Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Gomez in Concert

I was so wrong. Last Tuesday, I was incredibly nervous about being up all night, going out to dinner and the concert and living it up. In our new lives as parents, getting to watch a movie together and going to bed by 11 o'clock is pretty exciting. Could I possibly be up to hanging out with the younger, hipper fans at the concert?

First, we weren't out all night. We were still in bed by midnight. I don't know why I was imagining rolling into bed around 2am. Maybe from too many concerts out of town? Anyway, I was totally wrong about that.

Secondly, of COURSE I can handle staying up a little late. I'm a new parent!!! Sleep deprivation is my middle name! Maybe in my previous, well-rested life, a mid-week concert would have thrown me for a loop. But now? It's just another night! And it was a fun night of dining out and enjoying a concert. As opposed to being woken up from a sound sleep by an unhappy baby in the wee hours of the morning. New parents are the perfect concert-goers .... as long as we can find a babysitter, that is.

Finally, I was also wrong about the crowd. For awhile there, I felt like we were the youngest people in the audience, instead of the oldest. I asked myself if none of the "kids" were allowed out on a weeknight .... and then I remembered that people 10 years younger than me are of legal drinking age and perfectly capable of making their own decisions about when and where to go. Ouch. It ended up being quite a mix of ages, and we were pretty much in the middle.

So in general, I highly recommend getting a night out on the town every once in a while for new parents. You don't miss out on any more sleep than you would otherwise .... and it's nice to remind yourself that you do have interests other than the tiny tyrant!

In particular, this time we had a nice evening. We really liked the atmosphere of Saigon restaurant, but I wasn't that enthralled with my entree. I had ordered the Saigon Vermicelli, with shrimp and pork and loads of other vegetables. There were only 2 pieces of shrimp, and the pork was really fatty; more like bacon than the pork loin that I was expecting. It was filling, though. I ate until I was stuffed, and it still looked like I barely made a dent.

Keith timed it perfectly; we finished our meals maybe 15 minutes or so after the opening act started. So we paid and walked 2 minutes down the road to the House of Blues. I wasn't that impressed with the opening act, Steel Train (and their website navigation is stupid, too). The music was fine, but the lead singer was a complete spaz. I thought the audience was listening pretty politely, for a band that most people probably hadn't heard of. But he kept trying wayyy too hard to get everyone "involved" in the music with clapping, cheering, etc. And then he complained when we didn't scream our way through all of their songs. Annoying. Maybe buy the CD, but don't make a special trip to see them in concert.

With a baby, I found that I also appreciate the time between acts more. Usually, I'm terribly impatient for the headliner to come out. It always seems to take an inordinately long amount of time to change over the stage to the other bands' equipment, etc. This time, however, I just thought about how, if I were at home, I would be getting Eleanor to sleep, doing laundry, picking up around the house ..... so I enjoyed the freedom of having nothing to do but wait. I people-watched and relaxed.

Until about 9 o'clock, and then I was ready for Gomez. Too bad they didn't start their set until closer to 9:30. But we were still walking out the doors by 11, so it was pretty short. Overall, my impression was that it was a Tuesday night concert. I enjoyed the music, but there wasn't a lot of energy.

It wasn't very crowded, so we were in the second row on Ian's side of the stage (rhythm guitarist and one of the 3 lead vocalists) and I could move around without a problem. That part was nice. But when I looked around at the crowd, it seemed like not a lot of people knew the words to the songs. People were enjoying the music, Gomez was enjoying playing .... but it was all very laid back.

Maybe it also has something to do with the fact that this is the 4th or 5th time we've seen them in concert, so it wasn't quite as much of an event for us, but I remember their first concert being so high-energy and intense with lots of jam sessions in the middle of songs. It had felt so much more like the band was feeding on a connection with the audience. This time, it was like we (audience and band) were friends meeting for lunch and getting caught up on the latest gossip, instead of being involved in a torrid affair, trying to suck the marrow out of every moment together.

It was a solid performance, and I enjoyed it, as always. I wish it had been longer, and they had played more of their older songs. But now that they have so many CDs out, I'm not sure I'll ever be satisfied with the setlist at a live performance—I'm sure there will always be another song or two that I really wanted to hear.

I am already looking forward to their next concert, whenever that may be. At least I know not to be so hung-up on it being a wild and crazy late night out, and just anticipate the freedom to relax and enjoy the music.

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