Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Elbow @ The Avalon

We got there a bit late. Let's just say it was due to an oyster pancake and a car battery. We missed the opening act, but we did make it with plenty of time to spare before Elbow got on stage. I haven't been to The Avalon in YEARS, not since it used to be called The Palace. I don't know if it was just because of my memory, but it seemed like the venue looked much nicer than it did before.

I hadn't really heard of Elbow until W bought tickets and asked me to go. They're in her top three favorite bands in the past five years, she says. I hadn't really heard their music much besides the mix that she made me. I thought their music sounded kind of like late 80s/early 90s contemporary rock. I knew the crowd would be a little older than us, but I wasn't expecting the band to be so old. They were all in their late 30s+. I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised though, W said they've been around for 10 years. That's not the oldest band I've seen live. One time I saw two members of The Monkees and another time I saw Echo and the Bunnymen, which was pretty wild. The lead singer's still a rock star after all these years. Anyways, it was kind of nice that the crowd's age ranged from late 20s to early 30s, people closer to our age. There wasn't any crazy moshing or shoving. Although, there was a guy there with a super long lens who kept getting into everyone's faces to take closeup portraits. It seemed pretty rude since I didn't see him asking for permission. Talk about invasion of privacy. And there was one guy who climbed up onto the stage. It was surreal. The song was really mellow and the guy was up there singing with him in slow motion, did two thumbs up, and slowly walked off the stage. It was a HUGE difference compared to The Cribs show where they would violently throw people back into the audience or yank them off the stage within a minute.

Most of the songs were really mellow, which is their style. Seeing "Grounds for Divorce" live was fantastic. It's my favorite Elbow song. It was a lot of fun to sing along to that. And he sounded great. They were just as good live as they were on CD. I enjoyed the singalong for one of their songs. He told us these two lines and I couldn't understand what he was saying AT ALL for the second line because of his heavy English accent, but everyone got it once he started singing. I loved all the talking he did in between the songs. He was very energetic, even when he was singing really slow songs. Sorry, I can't really remember the names of the songs, since I just listened to them really recently. The few catchy songs Elbow DID play were pretty rocking. I was surprised though, that they didn't play Powder Blue. I was also surprised that when they came out for the encore, they played 2 veeeerrrrrryyyy slow songs. One of them sounded kind of gospelish (S said it sounded like a church song) and the other was even slower. I thought the encore songs are supposed to get you really pumped and amped and thinking "Man, that was SUCH an awesome show! The encore songs were GREAT!" These kind of had an opposite effect. Maybe older people prefer to just wind down at the end of a show?

I was very impressed by the sound engineering. The vocals were really crisp. The instruments were all perfectly even so as not to overpower the singing or any of the other instruments. I hate when the sound is so bad that it doesn't matter how good the band is, the music is completely ruined. Luckily, that didn't happen at The Avalon. Everything sounded great.

High Note: A friend said "I never pictured you as the type to go to The Avalon." I'm so glad that I have a reputation of NOT clubbing. :D