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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dear Ben, don't ever do that again

Dear Ben,

I was at your show last night. I'm sorry we left early. I know it probably wasn't your fault, but honestly take my advice please, and don't ever play at the Congress Theater again, ok? As Time Out Chicago reports:
Simply put, the Congress is a terrible-sounding venue, and for a performer who favors fuzzed-out bass and piano within arrangements that often find the instruments working in heavy competition with each other, it’s the kiss of death. Folds’s voice, sung or spoken, got lost in the fierce echo of the building, or overpowered by the drums. Coaxing an audience through an hour and a half of mostly new, unfamiliar material is always tough; it’s damn near impossible when they can’t hear the lyrics or the music as you intend.
I would have loved to get to know your music, Ben. But it was just impossible. We tried the skybox, (after a flash-- a smile of course! and a wink -- Sarah Palin style! to a rather yummy looking security guard), we tried the balcony (gave that up rather quickly due to some chattering college student who would not shut the fuck up after the 4th withering look), we even braved the main floor (standing right in front of the sound booth, thinking that has to be the place where the sound is best). Alas, even your between song banter was lost to the echoes of the domed ceiling of the Congress, a stately, theater that is just not built for modern music. Ben, I beg you, never, ever come here again.

So, I hope I get another chance. I'm begining to like your recordings. You do kinda cheer me up on a bad day, and well... Puppet Show swears you're really, really good!

hoping to become a real fan someday,
a Tart

Reader(s): Please do check out the review linked above, it's a good one and it gives the playlist and other technical details. It also notes the din of chatter that we noticed during the concert and I have to say it was shocking to hear so many people talking incessantly during a show for such a big star. What has happened in this country that we no longer listen to music? Or am I just getting old? Oh god, shoot me now if the latter is true.


JC said...

The chattering at gigs has become the 8th deadly sin......

Dont just give an evil look to any offenders.....go right up to them and say SHUT THE FUCK UP. Usually works when I do it.

a Tart said...

oh, if only I wasn't in the minority of those who were NOT chattering I would have :( .... it seems that everyone was doing it, alas.

Rol said...

A pity the venue let Ben down. I've seen him twice now - once in a gorgeous old theatre where the acoustics were amazing; once in a hole that doesn't sound too far removed from the one you describe.

Guess which I preferred?

a Tart said...

It was truly a shame as I had sold it to MeatPocket as a fantastic opportunity to get to know a great performer. She was bitterly disappointed :( Thank goodness she loved Holy Fuck and even had the poster framed for me for our anniversary!

meatpocket said...

well let's be fair, MeatPocket had her own lil dramas that evening... i liked sitting in the skybox, that was way cool, although yeah, it would have been better if i coulda heard the music and not just a barely decipeherable din... "din" is the perfect word for the sound at the Congress... so dull and nondescript a word... and don't forget to mention how we stood in line for like 45 minutes for 'will call' tickets, wtf???