Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In the club

Timing worked out nicely for me to catch The New Pornographers and The Walkmen in Cincinnati tonight and then head west for Roger Ebert's Film Festival tomorrow. I really wanted to see this pairing of bands--they'll be in Champaign-Urbana when I'll be there for the festival--and this evening's concert meant not ditching any films and shaving an hour off Wednesday's drive. (Granted, I drove about two hours to get down here, but tomorrow's drive will be shorter.)

I really need to be finishing up some stuff and then getting some sleep, so I'll refrain from posting pictures from the show or writing about it. Perhaps I can get to that after the film festival and on a slow blogging day.

What I did want to touch upon briefly was visiting Bogart's, the club pictured above. As far as I can recall, the last time I was here was in late June/early July 1999 to see Beth Orton with Kelly Willis opening. I know I saw The Afghan Whigs in this club, but that was probably in 1996 or 1997. If I haven't seen any other shows here--and none come to mind--it feels like I did. (Guided by Voices, perhaps?)

The place feels so familiar. I had a pretty firm idea of what it and the area looked like. While I didn't look around much after arriving and departing--I lucked into a parking spot almost directly across from the front door--it all seemed like I remembered, more or less. The spacious room, which is a long rectangle with a parquet wood floor and wood paneled walls, feels homier and doesn't feel as cramped as a similar Columbus club. It's a simple, unpretentious space that is a great place to see a concert, at least if you're near the stage, as I was.

It was a bit unusual to be patted down and asked to empty my pockets before entering. I can't remember the last time I've experienced that before going to a concert. (It wasn't to catch recording devices, as they ignored the camera. That alone tells you how much the new ordinary is entrenched at concert venues.) While waiting for the opening band to take the stage, a security guard confronted two college-aged women who'd been handed bottled beers by a friend. They weren't of age, and he tossed them all, best as I can tell. Never seen that happen.

Both bands were terrific. I had a great spot about three people deep from the stage. All in all, it was a great way to kick off what has been an annual spring trip for me.

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