Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Reviews of Bands lots of people think suck

Drivin'-n-cryin'/September 3/Georgia Theater
Oasis/September 27/HiFi Buys Amphitheater

I want to say there's a German term with 45 syllables that means "taking two entities that have nothing at all to do with one another and comparing them as if they're similar to prove a point that really doesn't mean anything." So here's the first attempt at a live review. Keep in mind that I have no musical expertise, I've done zero research on either band (so I don't know if the bassist used a particular string for dramatic effect or some shit), and I'm pretty much talking out of my ass all the time anyway.

I don't know if Drivin'-n-cryin' are in a form anything like the band I think I saw at the Six Flags Southern Star Amphitheater in '91, but I know that I'm not the same dude I was back then. I don't know if I like Oasis as much as I did in 1996, but I know I'm not the same dude I was back then.

Both bands played before smaller crowds than they probably expected, but neither crowd was all that small. In fact, the crowds in each probably deserve more credit than the bands.

When seeing a band one used to like a good amount, but hasn't heard much from lately, one either a) hopes they play the shit one likes and ignores the rest or b) one focuses on the music and takes the opportunity to hear the unfamiliar songs. I like to think of myself as trying to take the latter approach, but I know that I'm no different from the rest of the crowd, which it's easy to see take the former. You can see it in the semi-polite/semi-patronizing applause after a filler song is played and the way the roof explodes when a greatest hit gets played. The crowd at both shows fell into the former category.

And that attitude from the crowd usually affects the performance by the band. Should the band give the crowd what it wants, the hits, rather than the new album's tracks? Should the band play to the great middle or to the die hards?

They both played to the middle (odder for d-n-c, since I think they're at the die hard stage of the band projection). But how they did so is a little odder. Drivin'-n-cryin' teased the crowd, playing to its desires, with long intros to the known songs, extended solos and neverending endings. Oasis sort of mocked the crowd, asking what they'd want to hear.

Strange to say, I kind of respect Oasis' manner more. There's something just more rock about that not-give-a-fuck, here's what we're doing and like it or do something else. Plus, playing up the drama of a lead is about as annoying as it gets when it's from Kevin Kinney. Patronizing theatrics are in fact more grating than patronizing antagonism.

Attitude going in made a difference. Saw drivin'-n-cryin' after a day of drinking and a football game, when a friend bought tickets without asking if the rest of our group was even interested (and he didn't make the show). Wasn't fired up to be there, didn't stay more than an hour of their performance. Oasis: I worked a long day beforehand. Wasn't crazy fired up to be there.

I think I like Oasis' music a little more. I think I liked their performance a little more. I'd go to another Oasis show (probably for less $$$, though). Probably not drivin'-n-cryin'.