Using Bees To Effect Vengeance
Saturday, April 20, 2002
Can't sleep. Brain wired on Claritin-D and too bloody hot, despite an almighty thunderstorm this evening. So, here's an account of my attempt to get into an industry-only Elvis Costello gig at the luscious Bowery Ballroom, as emailed to Danielle earlier today....
"I met my friend Adam and his friend Mike down there...we got in the line sans wristbands, passes, what have you, and tried to figure out a plan. We came up with three --
1) I bought tickets on the Island website on Monday and they should be waiting inside
2) I am a label rep for John Mayer, the opening act
3) I work for Island -- whaddya mean I'm not on the list
Adam chose #1, Mike and I were more comfortable with #2. Adam went ahead in the line to make it all less suspicious. Five minutes later, Adam heads back to us shaking his head. He tried it, they said "If you're not on the list, we can't let you in". He got in line with us to try #2 -- although the girl at the door had looked straight at him, they were letting the punters in a different door than the industry people, so it seemed safe. Just as we approach the door, they said "Next few people, go the other door please" -- so he had to drop out and head further back the line to avoid recognition.
Mike and I head downstairs, credit card in hand. "We bought tickets on the site on Monday", I said nonchalantly and presented the card. "We don't have you here.". "What? Can you look again" "Sorry, you're not on here. You got them on the Costello site?" "Yes, on Monday. Can we pay cash or something?" "No, this is a private event, we're not selling tickets. If you're not on the list, you can't get in". This last was the large bouncer hovering near the girl at the door. "Are there other lists we might mistakenly be on?" She looks..."No, not here. It looks like your card was never charged. You'll have to go back upstairs."
We trundle back up, dejectedly. When we get up there, Adam comes over, having failed in his attempt to execute plan #3. We stood around for 10 or 15 minutes, my hay fever causing me no end of trouble. I was ready to split, when we heard a Bowery employee say to another, "So-and-so says we can start selling tickets." Straight into the small line, and we're in.
John Mayer set new standards for crap. His songs were boring, most of his lyrics were about how much he treasured his woman's body, and he made the most hilariously wanky faces when soloing. Dreadful. Of course, the obligatory coterie of blond co-eds stood at the front, staring adoringly at him, mouthing the words, and generally attempting to communicate their eagerness to bestow copious blowjobs upon him.
Elvis was good. The band didn't seem too tight except on the faster numbers like Dust, Lipstick Vogue, Doll Revolution, Hope You're Happy Now, Pump It Up -- in fact, they definitely got better throughout the set.
Waiting For The End Of The World was an unqualified thrill, Man Out Of Time sounded gorgeous even though Steve was inaudible for most of it (there were quite a few problems with the mix -- Elvis seemed to blame much of them on the roadies) -- and the way he waited for the industry scum to shut up before finishing I Want You was pretty spine-tingling. Didn't play Daddy Can I Turn This, which was a disappointment, and Alison was tossed off carelessly (take more care with your tossing, Declan), but we were as close as this to Elvis and rock band in fine fettle and it was a grand night.
Davey Faragher is a champ...he played terrifically. And Steve was doing some beautiful stuff during Episode Of Blonde. Pete was as invigorating as usual - a rapid fire drum fill 10 seconds into WFTEOTW upped the energy *immediately*...he's such a god.
Don't really have time to get into more detail, but you will enjoy yourselves, no doubt about that."
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