Matt Forney
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I’m Always Watching You Through a Keyhole

st vincentLast Saturday, I went to go see St. Vincent performing live in Buffalo and had a blast. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a real music act (as in a professional musician, not some crappy local band), and no matter how technology advances, there’s no substitute for seeing and hearing the songs live. It was almost hallucinogenic; between the music, the colored strobe lights, the fog machine, helping crowd-surf Annie herself (if only for a couple of seconds), screaming myself hoarse and moshing with five hundred some-odd indie kids, I almost felt like the ghost of Jim Morrison was going to appear and rapture us all to the afterlife.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have some suggestions that would have made the experience better.

To the knucklehead next to me who shouted out “marry me!” when St. Vincent came on stage: sack up.

Yeah, I’ll bet you thought you were being clever when you said that (since she has a song and an album called “Marry Me”). And so were the dozens of morons who came up with it before you. So not only are you uncreative, you’re a beta doofus to boot. No, Annie Clark is not going to sleep with you. Get over it already. I expect to see your story on Professor Mentu’s “Shame the Beta Month” soon.

To the Town Ballroom management: lower your freaking booze prices.

If overcharging for alcohol was sexual assault, you guys would be serial gang rapists. I know how your business model works; deliberately sell tickets as cheaply as possible, then jam the poor concert-goers when they go to the bar. It’s not working. I know it’s not working because only about a quarter of the people around me had drinks, and they can’t have all been underage, and I was right by the stage. Myself, I only had one beer because I don’t salivate at the prospect of going broke just to get a buzz. Drop the freaking booze prices. I don’t care if you have to double the cost of tickets, I’d rather pay more up front instead of having to stand around all night like some idiot teetotaler. And speaking of teetotalers…

To downtown Buffalo: what the hell is wrong with you?

I rolled into downtown around 4:30 in the afternoon and Main Street was completely deserted. I mean nobody, aside from a couple of Mormon missionaries on bikes, was around. There were exactly two open restaurants within a three block radius of the Ballroom, one of which was a TGI Friday’s. Granted, downtown Syracuse outside of Armory Square is a wasteland at night and on weekends, but downtown Syracuse doesn’t have a huge honkin’ light rail line in the middle of town. And the primary performance venues (Landmark, War Memorial, etc.) at least have restaurants and bars nearby. Lame.

Aside from all this, I had a kick-ass time. For a little taste of what it was like, here’s a recording of St. Vincent’s performance at Coachella last month. (Sorry, I can’t do anything about the ad breaks.) But nothing compares to the real thing.

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