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Hipville, USA

February 28, 2012

All my life, I’ve lived within two hours of New York City, but I have only been there four times. I’m kind of ashamed to admit it, and I feel like there’s no excuse for not getting up there more often. I know plenty of people who love Broadway, people who go to New York for the shopping, people who visit Times Square to see the ball drop every year, people who went to college there, people who got jobs there after college. Not me. I don’t want to be a homebody, but it’s just so easy.

Last Friday, I ventured to Brooklyn for the first time to see a concert. Williamsburg , Brooklyn, in fact (hipster capital of the USA). I always try to see my favorite bands play live, so when I heard that Parts & Labor were playing their 10 year anniversary/FINAL SHOW, I had to go.

I usually regret going to shows. Too much standing and crappy opening bands with loooong sets usually ruin it for me. Add to that driving more than two hours from Philly to New York and then needing to drive back afterwards, and paying more than $30 in tolls, and you have a pretty unfavorable concoction.

I wish I could say I had a more pleasant experience. It wasn’t all bad though. We left Philly around 4:30 and got into NYC past 7, pulled up to the venue, and heard some music in the building we were parked next to. Rolling down the windows, we found it was, in fact, Parts & Labor practicing their set…playing my favorite song even! Really cool! When the doors finally opened, it was announced that the tickets were sold out. I got mine online! Super cool. The venue (285 Kent Ave.) was awesome. I’ve always liked shows that took place in warehouse-y type spaces. The stage was decorated with the patchwork of colored squares that Parts & Labor are known for using, and from the ceiling hung a collage of debris (mostly “We Buy Houses” signs and the like) shaped into stalactites. Megacool.

But the show didn’t start til after 9. Lame. The two opening bands (Oneida and Neptune) took FOREVER to set up. I like Oneida, but live, they just played long, noisy and completely unnecessary drones. Would have been fine if we were sitting, and not standing there, packed in like sardines. So we went out to the car instead, and came back in a half an hour, feeling pretty refreshed. When Parts & Labor did finally go on, it was close to midnight, and it looked like they had every intention of playing all night. This is what I came to see.

There was an awesome energy in that band. Despite the late hour, everyone was really pumped. The opening song, “Fractured Skies,” was exactly what I wanted. There was a champagne toast from the band. The bottle was passed around the audience. There was a sweet horn section. Everything was perfect.

I desperately wish I had seen them play Philly last spring, because unfortunately, we only had the energy to stay for less than half of the set. It was after 1 AM and there was still a two hour drive ahead of us, not to mention a quick pit-stop for food. Plus, I had been feeling a bit sick all night. Sure there were things that could have made this show better, but I don’t regret going.

Question: Do Brooklyn shows always run til 2 or 3 in the AM? I know New York is the city that never sleeps, but really? While taking a stroll around outside looking for an ATM about 8:30 or so, it seemed like there were two or three shows on every block, each with a cluster of hipsters standing outside, smoking. Do they have jobs that require them to wake up early? Weren’t they sleepy? My boyfriend and I had put on our finest hipsterwear to be there, but I’m still not sure I could fit in.

On the way home, I almost fell asleep on the New Jersey Turnpike and killed us all. But I got to see (most of) Parts & Labor’s final show, so at least I would have died happy.


From → Music

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