So Wednesday night a group of us lads had put a few back and headed over to the Venue-Formerly-Known-As-Northsix. That old spot had it's charms, especially downstairs with the fishtank, though I can't think of anyone that considered it a "great" spot for a show. The Bowery-run establishment that has replaced it, however, has been a mixed bag and lacking any charm of its own fails to raise the bar.
Sure, it's the biggest venue in the neighborhood and draws great lineups (pretty much anything that N6 would have had still comes here), but I haven't noticed an improvement in sound and there's definitely a regression in experience. Just because the old steel support beams are gone and the place has been turned into a mini-Bowery doesn't mean all our minds have been erased. It's really a further example of the creeping homogenization of culture (in the city, across the country, etc. blah blah blah).
I didn't exactly mean to come on here and complain about the venue, but as I think back on Wednesday's show, it really was rather lacklustre. The band shouldn't be to blame, in fact they seemed a little off themselves. Looking around the floor, there were definitely fans heartily enjoying the set, but there also seemed an inordinate number of people who appeared to there just to be there.
For Witch? Have they garnered that type of casual fan now? Hey, more people willing to come out and support the band and their music is great from both the spreading-the-gospel and the financial standpoints. However, it can certainly make for a duller live experience and I think that may have thrown the band for a loop. Last time I saw Witch come through the crowd was super into everything and the band fed off it, getting the crowd more enthused in turn.
I know my whingeing is not going to solve any of these perceived issues and may just make me look like I think I'm some guardian of what is right and true in music. Far from it. I don't have much money to spend on tickets, so when I go to shows I want to be there amongst other music lovers who are there to get into the bands. If you're not into what's going on, why are you there? Just to be seen at the show? If it is that kind of narcissism motivating people to attend shows then I think folks have a right to be bothered, particularly if the band (in this case Witch) shows up and brings their A material.
The next show I've got on my schedule is Converge @ Europa, a month from today. Hopefully I'll have better things to report on the experience (that is, unless the kickboxers decide to show up and ruin it for everyone. Fuck those kids.)