We went to the John Hughes movie song covers show last night. Here's a roundup of what I thought.
First, I heard the show was going to be all covers, but it ended up being like two or three covers and two or three originals from every band. Eh, ok, but that didn't really put me in the '80s mood, and it looked like the same went for most of the crowd. I noticed maybe a third of everyone there (it was about half full) were dressed '80s, as recommended on the flyer. I couldn't bring myself to dress up on a weeknight.
So there was supposed to be a movie projector showing Hughes clips but apparently that broke, so other than part of the crowd, there was no visual element that tied into the theme of the show. Even the lighting rig at Exit/In was supposedly screwed up so everyone got to rock in the boring glow of full stage light. Bring some Xmas lights next time, Moon!!!
Here's the main thing that bugged me about the show—hey bands, why did you guys play your covers first, then finish with originals???
I think almost every band did this. It's like the Mitch Hedberg line about doing shows that goes something like this— "you can't be like pancakes— at first all excited about (the performer) then by the end you're sick of 'em." Next time break up the covers, or end with them. It just seems obvious. Most folks just passing through know the covers, not your songs. Not that anybody knew that you were doing covers because I'm pretty sure not one band said "this is X song and it's from X movie."
Which leads me to my next point for bands—hey guess what, it's OK to talk onstage between songs. Really, you can. Because you're ON STAGE. Really, you don't have to be so shy. It's sooooooooooo boring when you don't. I mean, don't ramble forever, but it's OK to say something unrehearsed. For example "Hey what do you guys think about this John Hughes thing?" or "This next cover is from Pretty in Pink, I saw that movie for the first time on the bus on my 8th grade Washington trip" or whatever, anything. ANYTHING. It seriously makes me want to die when bands act like they're just playing songs in the living room.
Which brings me to The Features. I love The Features. I just want SO BAD for (singer) Matt Pelham at a show to just say "hey will you guys dance to this next song." Their fans would go so fucking apeshit. Like the floor would cave in and people would cry with joy. But it never, ever happens. Just a "thanks" after songs and the occasional "stick around for the next band." Dude say it before you play it!
Back to the talking thing at the show. If you don't want to say anything on the mic, how about at least looking at the crowd once in awhile and not at the ground? Most of the people in bands last night looked at the ground. Part of being onstage is looking like you're supposed to be there. I don't get it.
Oh yeah is it me or did Turbo Fruits do zero covers and just play their regular set? If that's true that is so lame. Or maybe it's so lame I didn't recognize their covers.
Also, can we all get together sometime and figure out a way for keyboard players to not have to FACE THE WALL when they play?
Something else—like most people who showed up, I got the impression from the flyer the show was going to be "good times, party times." So why did so many bands pick downer covers, or more obscure covers for a show like that? Yeah Jesus and Mary Chain is great and all but from the looks of things people just wanted to hear "Pretty in Pink."
Speaking of the cov's, Turncoats hands down did the best of the night, and their "Twist and Shout" was probably the best performance of the whole evening. Although I'd recommend closing with a song like that instead of playing it third out of five songs. It's like, here's your birthday present, A ROLLS ROYCE! And oh yeah, I got you some nice sweaters too.
So pretty much overall I wanted more cut-loose party rock and roll times, but instead was served a semi-serious mix of originals and covers. It kind of felt like eating a hamburger with eggs and fish. It didn't really go together for me. And there were no pink candles ANYWHERE!!!
I like the States, but we had to bolt. Did anybody see them?