Monday, October 24, 2005

Down in Front, Part Deux

Last weekend, I went to a concert at the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco. I had been there once before, in the '80s.

There's an elevator, which you reach through a wire fence and a creepy alley. The elevator is tiny, and paneled in some weird fake blond wood. It was so slow that the movement between floors is almost imperceptible.

They have a few small cocktail tables set up along the wall opposite the bar. There's a padded bench for people accompanying crips or people who can't either sit on the floor or stand for 2-3 hours. We sat at one of these tiny tables.

The concert was at 8pm -- we got there at 7pm so that we could get something to eat. They have "pub food" -- it was good, but here's a tip: don't order the nachos if you think you might have to eat them in the dark.

As the venue slowly filled up, people were sitting down on the dance floor in front of the stage -- there were no seats of any kind. Upstairs (not accessible by the elevator) there were balcony seats where you could look down on the stage. This is where you would want to be, if you had the ability to get there.

When the concert started, everyone stood up. Fortunately, I had only paid $25.00 for my ticket.

This was a Dar Williams concert. Prior to this concert, my Dar Williams exposure consisted of listening to some of Dar's acoustic music on a CD that my friend had burned for me. Most of the music at this concert I would characterize as "rock", and the room didn't seem big enough to accommodate the volume of the electronic instruments.

The audience was almost entirely white, and I would guess the average age to be somewhere between 35-40. I found it ironic that most people were forced to stand throughout the whole concert. This was not a group that was rocking out and dancing -- they simply had no where to sit.

This audience was a group of people who are rocketing toward senior citizen status. That doesn't mean that they want to stop going to concerts, but they don't necessarily want to stand for 3 hours, nor do they want their ribs to be vibrating from the volume of the music.

If he was alive, the legendary Bill Graham would be a senior citizen. Don't concert promoters need to start thinking about providing different facilities/amenities, depending on the audience that's likely to attend each concert?

And no, I couldn't see a thing.

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