Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Brian Jonestown Massacre

I don't go to many shows these days, but I made an exception for this one. In fact, I drove over an hour to SLC on a work night, so you know I wanted to see them. Arrived in time to see the entire opening set of The Quarter After, which was a mistake. They were quite boring and bland--not sure why Anton (of the BJM) let them on the tour, as he is very picky about music.

The Velvet Room is a pretty cool place to see a show. The stage is huge and the place is big enough to accommodate a large crowd, yet you still have that intimate club feel. I went to the front of the stage for the second band, The Warlocks. I'd heard their stuff before and was impressed, and they were pretty good live. Had it not been for the poor sound mix, they would have been great. Instruments drowned out the vocals. They are a seven member band, including two drummers and two sexy seductresses on keyboards and bass.

Fortunately, Anton was in good spirits tonight. I saw him shuffling around the club throughout the night, and then he had a nice chat with his mom on stage before they went on. Anton's not your normal rock star. The more I think about it, he seems to be a cross between a schizophrenic perfectionist and autistic. Mix that with plenty of alcohol, and you're never quite sure what will occur on stage.

Thankfully, tonight's crowd was mostly well behaved and didn't try to antagonize him into walking off stage, fighting with his band, or kicking an audience member in the head, as has happened on many other occasions. We did get to witness a classic Anton moment though when he abruptly stopped midway through a song and reprimanded his band mates for f-ing it up. After a quick audience vote, it was decided that they would do the song again instead of moving on.

Anton keeps a very tight reign on his band members, which is why so many (dozens) of them have moved on to other projects, The Warlocks being one of them. The only unchanging feature of the BJM is Anton himself and the music. Speaking of the music, it was great last night. The sound was really good and Anton was pitch perfect as always. My only complaint, and it's a small one, is when they let a song go on for far too long, doing one of those extended jams at the end. I hate those.

Overall a great show. I'm glad I went, even if I didn't get home until 2:00 am and only got 3 hours of sleep last night. I just need to make it through today and then crash for a nap after I get home.