Friday, March 13, 2015
It was the Electric Six’s show the year before that I suddenly realized that my brother Dylan wasn’t with us. How did I blank on getting him to come to the show with us? It had been a Friday night and he was mobile enough to have been able to meet us for it. As it turned out, he was out of town that night, but it was still in my head to get him to come to the next E6 show with us. I don’t know why I thought that they might not do their annual tour stop in the area, but I still crossed fingers that they would do another one that we could get to. Of course they did another sweep through our local towns. The Roxy show would have been easier, but that was on a Thursday and the scheduling wouldn’t have worked. But there was a show in Orange County on Friday night, and that was fine. We’d never been to the Observatory before but we figured it was just another venue. We tried to find set-times, as is our habit before a show, but none were posted anywhere, so we assumed they wouldn’t go on before 10, cruised by their parking lot which was too chaotic to get in and out easily, and decided to go to dinner. We got to the venue around 8:30, plenty of time to kill so we figured we could just hang out, explore the place, see the opening band (Avan Lava?). At the front I thought I could hear the 6 playing but disregarded it. They couldn't have just gone on. They were in the Constellation Room, which is apparently the antechamber for the bigger hall but that just meant we could see them in a more intimate place, a room even smaller than the Roxy. Indeed, it was already hot and sweaty when we got in there, a lot hotter and sweatier than it should have been for so early in the set. Something wasn’t right. We were only able to cram into the back of the room, by the merch table. I leaned over and asked the merch guy what time they went on. He said they went on around 8, and that they were almost done. Indeed, they played a few more songs then left the stage before the encore. We’d missed pretty much the whole show. Apparently the place packs out the schedule each night, with an early show and a late one, in multiple rooms, but little care to publicize what is going on. What they played was great, as usual, and Dylan was polite enough to say he was satisfied with what he got. The show, in that hot, sweaty room even smaller and much more packed than the Roxy, could have been the kind of rollicking (early) night that could have risen above all the other great performances. But as it was, we got the short end. We hung around for a bit, just to get some kind of value out of what we paid, and ran into Percussion World, also a really nice guy, and I asked him if the band had ever played a wedding (which was a plan Carla & I (well, mostly me) considered for ours). The rest of the place was hosting punk shows or something with a bad enough vibe that even Dylan wanted to high-tail it out of there. Not posting set-times is just rude. The venue, both in the main room and the smaller one(s), host a lot of great bands that came through town, as an alternative to or in addition to L.A.-area shows, but having a non-traditional schedule along with not posting set-times is barely forgivable. We vowed not to go there again (even if the 6 were playing and Dylan was available).