Dazed and Bemused

Drunken recollections, boring anecdotes, and obscure references

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Won't you stand up for the hearts of oak?

I just got back from the Ted Leo show, and I wish I could go see it again. It was incredible. He's even more energetic live than on his records, and I wouldn't have thought it was possible to play all those incredible guitar parts on stage. He said he was loosing his voice, but I really couldn't tell except on a couple of songs. He played just around an hour, and I could easily have listened to three times that. Highlights for me were Little Dawn from the new album, and I'm a Ghost from Hearts of Oak. The song he didn't do that I missed most was Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead, but he could have played his whole catalog and I wouldn't have minded a bit.

There were two opening acts, but we missed the first one, a local band called Ocean's Full. Next up was Lucero, and we caught most of their set. I liked them overall, some good songwriting, and good vocals, but a few too many generic instrumental bridges and guitar solos for my taste. I guess they're a favorite around here, since about a quarter of the people left after their set, to my surprise and relief, since the club was a little too crowded for comfort during their set.

The layout of the club was very odd. This was an All Ages show (which is why it was over by 11:15), and the club is basically one big room with the bar opposite the stage. They had the bar section fenced off, and if you wanted a drink you not only had to be one of the 25 lucky people allowed in the enclosure, but stay in there while you drank it. What happened of course, is that no one left once they got in there, so there were quite a few thirsty people, including myself and Flasshe.

Ted was just inside the exit doors after the set, chatting and signing autographs. Very approachable, didn't seem to have any of the big rock star vibe. He said how nice it was to be able to get a little extra sleep since they finished so early (Colorado law governing all ages shows, I guess). Any of my hundreds of readers in the Lawrence/Kansas City area should definitely catch his show Sunday night.

There was one jarring note. I saw a kid, looked like a stereotypical geek, maybe a gangly 15 or so, who looked like he was desperately trying to dress to look cool. What I noticed, though, is he had a spiderweb tattoo on his elbow. I know it's no longer only associated with the Aryan Brotherhood and other White Power prison gangs, but I think that's the association a lot of people would make first, and this kid didn't look like he had the confidence to talk his way out of a confrontation if someone did start one. I guess it's not my dog, though, but it wouldn't surprise me if he takes to wearing long sleeves if he starts spending a lot of time out of whitebread suburbia.