Popular legend has it that in other regions of this US of A, folks stick around for the whole show. They hang out, make a night of it, drink themselves silly and maybe discover some new music. Needless to say, that shit don’t fly in New York.
The coolest guy in the room is the one who shows up right before the band goes on. That’s the dude with the inside track. He must know the band. He probably called them on that $400 cell phone and asked when they’d hit stage. They probably told him because he’s important. Wow, look at him stand there blank faced and look like he could give a rat’s ass. When I grow up that’s who I want to be.
And so forth.
The thing about a Manhattan crowd is a Manhattan crowd has seen everything, and if they were going to like your band, they’d already like your band by now. Expose them to something new? Good luck, man. They were into your band’s influences before you ever heard of them. That’s just how it goes in New York — at least for the most part.
I’m guilty too. I did the same thing this past Friday when I went to see Devil to Pay at Ace of Clubs — which is, by the way, the only club in Manhattan that still puts on underground heavy rock shows worth seeing and commendable for that. I was in there just as they got on, and when they left, so did I. No interest in seeing the next band, knew nothing about the acts on before, was content with that ignorance; just wanted to catch Devil to Pay and split.
So that was my experience. I was driving, so drinking was out. I’d eaten a cheeseburger at the Acme restaurant upstairs and was too full for beer anyway. Hey Devil to Pay, kick my ass and send me on my way. They’re not the best in the world at what they do, but they do it well enough that it was a good set, and that’s pretty much how it went.