Today I flew into New York City on the first day of my trip East. I've been to New York many times and I always feel a rush as the plane approaches LaGuardia Airport. Coming in from the South, the flightpath looks like it will take me right over Manhattan. Just as it reaches the island though, the plane banks around to the West and then North, circling Manhattan and Queens, offering a overture of the streets I'll walk soon. I love NYC.
It took a bus and two subway transfers to get me to my friend Brad's office in Manhattan, and it was a pleasure. It reminds me again that I've got to move to a city with a good public transportation system. So much better than driving and parking. Dropped my bags off with Brad, ate a quick dinner, and then walked to the Hammerstein Ballroom to see Devo.
I've been a Devo fan for a long time and this was to be first time seeing them live. They didn't disappoint. Sure they were grayer and fatter, but damn they sounded great. There should be a setlist here soon.
I didn't take my camera as the venue and tickets make it perfectly clear that they weren't allowed. And then there were many people snapping away during the show. I hate when this happens. All I ask for is consistency. Anyway, this set of photos is from the show. After a few songs, Mark Mothersbaugh started ripping pieces of the radiation suits off his bandmates during a song. They then discarded them playing the rest of the show in these outfits.
I was pleased to see a mix of ages at the show. Devo-aged dorks, 30-ish dweebs, and collegiate geeks were all represented. Also, there were women. It leads me to think that Devo is safely ensconced in the canon, though I really wish the greater populace would know them for music beyond "Whip It".
After about 50 minutes of playing, their drummer Josh Freese somehow injured a finger on his left hand. I suspect he either jammed it or dislocated it given that his drum tech ran out and taped two fingers together. He gamely finished the song and one more before the band left the stage. After he was more thoroughly taped up, they returned for several more songs with Josh pulling a Rick Allen. What a trooper. I suspect the show was cut a little short due to his injury, but they finished well with "Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammy". For another take on the show, read this guy's account.
With a smile plastered across my face, I hustled over to Nowhere Bar for Runt. Hosted by David Yarritu and Stephen Merritt (Magnetic Fields, et al), it's an attempt, in Stephin's words, "to fetishize short people. And this is a particularly good place for it because the ceilings are so low." When you walk in, Stephin slaps a nametag on you pre-printed with your height.
Initially I was wary that I would be crashing the party as I'm 6' tall, but I was assured that everyone was welcome. I wasn't out of place at all. From the look of it, the average height was 5'8". Hung out for a bit chatting with friends and scored this t-shirt from Mr. Merritt:
I'll have to be careful where I wear that shirt. Although, considering that I was propositioned by female prostitutes twice on my way to Runt, I should probably start wearing similar shirts more often.
Technorati tags: Devo, Runt, hookers with impaired gaydar