Night of the Living Dead (with great music)

For anyone who remembers the heyday of Brit-Pop and longs for its return, you need look no further than The Music and Kasabian show at the 930 Club this past Friday. Both bands put on great sets that should have had the place going crazy. Both bands gave it the gusto with everything clicking into place. Great lights, awesome music and that uniquely British swagger that always combines for a real blast.

But gone are the days of hundreds of brit-pop fans bouncing up and down to Blur, or the crush of girls to tear off a piece of Morissey’s shirt. No more the dancing throng to the Charlatans’ keyboards or swooning to Suede’s crooning. (Unless of course it’s one of these older bands out shaking off the cobwebs, but what about the new bands?)

I don’t know what was up with the crowd at this great show, but hardly anyone was giving the bands their due. Granted, Kasabian are brand new and maybe people were unfamiliar with their music. But so was I, so were the people I was with and we were dancing our asses off. They put on a wonderful high-energy show that would have had the crowd going nuts eight years ago.

The same goes for The Music, who combines pop, rock and guitar wash like nobody’s business. The front rows of the club should have been a swirling vortex of dancing and smiling because their music just evokes such a great sense of joy it is almost impossible not to dance. But somehow the crowd Friday night managed to avoid said fun rug-cutting. As if they had traded their dancing shoes for a magnifying glass to further their navel-gazing endeavors.

Seriously DC, does anyone dance at shows anymore? Doesn’t anyone out there have any passion anymore?

If there are any of you left, let’s all meet up and shake a leg for The Raveonettes when the come to the Black Cat in May or for whoever else happens to come to town between now and then. Otherwise what’s the point in even going?

9 Comments so far

  1. Xian (unregistered) on February 21st, 2005 @ 8:29 am

    It’s not just DC. I had this problem at the NorVA in Norfolk when I went to see Reel Big Fish. A friend and I were minding our own business rocking out a bit. Some girl behind us actually tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to calm down! What’s more, she had to have been at least 5 years younger than me! What’s the point of paying to see a band you like and not letting the music move you even just a little bit?

  2. Emily (unregistered) on February 21st, 2005 @ 12:27 pm

    I don’t dance at shows. When I go to a show, I am there to see the performance. Dancing would require me to divide my attention from the act I’m there to see. Now, I don’t mind if other people dance, but I’ve seen some people get really over-worked when dancing, and it can get really distracting, especially if the dancer’s right in front of me.

    I also don’t sing along at concerts (although I’m tempted sometimes) for the same reason–I’m not there to hear myself sing, I want to hear the singer sing. By a similar token, it really gets my goat when other attendees are screaming their lungs out, singing along with the song. I came to see the band, not you!

  3. Lori (unregistered) on February 21st, 2005 @ 1:18 pm

    I guess hipsters are just too *cool* to dance. Sigh.

  4. Tiff (unregistered) on February 21st, 2005 @ 8:36 pm

    Um, could it be because rocking-out isn’t the only way to enjoy a musical performance? Personally, I just have yet to find a band so wildly electrifying in performance that I just have to dance, in public, in a roomful of people I don’t know, without the aid of copious amounts of alcohol. I value my personal space too much. And I love to dance, but when I’m dancing, the music is secondary, and only there as an aid to my dancing. Like Emily says- when I’m at a show, I’m there to see the band, not treat the band as my own personal beat-track. That’s what my iPod is for.

    Similarly, I hate hate hate standing at concerts- People do not typically stand to listen to CDs, after all, and I don’t see why everyone feels the need to stand at concerts. Besides, it’s incredibly inconsiderate of the people behind the stand-ers, especially shorties like me who paid just as much for their tickets as everyone else and yet cannot see the show because of all the taller people standing in front of them- that’s why you don’t stand up in movie theaters.

    I must be getting old. :)

  5. darpino (unregistered) on February 21st, 2005 @ 8:51 pm

    Uh…I think the standing thing grew out of people wanting to dance at concerts.

    Like in the original days of Rock-N-Roll. Like in having fun. Like in “Come on shake a tail feather” or “Do the Mashed Potato.” I’d like to see a room full of people sitting with their hands in their pockets at a Glenn Miller Big Band show or one of the original Little Richard shows or even an invasion Beatles’ concert. I mean we aren’t talking about piano recitals here. We’re talking about bands that make music to dance to. As in the reason they are there is to provide you with a good time.

    When a band makes music to get people moving what do you think pleases them more? A room full of kids standing around staring at them while they play or a room full of people having the time of their lives?

  6. chris (unregistered) on February 21st, 2005 @ 10:14 pm

    I don’t understand how music could be secondary to dancing. Music is the reason a person dances, people who dance to silence are usually referred to as mimes. I value my personal space as much as the next guy, but when I go to a show I expect to have that barrier broken sometimes, it’s part of the show-going experience.

    I saw this show on Friday night too and I was a little bit ashamed of how complacent the DC crowd was for such an impressive display of musical firepower. Maybe those folks who don’t want to move around at a concert should stay home and listen to the CD, leave a little more elbow room for those of us who have a little passion left inside.

  7. Tiff (unregistered) on February 21st, 2005 @ 11:03 pm

    I realize I’m in the minority, which is why I’ve never been so gauche as to ask someone in front of me to sit down. Instead, I too stand… and stare at their shoulders for the whole show, which is about all I can see when the whole room is standing. Attractive, let me tell you.

    But even when I am at a show when everyone is standing, very few people are actually *dancing*. Bopping their heads from side to side, sure. Tapping their feet, or perhaps drumming a hand against a leg, but not *dancing*- but perhaps I’m going to the wrong concerts. I don’t find Guster or New Invisible Joy to be particularly danceable. And I strongly disagree with Chris that music is the reason for dance- music is an accompaniment to dance when dance is the end in itself. It tells you where to put your body and when, but not *why*, which is why people (not even mimes!) who really love to dance can do it whether music is playing or not.

  8. chris (unregistered) on February 21st, 2005 @ 11:38 pm

    I haven’t really paid witness to a lot of people dancing without music, but I’m sure we all remember that scene from Amadeus when the dancers were dancing sans music, classic. I would think these people who dance when there’s no music in the room have to at least have some sort of beat track going on in their heads.

  9. darpino (unregistered) on February 21st, 2005 @ 11:47 pm

    I dance without music whenever I wear Cotton or drink a low-carb Coca-Cola C2.

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