze-Balls"

Amaze-Balls = When the use of "ing" does not aptly express the level of supreme awesome once wishes to convey.

So was the term used to describe The Black Keys by new friends we made on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

And the term shall be used henceforth when needed.

Personally, I would not call them "amaze-balls" myself because while my ticket said I had purchased pit tickets for The Black Keys, in my heart (and as obvious to every unmoving body in that place except for The HOchieS') I was there for Arctic Monkeys.

That's not a discredit to The Black Keys though because they were pretty damned good themselves.


The Low-Lamps:

1.  Again with the crowd.  I was surprised that so few people were there for Arctic Monkeys.  And of the ones that were who just wanted to get to the front of the stage, they were hella' crap.  I suppose they were not there for Arctic Monkeys and couldn't care less to dance or sing along but that was some disappointing and shocking crud, if I do say so.  Oh, hipsters.  You're so fickle, self-righteous and self-indulgent, aren't you? Yeah? Yeah.


2.  Did I mention the Hipsters?

3.  Arctic Monkeys' continued use of poor stage lighting.  Guys, it's not your fault the camera I used is crap.  But your lighting as always - and I've seen you about 5 times now - did not help my picture taking ways either.  I honestly suspect that if were ever to do MSG on their own, I'd have the same damned problems.

It's sad when the image I can take of the reflection is a better picture than whatever was going on the stage.  I didn't even get good ones of the Black Keys.  Awful camera.
4.  MSG.  I have no idea what new things they did to MSG other than remove the asbestos (thank you!!!!).  The separation of West and East GA was...kinda... bad.  I think it was like that before but it almost seems as though the spaces are larger.  I would not be complaining had I had West GA tickets which is the area near the stage but these East GA things were rubbish.  I'm getting too old for this standing around nonsense.

5.  The two old jerks in the pit.  The two other jerks in the pit.  And the two jerks near the one, especially the girl who was so drunk off her ass that she almost hurled on H1.

First, there were the two old jerks (I'm old but not old timey like these rude assholes) who decided that they'd cut in front of H1, Lanna and me forcing their way to the front and thereby blocking our views of the stage.  For a few songs only, I saw the Black Key's drummer clearly but if I told you I saw anything else, it'd be a lie.

I'm not sure why people are so damned rude and don't care.  They're at every concert with their entitled assholish behaviour and it's enough to make me want to punch people in the face.  Of course, that would probably mean I'd get punched back by two big guys and kicked out of MSG but oh, how I longed for a very sharp ring.  Their jerkiness made me get smushed near the railing by two really tall other guys who had every right to be there because they were there since way before The Black Keys came on, as were we. 

Then, there was this other guy and his girlfriend.  They too pushed their way to the front and they were tall motherchuckers.  It's always the tall ones that are the most assholish, aren't they? As if they have problems seeing... no, they have to go block everyone.  He and his stupid hipster hair and leather jacket, and his hideous girlfriend who somehow missed the gene for rhythm were annoying as all hell.  The boyfriend was constantly going and coming and really, I should have just taken his space.  Though, the girlfriend I think was always there in the area, so she may have kicked me.  Or would she have? I mean, she had no rhythm.  It's quite possible not knowing how to move to music means she wouldn't know how to co-ordinate a kick.... Hm.

Finally, near the end of the concert.  These two drunk of their asses asses came stumbling in front of H1 and Lanna.  H1 feared for her clothes, her well-being and her sanity because the girl looked like she was ready to throw up.  Thankfully that never happened.

The Highlights:

1.  Arctic Monkeys.  For some reason, they supported The Black Keys on this tour.  I have no idea why but having missed them last year for this new album due to work obligations, at TD5's insistence, we decided we needed to go see them and take in another band while we were at it.  TD5 ended up not going so this is my chance to gush about how wonderful they are.  Of course, if he knows I'm gushing to rub it in, he might stop reading.  TD5, I.  wouldn't.  gush.  to.  rub.  it.  in.


But they were pretty amaze-balls.

As usual, they had their off tempo with each other sound bits and their craziness but they filled their set with a lot of the classics and very few songs off the new album.

Alex was in rare form - the cursing, the banter, the messing with the crowd, the talking, the on the floor guitar playing - these are all things we've never seen Mr. Turner do before or at the very least especially not in such abundance.

Our shy little boy from Sheffield certainly has grown.  It's been long coming and noticeable in the last few shows we've seen them at but he was clearly having fun and very sure of himself.

He laughed at us, the band tricked us with their playing and stopping of the songs, New York got the hail so many times and as usual, Matt Helders is my favourite drummer.  I could watch that man play the drums all night and not get bored.  It's true that he's an Agile Beast and it's fascinating.

My favourite Nick still seems the same as he strolled out with his long shirt and long, in-need-of-cutting curly hair.  Yeah, I was the only one cheering when Alex introduced him, which is pretty sad for Nick.  Poor Nick.

And then there's the Cookie, who still scares me so I'd rather not talk about him.

Their set was intense, they've gotten better (but like I said, some snaffus at times but expected and comical now) and an overall great set list from them.  The only sad thing was that we were two of few people jumping and singing with them, so had we been at the front of the stage in West GA, I'm sure the guys of Arctic Monkeys would have been really appreciative.



The Arctic Monkeys @ Madison Square Garden Set List on 3/22/2012:

1.Brianstorm
2.This House Is a Circus
3.Still Take You Home
4.Library Pictures
5.Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair
6.The View from the Afternoon
7.I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
8.Pretty Visitors
9.Teddy Picker
10.Crying Lightning
11.The Hellcat Shangled Shalala
12.Fluorescent Adolescent
13.If You Were There, Beware
14.Evil Twin
15.Brick by Brick
16.R U Mine?  

2.  The Black Keys.  I'm not going to pretend that I've been a fan for forever.  In fact, I'm not even going to pretend that I'm completely sold on them.  As I believe I made mention last year during my end of year review, I own only their two last albums and found them to be solid, decent albums.  Their sound was not what I was expecting and I enjoyed them for the most part... in small doses.  I still find it hard to listen to them in continuous play and I had a hard time doing same during the concert somewhere around the middle mark of their set list.

To their credit, they definitely sounded great at MSG.  They were loud, with roaring guitar(s) without losing clarity and they kept going strong for the majority of the set.  Some of their songs cannot be denied as being anything but good and at MSG, those tracks were as clear and plain, old rock.

Lead singer Dan's vocals never wavered with his vocals being particularly impressive on "Everlasting Light", "Ten Cent Pistol" and "Little Black Submarines" (good song but if not Led Zep influenced, I don't know what is).

After watching the Agile Beast, and being forced to watch only Patrick's drumming from the Black Keys' set, I found Patrick to be amusing.  He's looks completely strange and lumbering but interesting all the same.  He's no Agile Beast (very few are!) but I was happy to have had the experience.

Overall, it was good seeing the show though H1 says that she probably would have preferred to see The Black Keys at a smaller venue.


3.  So, NYC's a small place.  You wouldn't think so but for some reason, Lanna ran into two friends in the East GA pit.  What the hell are the chances? But it was great because J. & C. were fantastic, crazy, happy people.  It made for the night to be that much more fun for H1 and Lanna and I think a better time was had by all.

4.  Seeing Lanna was of course the best because she is the best.  We love that girl! Thanks for coming with, Lanna.  It was fun.

5.  Disco balls? Yes, please.  There were two massive ones that were lowered to "Everlasting Light" for The Black Keys and they lit up the arena in this hilarious, cheesy fashion.  Everyone was having a good time and I cannot begrudge them that.  It was pretty cool to see.

much more impressive in person.
The Black Keys @ Madison Square Garden Set List on 3/22/2012:

1.  Howlin' for You
2.  Next Girl
3.  Run Right Back
4.  Same Old Thing
5.  Dead and Gone
6.  Gold on the Ceiling
7.  Thickfreakness
8.  Girl is On my Mind
9.  I'll Be Your Man
10. Your Touch
11.  Little Black Submarines
12.  Money Maker
13.  Strange Times
14.  Chop and Change
15.  Nova Baby
16.  Ten Cent Pistol
17.  Tighten Up
18.  Lonely Boy

Encore

19.  Everlasting Light
20.  She's Long Gone
21.  I Got Mine

We left there with our ears ringing and walked our way back to the Grand Central with smiles on our faces.  Being slightly deaf and having hoarse voices are always a good sign of a good concert, I'd say.

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