Archive for September 10th, 2012

The Captain Goes To Nite 1 Of #AUCW6

It’s been two and a half days and I still feel like I’m recovering from Nite 1 of An Under Cover Weekend 6.



Amaz-ing show. For real-zees  I was unable to attend Nite 2 on Saturday, so I will strictly be discussing Nite 1.  But there’s so much to discuss that I’m struggling with where to begin.  I guess it’s prolly best to begin where I left off on Friday.

Before the show began there was a palpable buzz throughout The Firebird over the blog that appeared earlier in the day.  It seemed that everyone there had managed to read the blog post, and the avalanche of comments, at some point on Friday.  I heard a myriad of opinions on the blog post, and all of them were well thought out and reasonable.  The majority two opinions I heard were some variation of:

1.  The two month black out before and after the show is just fine.  The bands put in too much work beforehand to play a show, and could generally use a break afterhand.

2.  There is no such thing as too much promotion for a locally produced show.

It was pretty incredible the amount of discussion that one blog post created.  But with so many past and current #AUCW bands in attendance, I guess it was to be expected.

About the only thing that I wasn’t expecting was the lack of media presence on Nite 1.  Beforehand I saw a couple of writers I recognized from I Went To A Show and KDHX, and I heard a writer from was in attendance.  But once the show started I was surprised to see only one print photographer by the stage, and one videographer holding a flip camera up front.  Eventually I noticed a stationary video camera in the back, but that was all I saw for the rest of the evening besides iPhones.

The lack of photo and video journalists was somewhat puzzling, and produced a bit of a conundrum for me.  Back on Friday I wrote that I was fine with the No Camera policy because I was sure that the event’s organizers would be documenting the event properly.  And yet here I was watching a great performance that was not being suitably recorded.  Seeing as I had my Flip Camera in my pocket, I now faced an unpleasant decision.  Did I let these inspiring performances go unrecorded or did I completely reverse on a public statement I had made earlier in the day?

During the first set, I decided to keep my camera in my pockets as Aquitaine rocketed through the hits of Oasis.  I was especially tempted to record their covers of Supersonic and Don’t Look Back In Anger.  Dead on.  At the very end of the set, the singer with the goofy Liam Gallagher wig asked the crowd (in a hilarious cockney accent) “Do you want to hear Champagne Supernova?”  I instinctively went for my camera as the crowd cheered, but fake Liam responded with “Well too bad, that song’s eight minutes long!” before tearing into Live Forever.  So I didn’t end up recording any of Aquitaine, which is a shame.

The next band to take the stage was Animal Empty as one of my all time favorite artists, PJ Harvey.  After missing the first band, I decided that I would record at least one song if this band was any good.  As it turns out, they were the highlight of the whole nite for me.  Animal Empty wisely chose songs from the first three albums by Polly Jean Harvey, and they absolutely owned every song they touched.  Lead singer Ali Ruby looked the part in an all red dress, and definitely had the singing chops and guitar prowess to channel PJ.  I love seeing a woman play the guitar.  The rest of the band brought the hard charging sounds of her early albums to life, especially bassist Aaron Cajilig.  The performance was amazing to behold, and I should know since I’m guessing I was probably one of the few superfans in attendance who saw PJ Harvey when she was last in St. Louis.

17 years ago PJ Harvey played Riverport when she was touring on her defining album, To Bring You My Love.  But she received little notice at the time, as the majority of the crowd was at Riverport to see the band Live.1 It killed me back in 1995 that so many people did not appreciate her amazing live performance, and on Friday nite I decided to not let this happen again.  I just had to break out my flip camera and record the set’s final song, Long Snake Moan.



As you can see, I made the right decision.  Granted, agreeing publically with a No Camera policy and then recording at a show that same evening makes me a huge hypocrite.  But then again, writing a blog makes me a member of the hypocrisy industry so who gives a shit.  And the strength of the next three sets really confirmed that my decision to record a song was correct.

Up third was HumDrum as Beck.  As much as I like Beck, I was secretly hoping the band stuck to only 90s tunes.  I was in luck because HumDrum cherry picked the best songs from Beck’s early albums and proceeded to nail them.  The inspired rendition of Debra caused the largest outbreak of dancing the whole evening.  I thought HumDrum were a close second to Animal Empty, and they were by far my sister’s favorite.  Here they are finishing up their set with Where It’s At



Earlier in the evening I had a funny conversation with the guys in Volcanoes while in the line for the bathroom2, and I had the feeling it would be a goofy set when they covered The Killers.  They played mostly songs off of Hot Fuss, and brought a snotty punk vibe that really  spiced up the material.  Drummer and Vocalist Eric Peters is a fun dude to watch perform.  Here they are closing out their set with All These Things That I’ve Done.


The final band of the evening was LucaBrasi.  They’re known locally for the harder contributions from two previous members of The Urge, so I wasn’t sure what to expect of their take on U2.  Surprisingly they played most of the material straight up with only hints of a harder edge.  It was an effective strategy as you can see here with their opener, Where The Streets Have No Name.



Perhaps the most pleasant surprise on Nite 1 was the excellent song selection by all five bands.   Most of the artists covered have large back catalogs with plenty of songs that may have fallen flat at #AUCW, but the bands managed only pick a few duds in 4 hours of music.  It was a very impressive evening that sold out The Firebird and left the 500+ in great spirits.  So how the hell is it that I can barely find a trace of the show online 72 hours later?!?

Granted, the Riverfront Times posted a short review online as did KDHX, but neither sent a photographer.  For some reason the RFT only sent a photographer for Nite 2.  So here it is three days later and that’s the all I’ve been able to find online about Nite 1.  I can’t find a picture of Will Hildebrandt from Aquitaine in his Liam Gallagher wig anywhere, which is a shame.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to amend my opinion on No Camera policies.  If the artist I’m seeing wants to post a No Camera policy then I’m fine with it.  But I don’t support blanket camera restrictions on local shows by the venue.  I know lots of local bands that are happy to have video taken by the crowd.  If anyone has a problem with something I post then I will gladly remove it.  So please enjoy these videos.  Or don’t.

But let’s get back to what it important:  Nite 1 of #AUCW6 was a smashing success in my book.  Please feel free to add anything I missed, or better yet post a link!









The Captain


1.  Veruca Salt opened the show and played a solid set, but the crowd was there to see the band Live sing Lightning Crashes.  I left two songs into their set.

2. I’m really trying hard not to complain about The Firebird anymore, but how the hell does a music venue that has a 500+ capacity and sells tallboys of PBR only have two toilets in the men’s room?!?

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