Yesterday, Justin & I went to see Portugal. The Man play at Town Ballroom here in Buffalo. A band called Skaters opened for them, sounding good, despite dressing and performing like EMF (“You’re Unbelievable“, etc).The show was great. I loved the set list! The light show employed by Portugal. The Man was much better than the last time I’d seen this done (Genghis Tron and The Number 12 Looks Like You). Even the fog machines were done well and I typically hate them (when Dead To Fall used them, you couldn’t see a fucking thing, let alone take pictures).
Anyway, regarding last night’s show, it was unique for me because I had never been to a show outside of the usual punk/hardcore fare. Portugal. The Man, though originally sprouting from a post-hardcore band (Anatomy of a Ghost), are actually full-blown “indie”, whatever that means. “Indie bands” have more mass appeal and attract a certain “hipster nouveau crowd”, so what I witnessed at this show was different for me.
Normally, I am right up front at shows, remaining cautious throughout to avoid being accidentally kicked, pushed, etc from the windmilling youngsters. Being up front at hardcore shows also means you’re probably going to be spit on a little bit when the band is singing/screaming, and you’re definitely going to be sweated on when the guitarists are flipping their hair around. Basically, there was no circle pit, no dancing, no band spit/sweat, and the crowd was made up of a much younger demographic. At other shows, there are many die-hard 30-something fans, but “indie bands” like this seem to be more “fashionable” and certainly offer “easier listening”, which explains the younger crowd, and the large percentage of females in attendance compared to punk/hardcore shows (though girls have definitely increased in that scene as well). So, that is enough of my pseudo anthropology/psychology for today. I just wanted to share my thoughts on these types of shows!
Town Ballroom is fascist regarding cameras and filming, so I didn’t get any great photos or videos with just my crappy iPhone, but you can view my video clips here. They sent me home when I showed up with my DSLR at a Thursday & Converge show! I explained I had no car to store my camera in and had taken the train. They finally agreed to hold my camera in their office while I watched the show. I have never been questioned about a camera at a hardcore show before that!
I’m heading to two more shows this summer which are surprisingly even “bigger”: The Flaming Lips and MGMT. Hopefully I’ll remember to update my pretty little dead blog with how those go, but meanwhile, everyone have an awesome summer!