My perspective on shows is a little funny. Beforehand, I rarely pay attention to who the bands will be or what theme, if any, had brought them together. And since I spend most of the night surveying the crowd for empty glasses and thirsty patrons, I rarely watch the show. I listen and absorb, filtering all of it through how much the crowd drank, what the vibe was, etc.
So when I realized that Friday night was the first of the two Psych Fest shows, I laughed. Aha! So that’s why crowd was closer to hippy than hipster on the cool-kids scale.
There were certainly some visually interesting things going on up on stage, but I missed most of it — I noticed, instead, how strangely beautiful some of the more drawn out, loud, wild songs by Plastic Crimewave were, and that the little schoolroom projector with liquid sliding around on it was making some great light play out on the customers’ heads (and occasionally making it hard for me to see), and that someone had twisted toilet paper up and around a ceiling fan, much to the crowd’s delight.
All in all, despite the mild awkwardness of busting up crowds who got a little too into the psychedelic aspects of the show, or having to tell the gentleman who was really into the fan that, no, repeatedly yanking on those twisted streams of TP was not a good idea, unless you wanted that dusty old hunk of wood and metal to come swinging down on top of the crowd — despite all that, the show itself was great. Immensely enjoyable music, a happy crowd, and (huzzah!) a high ratio of good tippers.
Monday I’ll be back to the much calmer Robbie Fulks show, which will draw a crowd so different from Psych Fest that it’ll undoubtedly feel like I’m working at a different bar, and Tuesday I look forward with great anticipation to the play we’re hosting all month.
This week reminds me how lucky I am to work someplace where within the span of seven days, I can freak out with hippy-hipsters, calm down with the folk set, pay close attention to well-written script work, and close my eyes while experimental jazz inspires odd stream-of-consciousness daydreams. Guess that’s why I have such a hard time explaining what kind of shows we have here. Maybe I should just say “all of them” from now on. That about sums it up.