Tuesday, June 22nd, 2004
I'm A Ghost
For the sake of brevity, let’s just say everything I wrote about Ted Leo back in March still holds. It was a little bit smaller and probably a little more sedate crowd to see him last night, but come on – it’s a Monday night. Cut us some slack. Thankfully, I don’t think it’s possible to dampen Ted’s spirits. He was in high spirits all night, chatting with the crowd between songs like an old friend, even though his gear was slowly self-destructing behind him. Last time it was his Echoplex that was cutting out – this time, his amp started giving up the ghost about halfway through the set and while he managed to keep it going, his tone deteriorated steadliy throughout and by the end of the encore the guit was sounding pretty crappy. Not that that affected the quality of the performance, of course. There was a hefty amount of new material in the set and I can say with some authority that Shake The Streets is going to be rocking even more than Dokken. Can’t wait till October for that one.
If I have any complaint, it’s the absence of any merch for sale. Alas, no Pharmacists t-shirt for me. Also, I applaud the lighting guy for managing to determine the exact combination of lights that would make the band nigh invisible to my camera. Seriously, I was standing not three feet in front of Ted, yet any flash-less photos just came out black. Amazing. I didn’t want to blind the guy from so close so I held off snapping any shots until he pulled back from the stage whilst soloing (which was a lot, thankfully). You can see last night’s shots here, or the ones from March here.
It’s officially A Ghost Is Born day today! Everything has a ghost theme. I myself and dressed in a white sheet and let me tell you, typing ain’t easy. Metacritic has compiled all the major reviews online (currently sitting at a 79%, which is actually about what I’d expect). Also, interviews/features/stories from MTV, The Associated Press, NPR (in audio!), Pitchfork and Stylus. And no, I don’t have the record yet. Will dash out after work and grab it.
The bad news for the day is that Lollapalooza has been cancelled. After my initial shock and disappointment passed, I can’t say I’m that surprised. The costs of assembling a huge lineup like they did can’t have been insignificant, and they may have overestimated the ability of the acts to draw the necessary crowds – in fact I questioned the financial viability of the festival from the get-go. Sure, it was an amazingly hip lineup but hipsters don’t generally have money. I will blame the Bush economy for this one. So my questions are:
1) How much of my money will I get back from Ticketmaster? If it’s just face value, I will be very unhappy since there ended up being about a 75% markup on the thing. Not that I can do anything about it but whinge.
2) Wilco has shows booked in Montreal and Ottawa on the two days preceding their originally scheduled Lolla date in Toronto on the 6th of August. Will they try to re-book? I mean, they’ll be in the neighbourhood and from what I can tell, none of the larger venues have announced any shows on that date yet. If there’s a silver lining to this, maybe it’d be that Wilco would do their own proper show rather than a festival date. Though missing out on The Flaming Lips sucks.
Rough Trade is releasing a nice little compilation featuring indiepop from yesterday and today and you can listen to a aural documentary about the story of Creation Records here.
My legs hurt.
np – various artists / Wig In A Box: Songs From and Inspired by Hedwig & The Angry Inch