Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Richard Cheese concert

Saturday saw the musical stylings of the illustrious Richard Cheese.

Ok. Saturday didn't see him, so much as Matt and Karen and Chris and I did. I'd hazard to say that we got more enjoyment out of his concert than Saturday would have, had Saturday been a person and not a day of the week.
----T'was my first visit to the Bowery Ballroom - a hell of a place to see a show, it turns out... Recommended by everyone I've talked to so far and truly, it had great sound, great stage vision and just generally, a great feel to the whole place.
----Richard Cheese himself was ON. as in on fire. not literally smart-ass, though I wouldn't have been surprised had he caught fire at some point. yeah. like I said... he was ON.
----He played a great selection of his best songs which the crowd went crazy for... why? because he was On. on what? right. On fire. good, you're listening.
----As with all things in my life, there's what's going on in front of me and then there's what's going on directly in front of that, distracting me, most often in a good way, from what's going on. During the concert, it was Conan Bob, Tina and WhyAmIHereFrank. What? Not their real names? good catch. you're getting good at this.... Although I think WhyAmIHereFrank's name really was Frank, but that's besides the point:
----So we're near the front, standing against the wall (my new favorite place to watch live music - the benefits of a wall to lean against and no one to back up into really shouldn't be underestimated) but the spot we're in is near the stairs leading downstairs to the bar & bathroom so there's a little bit of traffic passing by.. never enough to obscure the view of the stage though. Enter Conan Bob - named such for the fact that I thought he was Conan O'Brien at first glance. As in, tall, very.. 6'6" or 6'8"... same boxy Irish face, same smile... except that he was a good 10-15 yrs older than Conan. So OK, he's not Conan. Following him in was Tina. Again, her name was probably not Tina but she was TINY, as in... VERY... as in.. 4'6" to 4'8" tops. Conan Bob and Tina were together. Over the course of the next hour or so, as they stood sometimes frustratingly close to me, directly in front of me but not blocking my view (I was always able to look over Tina's head) I was able to determine that they were probably on a first date... or maybe a second. And that WhyAmIHereFrank was either a friend-type chaperone that Tina had brought along or he was some agreed upon friend that Conan Bob would bring to make Tina more comfortable about going out on this date to a show of a band she'd never seen or heard about. They all appear to have origins in Texas. or maybe Oklahoma. are there shit-kickers in Oklahoma? Ya? then ya. Oklahoma too.
----Tina and WhyAmIHereFrank know nothing of the Cheese. They look around and gauge the reaction of the audience.. watch for laughs, try to catch lyrics to make sense of why they're funny but having no reference to the pop songs Richard is covering, they dont know why it's funny. Frankly, (no, not WhyAmIHereFrankly) I'm not sure if Conan Bob knew why they were funny. That.. Enjoyably enough (for me) didn't seem to be too important to him. He laughed and hooted and looked to Tina and WhyAmIHereFrank for reaction and approval and sign that they were enjoying themselves, at least a fraction as much as he was trying to show that he did.
----Conan Bob has a catch phrase. Conan Bob shared this catch phrase. He shared it no less than.. let's say 100 times that evening. His catch phrase was "HAY-OHhhh!!!" as made popular by Ed McMahon on the Johnny Carson Show. He repeated and repeated and good god he repeated it whenever he made out a good chunk of lyrics... never really in time with some moment that would call for a reaction like that.. moreso to get Tina and WhyAmIHereFrank enthused. Which didn't seem to work with Frank. Tina, yes. Tina looked up (straight up) at Conan Bob with a huge smile, danced around a bit & generally seemed to be having a great time. I think she would have had a great time being with Conan Bob if they were standing in line at the supermarket so... well.. Richard Cheese cant be expected to make everyone's time better. Everyone-people like WhyAmIHereFrank. Man, that guy just would not loosen up.
----Another great thing for me to watch was how they had come and stood in what was, basically, the walkway that lead from the stairs to the back of the ballroom. It had formerly been an open walkway.. just enough room for people to walk in front of me and behind the people in front of me but... I guess in Texas, that is considered prime standing area. So they stood there. And of course had people jostling them, nudging, prodding, sometimes shoving them out of the way. Conan Bob acted the role of oversized shield for Tina, while WhyAmIHereFrank just made confused "sorry" looks and shuffled his portly form out of the way of concert goers & security alike. Like I said, they stayed in front of me for over an hour so I got to see a lot of great traffic jams.
----It's amazing what you can take in with just overhearing and split second glances at the people in front of you. I was, of course, watching Richard Cheese about 98.5% of the time and yet I took in this whole side-story being played out in front of me. God bless yee, freaky tall guy / short girl couples! and their friends who dont want to be where they are but get dragged along anyway!! HAY-OHhhhh!!!!

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