A Show on a Monday?
Last night I went to a concert at Hec Edmundson Pavilion (the basketball arena at the University of Washington). I almost didn’t go due to scheduling issues and trying to find a taker for my other ticket. I didn’t really want to eat the $40, and in retrospect I’m certainly glad I didn’t. In the end it all worked out fine, and I was off to see LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire.
I’ve heard from some that Hec Ed is one of the better sports venues to see concerts at. This may be true, but I have very few experiences to compare it to. I think the last show I went to at a sports complex was Tom Petty at the Tacoma Dome. Truly an awful space for music. I had hopes that Hec Ed would be better. It’s not really round, and is smaller than Tacoma Dome or Key Arena. Alas, rest assured there are still bad seats. I have no doubts that standing on the main floor would have improved the entire experience. Unfortunately that wasn’t really an option for me because I showed up just as the first group started to perform. Thanks again, Seattle Metro.
From my own tastes it’s really a toss-up on who should be headlining between these groups. I think I’m a bigger fan of LCD Soundsystem, but there’s no denying that Arcade Fire has a lot of deserved buzz right now. In fact LCD Soundsystem did open, and it wasn’t even as evenly split a bill as I would have expected. I think they only played for about 40 minutes or so. It was fun to see them live for once, but I felt like it was missing something. The energy just wasn’t there, on stage or in the audience. The musicians seemed to be going through the motions, and I don’t think I was necessarily alone in that feeling. They were able to get through decently well just on the quality and innate energy of the songs, but I would’ve liked to see more.
Arcade Fire really did bring it, though. I haven’t seen them live before, but I’d heard to expect some excitement. The warning wasn’t wasted. First off, I was pretty surprised by the number of musicians on the stage (this is true for LCD Soundsystem too, actually). I think there were 10 of them, but to be honest they were running around so much I can’t be sure. The sound didn’t seem overwhelming or disorganized though, so it’s obvious that they’re pretty good at what they do. I had the thought afterwards that it must be difficult to make sure that number of people are on the same page at all times. Especially when one of the percussionists (yes, there were multiple) climbed the stage lighting support. He managed to get up there about 30 feet, and hang from one arm as he beat on a drum–mostly still on beat with the music! As mentioned by my friend Sara, he looked like a human version of Animal from the Muppets, as he beat on drums, speakers, supports, railings, etc. Overall the show was loud, raucous, and fun, and pretty close to worth the money.
Sadly no pictures yet, so I’ll leave you with a video from the same tour.