Saturday, August 11, 2007

Minneapolitans do Brooklyn

On Thursday night, The Teenage Prayers, The Big Sleep, and The Hold Steady played a free concert in Prospect Park as part of the last weekend of the Celebrate Brooklyn series. We lucked out and it didn't rain. It drizzled or sprinkled periodically, but that actually was kind of pleasant, and it was nice and cool the whole time. I thought for sure the weather was going to be terrible as everyone was predicting because the B-52s were playing their annual free concert out at Coney Island at the same time as the Celebrate Brooklyn concert, and when I went to their concert last year, it was storming like crazy and pouring and my friend and I didn't have an umbrella. Although last year it was actually pretty hilarious because it started pouring just as the opening act started singing It's Raining Men, and she was like "Mother nature certainly has a sense of humor..." I thought maybe the B-52s playing at Coney Island was a curse or something, but apparently not since it didn't actually rain.

Anyway, back to the concert. The Teenage Prayers were up first. I liked them a lot. They're a good upbeat rock and roll band, who seemed like they were having fun. Joining them for about half the time were two girls in awesome dresses whom the lead singer kept referring to as "The Dancettes." One thing I thought was kind of interesting was that the lead singer rarely sang and played the guitar at the same time. I started to wonder if he even could, but then he did. I think my favorite number was a rock cover of a gospel song. I also loved that he introduced it by saying that because of the song's religious subject matter, it was probably going to alienate the entire audience. Oh, New Yorkers.

Next up was The Big Sleep. While I can respect their music, they had a lot less energy than The Teenage Prayers so I had trouble really staying interested. The guitar player has some crazy skills, but half the time his back was toward my side of the audience, so it wasn't all that interesting to watch. And I really wanted to go kick whoever was doing lights in the face because he seemed to think it was a really great idea to shine lights at the audience quite frequently. I couldn't see half the stage for a large portion of The Big Sleep because of one light shining directly into my eyes. So overall, I was not so entertained, despite the fact that I think they are talented. They just looked kind of disinterested. And if they're disinterested, I'm disinterested. Plus I feel like The Big Sleep is not such a good name for a band. Especially a semi-Metal band.

The headliner was The Hold Steady. Listening to their music, I was so sure they were from Minneapolis because I could've sworn I kept hearing references to the Twin Cities. But then when I looked them up, it said they were from Brooklyn, so I was very confused. However, I'm very proud of myself because I was right. They are from Minneapolis, but now they live in Brooklyn (just like me!). There's something about their sound that's distinctly Minnesotan too, though I can't pinpoint exactly what. It's like there's a certain retro-ish quality that I feel a lot of local Minneapolis bands have in common. It also made me happy hearing references to the Twin Cities (which there are tons of in their songs), as I've been finding myself feeling a little homesick lately and I'm not going home until the very end of August, which is still almost three weeks away. And for the encore, the lead singer came on wearing a Twins jersey (which was apparently a real jersey lent to him by Kent Hrbeck). So that was pretty neat. There were a surprising number of people from MN in the audience. Or, at the very least, a lot of people cheered when they asked if anyone in the audience was from MN... I suppose they could've just been excited. The Hold Steady was awesome though. So much energy, so much fun, so happy to be on stage performing. It really was exactly what I needed to tide me over until I can get home at the end of August (that or it just made me more homesick... I can't really decide). I would list crowd favorites, but there were so many (they had some very passionate fans at this concert).

I'm In Love Again [mp3] - The Teenage Prayers - "Everyone Thinks You're The Best" (iTunes unavailable).
You Can't Touch the Untouchable [mp3] - The Big Sleep - "Son of the Tiger (iTunes).
Stuck Between Stations [mp3] - The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America (iTunes).

Ok, that's all for today. Sorry my pictures suck even more than usual. I don't know why but as the night went on it just got worse and worse and I couldn't get a non-blurry picture. I need to buy a better camera... Tata dahlings.

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