It's 1:45 am. The show hall is packed full of sweaty bodies and smoke. The windows are fogged and the floor is sticky with beer. The band we're waiting for is taking their sweet time—drugs, probably. There's a buzz in the air, both of liquor and anticipation.
That's how I see it, anyway. But too often, that's not the way it goes.
Shows in this town have been starting earlier and ending earlier, and it's out of control. Yesterday's norm has turned into today's romanticism. Plus there's hardly any time to get drunk.
Perhaps you walked in at 11 pm only to catch Animal Collective's encore. Or maybe you missed Spiritualized altogether (it will forever haunt me). And how many times have you found yourself standing on the sidewalk outside a venue a little after midnight on a Friday, staring at your shoes, saying, "What now?" It's fucked!
Forking out some 15 bucks for a ticket ought to lock down what you'll be doing for the rest of the night. But too often the entertainment peaks before it's time to go home. It'd be like sex if you came first and then had to do all the work. Jesus! I want to stumble out of a show elated and exhausted—after last call has been called.
Now on Sundays and Mondays, fine, let everyone get home early. But on weekends it just doesn't make any sense. The longer the show goes, the more drinks the venue sells. The more drinks down, the more the people dance. Everybody wins.
Instead there are down-to-the-minute schedules with clocks onstage—certainly nothing rock 'n' roll about that. A room and an audience need time to marinate. And if the headliners want to wait backstage to get themselves tuned up, damnit, let 'em! After all, the best shows are the wildest—and wild hardly ever happens before midnight.
As you may have noticed in last week's open letter inviting Danzig to his wedding, Ezra Ace Caraeff just got married. While the consistently hilarious, sharp (and sometimes emo-loving) music editor is honeymooning, I'll be filling in for him here. Send news tips, show info, death threats, and sad teenage poetry to firstname.lastname@example.org.