Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dance the Ghost with me

(thanks to djidjiperroto for the photo)

Last night PH
took me to see the Sisters of Mercy in Portland. It was his idea; I've seen the band half a dozen times and though I always enjoy it, I wasn't sure it was worth the ticket price and PH taking a day off work for the event. But I was wrong. Best Sisters show ever! Played all the greatest hits in their trademark dark sunglasses and intense fog machine haze.
As for the PDXers, I wasn't sure what to expect, but we had made some predictions beforehand. Weeks ago I had wondered out loud if Portland dances more than LA, and we both finally guessed that they do. LA is chock full of music. Any kind, any band you want to see, any day of the week, plus everyone knows someone who is in a band and is dragged out to see that band from time to time. In Portland, you're lucky if a band like SoM drops by. Therefore it follows that in LA your musical release is often, you become less likely to be affected by the music. In Portland (we predicted), people will go crazier because they have had less opportunity to do so.
We were wrong.
Yes, the goths turned out, and I do think it was because they were aware that SoM is a goth band and that the PDX appearance is unusual, and so out of respect for the rarity of the event, they came. The theater is one of the dilapidated strange multi-story buildings that Portland has so many of (need to do research on this), and so the bar is on the ground floor, the stage is on the 2nd floor, and the 3rd floor has a balcony area with seats with a view of the stage. Maybe 300 seats. When the show started, the seats in the balcony were nearly full, and only about 20 people were on the floor in front of the stage. We were dumbfounded, but decided it was lucky that we could get so close to the stage and still have elbow room. Still, I wasn't sure how I felt about the emptiness, because I like to dance in a crowded group. It makes you feel like you won't tip over or hit the ground if someone bumps in to you. You'll just crash in to someone else and use that person as a buffer. But I needn't have worried; as the show started, the floor filled in somewhat. Enough that I was surrounded, but nowhere near even half-capacity.
The second song played was "Ribbons", a song that's probably 25 years old. I felt like I was the only person there who knew the song. Perhaps I was. I had this feeling through most of the show, underscoring the idea that most of the crowd turned up out of respect for the band's reputation and not because they were longtime fans that knew every word to every song, like I did. This was nothing like the fans that attended the Sisters show in LA two years ago.
There was dancing, but I'd say it was equal to or less than the dancing in LA.
The band seemed happy. In fact, Andrew Eldritch specifically said they were having a lot of fun, thanks to Portland. I don't know why that was, but I was glad. I blew a kiss, and I like to think that through the fog and the sunglasses he saw me, because he blew one right back.

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