Posted by: Lance Vaughn | March 26, 2007

No Tickling or Tackling


Kristin and I went to the sold out Blue October concert at Stubb’s this weekend. We’ve been looking forward to this show since we last saw them in the Fall of 2005. As it turns out, they were recording a live CD, which made for a great — if controlled — performance, but we left a dash unfulfilled. Stubb’s is a 2200-capacity outdoor amphitheater with great ambiance, but we weren’t in the mood to fight the crowds. Instead, we moved around a lot trying to find a place where people weren’t talking. It seemed like we were the biggest fans there, cuz we just wanted to listen to the music and watch Justin sing, but everyone else was more interested in their own endless small talk and tomfoolery. No matter where we stood (and, at one point, we were pretty close to the stage), it was like we were in a bar and listening to a jukebox or something. Come on, people.

Consequently, it was tough to really get into it. I kept wishing they would put together more intimate concerts from time to time, where we could really get up close and personal. It’s not the band’s fault. I mean, Stubb’s is an intimate venue, right? Well, maybe not. I must be getting older, cuz I’m looking for a place to sit down and sip on a bottle of red wine while listening to the band and nothing but the band. No joke telling or half nelsons allowed. Yeh, I’m getting older. It’s official.

You know, it seems like bands could take steps to recognize that not all of their fans are the same. I mean, there were the five-year-olds propped on their fathers’ shoulders blocking our view. (Yes, it was an all ages show. Perhaps part of the problem?) Then, of course, the college kids who were punching each other in the arm and hitting on one another’s girlfriends… Tickling and tackling. I wonder if these people would be willing to pay more than $30 to see Blue October live? I’m thinking of an auction process where the bidding starts at $100. Or maybe $150? The higher your bid, the more likely you’ll be sitting up front. Yes, sitting. Think MTV Unplugged. Capacity 200. Followed by a full concert the next night, of course. Concerts 2.0. It’s like the “Demand” feature of Sonic Living meets eBay.

When we were hanging out by the merchandise booth, we noticed a shirt that had “5591” on the front. This intrigued me, of course, and a little searching helped me discover that Justin sometimes does some low-key acoustic shows highlighting various selections from the 500+ songs he has written. Now, THAT sounds perfect! Here’s a sample from a show he did over a year ago. I can’t seem to find any evidence of more recent or upcoming 5591 shows. From what I gather, these shows are mostly word-of-mouth and sell out quickly. No sign of any distribution or announcement list to join, and he’s not listed on JamBase, so that seems to confirm it. Hmm. Concerts 2.0. Perhaps I’m on to something.


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