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Date Posted: 12:49:20 10/12/02 Sat
Author: Dave
Subject: Re: saw bonnie prince billy 4 first time lastnight. and now i have somequestions.
In reply to: sam 's message, "saw bonnie prince billy 4 first time lastnight. and now i have somequestions." on 18:43:50 10/05/02 Sat

Sam- what you've experienced is the typical indie rock show. This usually consists of a crowd of young "urban hip" looking people crowded in a small bar or club. Many times you must sit through several bands before you get to the headliner (a drag for those of us who have to work in the morning), and when the headliner finally plays the crowd often seems indifferent, or reluctant to expose any outward emotion. And, dancing is not looked favorably upon- as you will be branded a "hippie" or some other type of fanatic. Many of the bands that I've gone to see with high expectations have also refrained from making any type of substantial verbal, or deep musical connection WITH the audience. Of course I am only basing this upon my limited experience, and many may disagree with my observations- so take them with a grain of salt. We could get into a larger conversation about what constitutes a good (rock)performance in general, or whether this is a reaction of a particular group of people to the mass/over produced culture we live in, but I'll leave that to somebody else.

I have seen Will twice, last Spring, in the Northwest. The first show was in Portland, Ore. and Will did play a substantial set and sounded great. However, I never felt a strong connection between audience and performer. I saw him again in a small coastal town in a very intimate setting. The audience was very attentive and it did have quite a different feel than the previous show. Will also played a much shorter set this night. So, in all, I would guess that the feel of a Will Oldham show will vary depending upon the location and the accompanying musicians that are with him. Overall, I derive much greater enjoyment listening to a Bonnie Prince Billy studio recording at home- this is also how I feel about most "indie rock" bands- some excellent recordings have been made, but many times something is left to be desired as far as performances go.

>i saw bonnie prince billy 4 the first time lastnight.
>i was wondering, do very many people dance at these
>shows ? i felt that the crowd was a bit disrespectful.
>oh yeah the show was in kentucky (usa). i felt a
>connection with the music off and on. there were alot
>of people chit chatting and drinking alcohol. lots of
>cell phones being used during the performance. i kept
>hearing people talking about how they thought will was
>a very imbalanced person b/c of the way his eyes
>looked and his supposidley crazy stage presence.
>i personally felt offended by these comments but let
>them slip into the chatter noise. it seemed like the
>band was so full of energy at first but then at times
>things seemed to drag a bit. i started to wonder of
>the effects the crowd had on the music. or if these
>things even effect this particular band.
>i felt that certain individuals did not want me there.
>i felt like some were offended that i was dancing.
>perhaps i should explain a bit about myself to give a
>clearer picture.
>most people cant place me in a general stereotype of
>style or tastes. i dont want to be identified by a
>group or by the things i take interest in anyways so
>that all works out well. this might not be a point of
>any significance in most cases but it may be in this
>situation, i wear birkenstock sandles. im 27 years old.
>i have very eclectic tastes in music and most other
>things in general. for example some of the bands i
>love: the grateful dead, jerry garcia band, garcia &
>grisman, the cramps, dar williams, suzanne vega,
>widespread panic, joan baez, palace/bonnie billy, the
>dead milkmen, culture, israel vibration, thrill kill
>cult, lords of acid, bob dylan, i think you get the
>one thing that i believe most of this music has in
>common are things like the raw purity of music, and
>honesty. i feel like music is a very spiritual thing
>that invokes dance, and if taken far enough trance.
>i felt so excited to see wills band. drove three hours
>to do so ( this is a common thing for me to do, often
>driving farther to see bands and calling it vacation
>). i love music.
>i guess i was taken by suprise with some of the
>aspects of the crowd though. i have always felt that
>wills music is sentimental and timeless. i always felt
>that he seemed to pour himself into the music in a
>deep way, full of feeling. i guess what i am asking
>anyone who reads this is what has your individual
>experiences seeing this band been like.
>i always felt that this music would draw a crowd that
>fit the music in some way. im not saying this crowd
>did not, but i seem to have been taken by suprise.
>most of the bands that i have seen seem to have had a
>dance culture within the scene. with people coming
>together for the music. the crowd at this show seemed
>to stare blankly at the band while remaining very
>still and focused on watching william.
>commenting at times about how crazy he looked and how
>that was just so wild. i felt like i had to equip
>myself with an invisible sheild to keep from
>overhearing comments about myself having a good time
>enjoying the music. it seemed like alot of fashionable
>sad people drinking and commenting on my dancing as if
>it were uncool to dance to music.
>i shrugged off the verbal arrows and sunk into that
>place where it was just the music and the energy. i
>felt at times the crowd may have prohibited the music
>from going beyond a certain point. is this just my own
>interpretation or has anyone else experienced this
>music in different settings amongst different crowds
>and noticed any differences concerning the quality of
>the performance ?
>i have seen other bands for like eight shows in a row
>on a single tour and noticed differences between
>certain crowds locations and venues.
>i will go back to see this band. i am curious to have
>something to compare my first experience with. i was
>also curious as to how will felt about some of these
>issues but didnt want to approach him for fear of
>seeming too pretentious. i felt like who am i to pose
>such questions about something i have only experienced
>once. with only my other music relationships to
>compare it to.
>i will admit most of the music scenes i have involved
>myself with have seemed more open to diversity. seemed
>more accepting to a larger variety of individuals.
>i would like to hear what others have to say on this
>topic. are there valid points here or am i just a
>nowhere man who must learn that i must identify myself
>and conform with a certain group of people to be
>accepted in this world (or is that just the american
>way at its finest).
>my girlfriend felt similarly. we wondered if people
>were there for the music or if they were there to be
>involved in a cool underground scene that was being
>infiltrated by dancing terrorists.
>i had a great time shaking off the the ills of life
>through dance but for the first time i felt like i
>left a musical experience with more ills than i came
>i know this had absolutely nothing to do with the
>music or the band. mostly the crowd. i just couldnt go
>see this band i have been listening to for four years
>and not get a groove on. we just recently got a
>computer and before that i had no way of knowing how
>to find out about wills bands shows. now that i can
>access the info i actually have the option to see his
>bands. its nice.
>thanks for reading this. take care, be safe.

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  • Re: saw bonnie prince billy 4 first time lastnight. and now i have somequestions. -- Dry Elbows, 06:13:06 10/14/02 Mon
  • Re: saw bonnie prince billy 4 first time lastnight. and now i have somequestions. -- Jaag Al-Faaza, 08:20:06 10/14/02 Mon

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