Thoughts on Wilco (or MIA)
So, what'd you think? Were you at the [Wilco concert]? Or did you miss it to see [MIA]? Or were you in St. Louis for [Radiohead]? Or did you stay home and demonstrate your boringness? I was at Wilco and these are my thoughts this morning. !
(photo from LJWorld)
When I [first heard back in March] that there was talk of an outdoor concert in Downtown Lawrence with one of my favorite bands, Wilco, I knew it was not something I could miss. Having seen the band perform live before, it wasn't a must-see because of the music, per se. More so, I wanted to be there last night because I wanted to participate in what I hope will become a Rite of Spring for Lawrence, high-profile outdoor concerts Downtown. By showing up and actually paying for the ticket (what a concept!), I was putting my support and money behind the idea and doing what I could to make this first attempt at an outdoor show a success. Hell, I actually bought three tickets and since one friend got stressed with Finals, I ended up having an extra and gave it to a guy with no money sitting on the side walk. He was happy. I mean, he would have heard the concert regardless, but he was glad to get to go in and see things up close.While I don't think the ticket sales were what the promoters were hoping for - a Wednesday night show during Finals week is not a good idea - I think it's undeniable that [the event was a success] as far as everything else goes. The weather was perfect. The crowd was a nice mix old, young, families, hipsters and everyone in-between. Not surprisingly, there were no [Wilco-inspired riots] like the [old fogies] on the LJWorld forums predicted. And the band killed it. Were you there? What'd you think?For me, there were two things that did bother me a bit. First, the beer selection was dumb. Bud Select? That's all you've got for me? How can that happen when you've got a kick-ass local brewery in [Free State] and [Boulevard] just down the street in Kansas City? What is that all about? Second - and this is admittedly a dumb thing to complain about - but the piano player/guitarist on the right side was just annoying the crap out of me. Did you see this guy? He was the one in the hipster vest that had the cliche, foppish teenage model hair that had way too much swoop going on and would not stop making ridiculous faces and motions while playing guitar. I swear I saw him windmill strum the guitar at least two dozen times. I said to a buddy that while the other 5 guys in the band are just rockers in a band, he was a guy that knew he was in a rock band. By that I mean he's just too aware that he's in a badass rock band and it shows in every movement he made. He just didn't seem natural. It looked like he was trying too hard to look like a rock star. In fact, he looked exactly like I look when I try to look dumb while playing RockBand. Unfortunately, once we all became aware of his antics, we couldn't look away. I was hoping to get some video to demonstrate his douchiness, but didn't want people (or him!) to think I was a fanboy of his or something. But other than that uber-douche driving us a little crazy, the show was awesome. Afterwards, some friends and I were talking and concluded that the lot the show was in should really be made into a permanent 'amphitheater' for such purposes. It could serve as a place for outdoor performances by local and nationally-touring bands, as well as a stage for adult and children's theater put on by the Art Center or University theater. I'm no architect, but I think you could put a stone/earthen stage in the Northeast corner of that lot, where they had it last night and have tiered grass seating gently sloping up and away from the stage. You could build a retaining wall along New Hampshire from the North face of the Art Center to 9th Street and backfill it w/ dirt and sod so there would be a 6 to 10 foot difference between the view from the front and back rows. The wall would be a great spot for some more murals to help add even more color to Downtown. When concerts or plays weren't happening, this would just be a cool place to hang-out and have a coffee or read a book. I've sketched my plan and am working to get it digital so I can share it here, but I think the idea is simple enough to picture. What do you think of that? Would you support a permanent stage/venue for the community in that lot? Share your thoughts in the comments.!
: http://www.lawrence.com/events/2008/may/14/27131/ : http://www.lawrence.com/events/2008/may/14/27135/ : http://www.lawrence.com/events/2008/may/14/26314/ : http://worldonline.media.clients.elli... : http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/mar... : http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/may... : http://www.lawrence.com/blogs/sludge/2008/mar/21/wilco/ : http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/mar/21/concert_wilco_planned_midmay_downtown_lawrence/#comment_551519 : http://www.lawrence.com/places/free_s... : http://www.blvdbeer.com : http://worldonline.media.clients.elli...