24 December 2009

New England sojourn: Boston part 3a

so here is what you're all waiting for - my thoughts and feelings about the Friendly Fires / xx gig. I'm going to be as objective as I can about it...


Day 3 (4 December)

I had another glorious lie-in, knowing full well that I'd be up late that night and I'd also have to be up early Saturday morning to catch my flight back to the D.C. area (to cover the Big Pink at home Saturday night - gig review here). another check of my email - no joy there. I printed off my boarding pass, then went to go collect my wristband for the in-store. the clerk gave me the false impression that there weren't going to be too many people there for the performance. (terrible misconception.) I did some more shopping down Newbury Street (got some rad nail polish at Urban Outfitters) and walked a bit more along the adjoining streets. it's a whole lot more interesting than D.C., I can tell you that.

Trinity Church had been closed when I had passed by there in the morning, so later when I went back and I went in and took the self-guided tour. little creepy that the organist was practising as I was examining the stained glass windows. gave me chills, the wrong kind to have when you're touring an old church.

by the time I went back to the hotel at 2, I still had not made contact with whom I needed to for the evening. I tried not to let it worry me as I got dressed for making a good impression over the next 10+ hours, representing the blogs, representing D.C., and of course representing myself. figuring there wouldn't be much time between the in-store and the Paradise gig, Julie and I decided to have lunch/dinner at Trident Booksellers, and I'd just play things by ear and take them as they came. just as we were walking into the store my mobile rang, and I'm hearing on the other end, gruffly, that I'd been misinformed about having any interview with Friendly Fires in the first place and it'd be impossible because the boys were ill and that was that. was I upset? sure. who wouldn't be? I'd traveled all this way and had psyched myself up for what I figured would be a really great interview, considering how candid they'd been the first time I interviewed them in England. don't have all the details on what was going on behind the scenes, but yeah, it was disappointing to say the least. it just wasn't meant to be. oh well. that's how the music biz works sometimes. (my hero/friend Stuart Maconie a couple years ago had a scheduled interview with Morrissey at South by Southwest and got rebuffed, and he's interviewed Moz loads of times. so I don't feel that bad, especially if it happens even in the higher-up echelons of music journalism.) at least I had the in-store and gig that night...

the in-store. oh, I can laugh about it now, but feeling like my arms were going to freeze off in an ill-advised slip of a brown corduroy jacket was not funny at the time. we saw a bloke with a wristband in the cafe, typing away on his laptop, so when he packed up and left, I thought we'd have plenty of time. we got outside at about 1600 to see this huge queue already forming. a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. it didn't help that 1700, the time for the start of the in-store, came and went. we inquired why it was taking so long, and we were told the xx's equipment was late. not knowing what the queue situation would be like at the Paradise, I fought an internal battle as to when to cut our losses and leave for the other gig. finally, sometime after 1750 we were finally let in.

rather than rehash what I've already written, you can read, view photos, and watch video on my published posts at PW and TGTF:
PopWreckoning review
There Goes the Fear review

shortly before 1900 we headed back to Julie's car and we headed over to the Paradise. Julie didn't have a ticket and the gig was airtight, completely sold out. I'd been unable to get a ticket for myself as press (though I was v. lucky to be granted a photo pass so I could photograph without fuss during the gig). I'd purchased mine from the Live Nation Web site months prior to make sure I'd be able to get into the show, b/c I just knew it would sell out. Julie dropped me off outside and went to look for parking, and there was no one about except a local couple who was waiting impatiently for the club doors to open, and several other would-be punters who were looking for touts b/c they didn't have tickets either.

to be continued...

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