Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Emiliana Torrini Concert - by Brad

Lindsey and I left the boys with my parents (thank you!) Monday afternoon and headed to Seattle for an Emiliana Torrini concert at The Crocodile. We aren't regular concert-goers, so we really didn't know what to expect. We got there early and had dinner at the pizzaria next door. We were there early enough to be some of the first people in the ticket line.

After we picked up our tickets, we stood in line waiting to get in. While we waited in a growing line, a drugged out rasta-type fellow was hitting up a captive audience for spare change. Not that I want to admit this, but as the man slowly and loudly worked his way down the line toward us, I was increasingly hoping the doors would open to let us in the building.

Pretty soon the man, shouting words I could not understand, came up to me and gave me a big hug. Hmm. He smelled like pot, and/or body odor, and/or... who knows what. While he was latched on to me, Lindsey says she saw him kiss the collar of my shirt. Although my first instinct was to shove the guy off me, he was so wasted that he probably would have hurt himself pretty bad. So as I awkwardly tried to weasel my way out of his man-hug, I heard him shout something about "rasta"-something, or "one love"-something and then he asked me for spare change. I replied that I didn't have any cash on me. This was the truth. I never carry cash anymore. Honestly, if I had any cash, I would have given it to him just to stop him from hugging me.

After I wrangled out of his grip, he turned his inebriated attention to Lindsey, said something like "sister" and apologized for something... maybe for hugging her husband. Although I allowed him to hug (and apparently kiss) me, I was not about to let him do the same to Lindsey. I blocked him from being able to reach Lindsey and luckily he didn't make a move on her. Rather, he held out his hand and asked for change again. As he stared at the ground, I think he fell asleep, or passed out or something. There was silence for about 60 seconds as I stood there not quite knowing what to do with this catatonic transient standing next to me. He eventually snapped out of his trance, and once more I said, "Sorry man, I don't have any change on me, good luck." As soon as he moved onto the next person in line, the doors opened and we headed in.

The concert itself was pretty good. We were the fifth and sixth people into The Crocodile, so we headed straight to the balcony and grabbed one of the few tables in the whole place. The view from the balcony was great, but apparently the sound quality was much better from the floor. The first performer was Anya Marina, who simply played guitar and used an iPod Nano as her backup drums. At first we felt bad for her because everyone lifelessly stared at her through her first song. However, after that, she really worked the crowd, and a couple songs in everyone was laughing at her jokes about having to use her nano in place of a band and enjoying her music.

Emiliana Torrini was the reason we went there. She is an Icelandic folk/pop singer. It turns out that her voice is as good in concert as it is recorded and her band was very creative. Maybe I haven't paid much attention before, but I had never seen a drummer use a violin bow on his cymbals. On certain songs he would play the edge of the cymbal like a violin and when he released, it would make a ringing bell sound. Emiliana's presence between songs comes across as insecure and nervous, but she appears to be a perfectionist and led the tempo on every song.

Our hotel was on the other side of the block from the venue. When we got there around midnight, there were three police officers unsuccessfully trying to get into the hotel for an unknown reason. Nobody was at the front desk and the only way to get into the hotel at night was to use a hotel key. So we let the police officers in, and they searched the lobby to find someone to talk to. We still aren't sure why they were there.

It was a great concert in a questionable part of town.


Peaby said...

dude...great story telling. Next time I see you I'm going to hug you and kiss your collar. Make sure you have some cash, or I won't let go!

Brazenlilly said...

Aside from the eventful affection from a semi-conscious rastifarian (word?), that sounds like a great date night! That little venue sounds super cool. Hmm...I'm wondering if I've gone anywhere that supercool lately. You've inspired me. Glad you guys had fun!