Saturday, April 20, 2013

The night of Llamas and Rabbits-the music part

As I mentioned in my previous post, Union Transfer is a great venue to see concerts. I am told, the building was the old Spaghetti Warehouse (I always think it is funny that people place old in front of Spaghetti Warehouse when they describe what the building used to be as though there might be a new Spaghetti Warehouse lurking around the streets somewhere).

I find the inside of Union Transfer impressive.  It has the feel of an English country estate.  The kind of place where you would go to bed and then wake up to a breakfast of bubble and squeak before heading out on your fox hunt.  I love the huge old chandeliers, the diamond shaped patterns on the windows, the beautiful deep woods and the dark moody lighting. 

One of the other wonderful things about Union Transfer is that the bathrooms are clean and provide many stalls (you would appreciate this if you have ever had the unfortunate experience of having to use the bathroom at The Trocadero). The concerts we have seen at this venue so far have been general admission-standing room only so if you aren’t fond of spending an evening on your feet this may not be the place for you.

In my concert going groups’ defense, we are by no means concert hipsters but our preference does lean toward seeing bands/musicians who are not hugely popular, or who are not hugely popular yet in smaller concert venues.  This helps to...

-Weed out people who are there just to be there and to say they were there even if they aren’t fans of the band/musician and their music.  We like to be around people who love those performing and their music as much as we do.   Two summers ago we went to The Mann to see Frightened Rabbit who opened for Death Cab for Cutie.  We stayed for the whole night and while Death Cab performed there were two girls sitting in front of us who talked incessantly throughout the concert-over the music.  They discussed everything from their favorite episodes of The Office to why Taylor isn’t talking to Brittany because Taylor heard that Brittany told Ashley that she thought Taylor had an eating disorder even though Taylor just has a high metabolism….Every five minutes or so the girls would take selfies (see I’m hip with the kids’ lingo) with the band behind them and then instantly post it up on facebook with comments like “Look at me I’m so cool because I’m at the Death Cab for Cutie concert even though I haven’t actually listened to a single song they have played and you should be so jealous because maybe if you had tickets you could be hear actually listening to the band but we snagged your tickets instead,” or that’s what I imagine the comments would say if they were telling the truth.
Smaller venues with bands/musicians that aren’t crazy popular also helps to weed out people who are just looking for a place to congregate to drink beer and go whooooooo! (concerts in the basement of The Unitarian Church not included) Of course you can’t weed such things out entirely.
At one point Scott Hutchinson( the lead singer) of Frightened Rabbit pointed to this group.
He asked if they made a wrong turn going to their rave.  He then told them that unfortunately Skrillex was not performing next.  The point was that a concert with a Scottish indie rock band was not a glow necklace wearing event(for the record I enjoy a good glow accessory when appropriate).  Frightened Rabbit commanded a bit more class.  The couple wearing kilts; absolutely acceptable. 

The concert was great and Frightened Rabbit put on a hell of a show. Their energy was captivating and contagious.  You can tell how much a band loves their fans by the amount of sweat dripping from their bodies by the end of the night (unless they have some sort of glandular issue then it doesn’t count) and the band members were drenched in sweat. Of course they played my favorite song (Swim until you Can’t See Land) which was the cherry on top of an already incredible evening.

I encourage you to check out Frightened Rabbit and if you have never been to Union Transfer check out some upcoming concerts.  One final hint, I also really like a venue called Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia which is part bar-part concert venue.  They seem to be able to attract some amazing new/up and coming musicians and the tickets are incredibly cheap making it a good place if you are just looking for a night out, just be prepared for a long late night out as the main act usually doesn’t arrive on stage until after an average middle age person’s bed time.

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