September 8, 2006

Wait for it…

Posted in concerts, music at 10:05 pm by berzerkeleyan

Last night I met up with . She was in town for MusicFestNW — three days of concerts spread throughout various Portland nightclubs. We went to the highlight of the festival: The Brian Jonestown Massacre, followed by The Dandy Warhols. I had never seen either live, so I was really looking forward to a great show.

After suffering through the standard opening act, TBJM came on and played their set. Given their reputation, I watched them very carefully. I was not only riveted by the music and musicianship of the band, but I was also watching the leader, Anton Newcombe. For those not in the know, he sort of, um, has a reputation for very public meltdowns. In the middle of concerts. So anytime he approached one of the other musicians, or bantered with the audience, I sort of cringed a bit, half-expecting him to go off on something or someone.

TBJM played for just over an hour. And they were really REALLY good. After the standard break between primary set and encore, they came out again and began playing the one song I had been waiting to hear: “Evergreen” from “Methodrone” (1995).

And then…

…and then…

…Anton Newcombe walked off the stage in a huff.

It wasn’t clear what set him off. Either his guitarist was out of tune, or his own guitar was. I was obviously disappointed that he left before finishing the full set. It only reminded me of how frustrated most fans get when reflecting on what could have been. TBJM could have been one of the biggest bands out there. Their music is catchy and timeless. Instead, they’re everyone’s favorite train wreck.

To a certain extent, I got the full TBJM treatment, warts and all. I got to see them play for just over an hour, then implode. So for entertainment’s sake, I got my money’s worth. And fortunately for , she’s seeing them again tonight in Seattle. Hopefully they make it through the entire show tonight.

The Dandy Warhols…oh yeah, them. We left after a few songs. They seemed to be mailing it in. Sadly, everyone else lapped it up.

No matter. I saw who I wanted to see.


  1. Christina said,

    Hey ! I never told you this – that standard opening act? In Seattle, that’s who I bummed a cigarette off of outside the Showbox. I had to make small talk with them. Brutal.

  2. Why was it brutal? Was their small talk as painful as their playing? :P

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