notes from the road

Sharpe Shooting

08/08/09

Last night was the Edward Sharpe show at the Mercury Lounge. I knew that it was on, though more than a week ago when I looked it up online it was already booked out. But I thought that it was still worth a crack getting down there to see if I could get some tickets. So I made my way there aiming to be at the door around 9:30 as that was when the band was meant to start, but due to some hickups with the subway it was closer to 10:30 when I finally arrived only to see a big queue out the door. Thankfully the band hadn’t started yet, so I hadn’t missed the opportunity, though I still didn’t have any tickets. I didn’t really have much of a plan so I just joined the line until I saw Stuart the Trumpeter so I had a brief chat to him, and then I saw Jade and Nora. Now I didn’t want to ask them to help me get in (they probably get that a bunch) but I did mention that I didn’t have tickets. To up my chances I started with the name dropping,

‘Hey you know Ryan, his like this tall and has hair and a beard like this and is at all your shows?’

‘Oh yeah!’

‘Yeah, we’re friends and worked at TOMS together’

‘ahh cool! Do you know Nora?’

‘Hey Nora, How’s it going? I think you did some work with my mates Claire and Devika also from TOMS?’

‘No’

‘ohh’

Awkward pause. I kept talking to Jade about the tour for a bit and Nora walked off. Perhaps she remembered the last time when I tapped her on the shoulder and she thought that I might get violent again if she kept talking to me. Soon Jade went back in and I was still without a ticket. I got back in line with the vague plan of waiting until I met the bouncer and asking him politely if he could just let me in to the already over flowing room. It wasn’t much of a plan, but I just had a feeling that it should work. As it was I got talking to the group of girls behind me and it turned out that they actually had an extra ticket – brilliant! So I paid the girl whose name was Sam $8 as I didn’t have a $10 note on me and said I’d buy her a drink inside. Sam had heard about the band through her brother Colin who apparently had his finger on the music pulse pretty well. But thanks to the Rolling stone two page spread and the Flaunt magazine article, they aren’t exactly the most secretive band anymore. The lady at the door who was handing out stamps was also taking a tally of who each punter was there to see – I had a look at her list – the band who was headlining had about 40 marks, Edward Sharpe (the support act) had about 300 next to their name, so as you could expect, the place was packed. I knew that if I wanted to make it to the front I would have to make my move early, so fifteen minutes before the start I made my way forward struggling and bumping my way past a lot of people. And right at the very front was a sight that I had seen at all of the other shows that I have been too – a great mass of curly hair – Kat. Apparently she had just moved here to live with her Dad and had already bought herself a ticket for the bands next show in Brooklyn in a months time.

When the band finally played they were as good as ever, the energy was up, people were getting into it and it was a spanking show. Jade pointed at me during the show, sharing one of her trademark grins, the sort of grin that said ‘Oh fantastic you got in!’ and Alex gave me a sort of high five/ finger pat in what I’d like to think was an act of recognition. And it may just have been me (it probably was) but I think Nora was giving me the ol’ greasy eye too a couple of times throughout the show. Near the end of the show in between songs Alex was having a think about what to play next so I yelled out ‘Carries on!’, and he said, ‘oh yeah good idea’, and they played it and it was brilliant. They had addded a cool guitar tiddly bit during the quiter parts of the song and it worked pretty well. Afterwards that were still stumped for a song and someone behind me yelled out ’40 days’, Alex didn’t hear it so with my deep vocal chords and crystal clear Aussie accent I repeated it and he heard me, only to look at me a little annoyed and like he thought just a bit less of me and said into the mic ‘we’ve already played that song’. Oh, I felt a bit silly. But their last song was a belter and I had a chat to Alex after the show about their tour. I thought about staying for the next band, but it was already late and I had a job interview the next day so I headed off, despite the nagging feeling that I had paid for something that I wasn’t seeing. At the Subway I went into the wrong terminal and couldn’t go back in again for another 15 minutes, so I went back to the club to see the next band some young lads from England- and I’m so glad I did! Not really actually, I hoped that I would be able to say that as it would fit the situation well, but they were just an alright indie band. The crowd had thinned substantially and there would have been enough space for me and about five of my closest friends to swing a cat each. Truly Edward Sharpe was the star band, and quite deservedly so. With the amount of buzz that they are generating, it’ll be interesting to see just how big they get!

I had my interview today for the Comic promoting job. I get about $10 for every person that I get to go to the show and the average for each worker is to get about 8 – 10 people per day. I also get to go to all the shows for free which should be cool as comics like Dave Hughes and Jim Oin often play there.

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