Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Music for Men - 1995: Best Show Starter of All Time

Been saying it forever to whoever would listen to me (which is nobody but I say it anyway):

The Single Greatest Start To A Show of All Time.

Nothing else comes close.

I remember it distinctly. I picked up my young, eager go-getter friend Nick from his day job as a floor salesman for Circuit City about two weeks before Christmas 1995 and we went to the old Black Cat in Washington, D.C. to see the Flaming Lips play.

They strung up what was said to be over a million Christmas light bulbs around the place: on the stage, on the ceiling, on the walls, everywhere but on the floor, and I'm sure they would have done that too if they were allowed to. So these Christmas lights were in front of us, above us, behind us, on the side of us... we were totally engulfed in them, all dark, none of them on.

Did I mention there was alcohol involved?

Then the band comes out and the drummer is playing these plinky keybooards, which leads to the understated vocals, then a gently soaring guitar and.... BOOOM! the song explodes and a million Christmas lights come on all around us.

Talk about a great memory. I remember my friend and I shaking in terror, our minds having been so completely blown. And we were whimpering "please, please, I can't take it. Get me out of this psychedelic pop snow globe."

But there was no getting out. Not for the next hour and 30 minutes.

The next day, young Nicholas put on his dress shirt, adjusted his tie and resumed his position working the floor at Circuit City.


In case you're wondering, this is number two:

Great user comment here for those who have never seen them live:

You'll laugh at them---along with the audience---UNTIL you realize how much A*S they're kicking. Cheap Trick wins them over, PDQ.

"Kid's stuff" - HA! You'll never know how great they were live unless you saw them with the original lineup. And if you did... you know.

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