Let's See Some Hands!

As mystifying as their lack of fame is to me, Love & Rockets' relative obscurity has its advantages. For instance, their venues are clubs instead of stadia, and they visit suburbs such as Mesa instead of only cities with names people who live outside the state would recognize.

They last stopped in on March 20th 1999 at the Nile theater, a name which evokes images of the grand old movie palaces of yore, but which has been stripped down to a cement box with lousy acoustics. But I'm getting ahead of my self. Even from this distance I can read the question burning on your brains: What did you wear?

I selected my Emma Peel garb from Vol. 5, accented it with pewter jewelry fashioned in the shapes of bones, and of course really big hair. Partick was dressed quite he was at the Serious fashion show, in a black translucent button up shirt with big cuffs and brown vinyl pants. When we stopped at our sensational Aunt Karolyn's house (she was good enough to look after Sophia for the night), she asked if we were going to a Halloween concert, which was totally validating. Then she said we both looked very nice which undercut the outlaw appeal somewhat.

The crowd was quite diverse, from very ornate goths in bustiers and lace to a woman who had one of those rear ends that looks as if it had been applied with an ice cream scoop and who sported an unfortunate pair of white pants, a bright blue shirt, and hockey hair. Ms. Vep was all done up in vinyl like Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix. I'm pretty sure it was her--she didn't respond to the words "Woo hoo!" which would be typical.

The Orgy opened for L&R, and I thought they were fine, though Partick was dismissive because their sound is rooted in 80s techno rather than, like L&R, 70s glam. The singer did keep demanding, "LET'S SEE SOME HANDS!" which got a tich old, and insisted on addressing the crowd as "Phoenix." I had just enough civic pride to hiss, "Mesa" when he made the error, but harbor no illusions about having made an impression.

After an intermission, Love & Rockets took the stage, and in this uncertain world I'm always hppy to report that not only does L&R honor their original haircuts, they have retained enough hair to support them. They began their set with a few long, languorous selections from their latest album, Lift. Aurally this was a pleasure, but it failed to generate much excitement in the audience. Everybody was terribly civil, no stage diving or moshing, but on the other hand there was no impetus to surge toward the stage and make a lot of noise either. I didn't even try to breach the protective ring of boyfriends that always tries to keep me two rows away from the stage, it just seemed...impolite. Besides, I was shod in fairly tall pumps (the concert was supporting Lift, ha ha), so I had no problem seeing the band. At any rate, when L&R got around to playing their more lively songs they were too late to create a frenzy. They seemed a perturbed by this, and maybe that would account for the paucity of encores. But this is just a cavil in the face of a swell presentation of terrific music, at the conclusion of which I didn't feel as if I had been mugged.

But I am still irked by a non-band encounter that evening. At the end of the past few shows featuring Bauhaus alumni in their various permutations, the clean up teams would toss bits of paraphernalia to the crowd. This is why I have two of Daniel Ash's picks in my shrine. I was hoping to add a third, but the guy who was on that night just sneered at my request, and those of the other faithful that clustered around the stage. You would think from the look he gave us that L&R failed to budget for a few extra picks and we were way out of line even asking. A tiny girl next to me managed to climb up on the stage and retrieve one of Kevin Haskin's drumsticks, and Partick chided me for not having gotten to it first.

I was frantic for souvenirs. I didn't even have a ticket stub as I had made that transaction on-line. So I rushed over to the tee-shirt stand at the back of the hall and bought a couple of pins, a sticker, and a poster.

That'll show that bastard roadie.

(Written by Sharon C. McGovern)

From Vol. 6
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