The Walkmen @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Hearing your favorite band play your favorite songs from the outside of a venue is maddening. You can make out what you’re hearing just enough to drive you crazy and flash mean looks at the will call people even though it’s not their fault at all. Finally admitted, I caught the end of “The Rat:” – “When I used to go out, I would know everyone that I saw. Now I got out alone, if I go out at all.” So genius, as I get older, even more so. I danced and clapped my hands for a brief moment of joy, and then they were gone. The KOL fans were not really feeling it to the same degree, and I’m not sure they “got it”.
After the Walkmen finished, there was a brutal forty minute break between the bands. Which got me thinking: Why does it take so long for bands to set up? Couldn’t this time be better served by the opening band playing later, when people are actually at the venue? A rotating stage could solve all of these problems. The downtime obviously boosts liquor sales, and gives people a chance to shop for merch (KOL shirts were going for $40! $20 for an American Apparel shirt used to be the market).
Kings of Leon are quite the phenom. They are not moody enough for my tastes. I prefer the heaviness of the Walkmen, and I thought that the two made for strange tour mates, until I saw the common thread between the two. The Walkmen make music that reflects no specified time and KOL seem to be influenced by a more straight forward time in rock ‘n’ roll that existed in the 70s. Both bands seem to be a little out of place in the current indie soundscape but express themselves entirely differently. I will say that the guitar work by KOL was damn good. The entire Civic was up and dancing along, almost unbelievable how much people liked the band.