Posts tagged ‘London’

What I learned in 100 Days

May 5th, 2009

Here goes: the last and final “What I learned…” post. But this time, for the whole 100 days.

This is the most exciting time in music that I’ve ever experienced
And I grew with Motley Crue, Guns ‘n Roses, R.E.M. Metallica, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, U2, Public Enemy, N.W.A., Run DMC, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. These are all legendary, amazing bands. But I’m telling you – right now this is the most exciting time in music. At least for my generation and those younger than me. Here’s why.

The old music model is broken, but that’s okay: the power has shifted to the artist. The Internet is killing majors, but fuck majors. You don’t need them. But bands need you, now more than ever. Bands may not make any money selling records, but they never did anyways. Fans have the power to keep music alive by simply going to see live music, buying merchandise (and yes, records) directly from bands. This has never been more true than ever before. Fans have direct access to more music than any other time in music.

Some might say there’s no quality control anymore. But fuck that. You are the quality controller. You decide. Any band that has access to a computer can record a song, put it on the Internet and let the people decide if it’s any good or not. That’s exciting because there’s more of it, and you can decide what’s worth your time.

Not only that, but look at the music itself. Take the genre of “indie rock” for example. Listen, I hate genre monikers like this (remember “alternative rock”?) but it’s exciting when one “genre” can be as diverse as to include bands like Belle & Sebastian, Matt and Kim, Sufjan Stevens, Feist and Blitzen Trapper, alongside Animal Collective, N.E.R.D., Kings of Leon, The Avett Brothers, Of Montreal, Bell Orchestre, Black Lips, Wolff, and Wilco.

The ’60s sounded like revolution. The ’70s sounded like rock and disco. The ’80s sounded like pop, new wave, DIY and glam. And the ’90s sounded like grunge and hip hop. So what does the ’00s sound like? All of the above and them some. And that’s pretty damn exciting

People like to see other people do things they couldn’t imagine themselves doing
People remained curious about this project from beginning to end. At first, I think they wanted to know about the music. Later when they asked me, “How’s the project coming?” I think what they really meant was, “How the hell are you still awake or alive or sane?

People like being a part of something
This goes for all the friends who joined me on the journey, the musicians, PR contacts, managers, etc who I met, plus the random people who emailed me and generous people who sent donations. When I started out, I hoped a lot of my friends would go to some shows with me, but I figured I’d do most of it alone. Boy was I wrong. Friends came out of the woodwork for this, and it was awesome.

I also tried to meet as many musicians as I could. I would approach them after their set to tell them what I was doing. About 98% of the time the response was really great. A few musicians blew me off, but fuck them. They were too self-involved anyhow, so who cares. I got to meet some great people. And they were as happy to be a part of it as I was to be doing it. See The Wrens entry for an example of how happy.

As you know I also took donations. These were not only a way to help me get through the 100 days, but for everyone to get involved and feel apart of the 100 days. Some were as small as $1, some got as big as $200 or $250, but I appreciated them all equally.

Finally, I was fortunate enough to get on a lot of guest lists. Sometimes that was a result of me unabashedly requesting it, but more often than not they were offered up by different contacts I made, or people who contacted me along the way. The generosity of PR folks, band members, band managers, label people and so on was helpful, humbling and appreciated.

The band (almost always) starts an hour after the venue says they will
Keep this in mind if you’re going to see a show in NYC, at the Bowery or Mercury for example. If they say the band goes on at 8pm, they actually go on around 9pm – or later. This is just how it is, at least in NY. Why? Alcohol.

Venues want to get you in and sell you as many overpriced drinks as they can before you notice that you’re waiting for the band to start. And they’ve gotten pretty good at timing it out. Which meant I got pretty good at timing when I needed to show up. Unless I wanted to see the opening bad, then I was screwed.

But, there are a few exceptions:

The “Early show”
These is the show before the show that’s scheduled to bring in the real crowd that night. The doors for these shows are usually at 6:30pm or 7:00pm, and the bands tend to start 30 minutes after they say they will.

Europe
Shows start on time in Europe. I learned this one the hard way when I missed Ben Lee at La Fleche d’Or. But it wasn’t just France. Shows in England started at or near the listed time, too. Just a word to the wise if you’re gonna see a show in Europe.

Random, unforeseen bullshit
You show up hoping to see the band that starts at 10pm only to find out that they pulled out and aren’t playing. Or their timeslot got swapped with the band at 9pm. Or the band that was supposed to play at 8pm didn’t show up, and so each band got bumped up an hour. All of these happened to me, and it pissed me off, but what can you do?

Beer is only as good as the tap it comes out of
I drank a lot of beer over 100 days, which is why I’m not drinking any for another month or two. But I didn’t do this for me. I did it for you, the readers. Ok, that’s what I tell myself. But either way, I did it, and now I’m here to report back.

Here is your guide to the best/worst beer taps in NYC: (from worst to best)

Mercury Lounge: Shitty
The PBR is the worst, but it’s also the cheapest, which makes it tempting. Don’t do it. It tastes and smells terrible. The Bud Light is ok, but I would step it up if you’re at the Merc.

Bowery Ballroom: Just ok
Stella isn’t bad here, but can be a bit average, and lose some of the sweetness it should have. And it’s $7, which is bullshit, so they should clean the taps and figure a way of making it worth the price.

Webster Hall: Not bad
Plastic cups suck, but the beer wasn’t bad.

Pianos: Pretty Good
I drank mostly PBR cans at Pianos, but the times that I drank from the tap, I got a Stella and it was pretty decent – mostly because it comes in a glass, not a plastic cup.

The Bell House: Good
Didn’t really drink too much from the tap here, the cans are too cheap ($4), but the one time I did, it was good.

Cake Shop: Good
The music room may be a dive, but the tap beer is good.

Rockwood Music Hall: Good
Pretty decent, but I’d suggest getting a glass of wine instead. They pour them pretty deep.

Music Hall of Williamsburg: Very good
Probably because it’s new, but all the beer I drank here was good.

Le Poisson Rouge: Very good
I hate the stupid mandatory 20% tip if you use your card at LPR, but it’s a new enough venue that the beers come out of the tap tasting delicious.

Joe’s Pub: Excellent
It’s a nicer and more expensive venue, so naturally, they care about their bar.

Going to shows alone isn’t as bad as it seems
Before this project, I would go see a band alone, but not that often. And I’d feel sorry for myself, and hate that I didn’t have anyone to talk to, and waaaaahh waaaaahh waaaaahh… Then I realized, seeing a band can be like seeing a movie. Once it begins, being alone is fine. You shouldn’t be talking during the music anyhow. Granted, some bands are a lot more fun to see with friends. But don’t let the fact that no one else wants to go keep you from going. Just go.

Get to know unknown bands
It’s only natural to want to blow off bands you’ve never heard of before. You’ve never heard them, so why would you care? That is, unless you need to see music every single night, like I did. And sometimes there’s a night where you don’t know who to see, so you have to pick a band at random – as I did. And you know what you’d find out? It’s worth taking chances on unknown bands.

Music will never cease to amaze me
The fact that I can find live music in downtown Hartford, CT on a random Monday night amazes me. How I can still see Les Paul, the 93-year old man who invented the solid body electric guitar, every Monday night, have him flick me off for a picture and meet him afterwards amazes me. The fact that I can be asked on stage to perform with a band that’s been together for over 20 years, to a sold out crowd in NYC amazes me. And the fact that I can see 100 consecutive days of live music and still love music amazes me.

Thanks for reading. Now do yourself a favor and go buy a ticket to see a band, right now.

4/4/09: Sindhu & Indu Pathmabaskaran, et. al. @ Southbank Centre, London (72/100)

April 5th, 2009

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I have to admit, I was a bit worried about seeing music today. My flight was at 4pm, which means I had to be at the airport at 2pm, which meant I had to leave by 1pm – not leaving a whole lot of time for music in the morning. I scoured the Internet looking for something. That is, after complaining all week about how worried I was about finding something for Saturday. I checked out Time Out-London and on the very last page of the music listings for Saturday, April 4th – the Darbar International South Asian Music Festival came to the rescue.

I jumped on the Bakerloo tube, got off at Embankment, and walked the footbridge over the Thames…“Look kids…Big Ben…Parliament” behind me, the London Eye up ahead. But I didn’t have time to take pictures. I was already running a bit late.

Southbank Centre was just ahead of me, across the bridge. I made it to the Purcell Room, picked up my ticket at will call, and was in my seat with one minute to spare. The place was pretty empty when the emcee welcomed everyone to day 2 of the Festival. Yes, a music festival that begins at 10am – pretty foreign to be, but there I was, sitting amongst a crowd of women in vibrant saris, men in turbans, and of course, western-dressed Indian men and women, as well.

I was loving it. I went to India few years ago for the first time – hopefully not the last. I spent 10 days traveling mostly around Rajasthan, and was blown away. It’s a magical place. A country that will always amaze me. That’s not to say I’m such a huge fan of Indian music that I rock it in my iPod. But I was glad to be taking in some traditional Indian music today. Even if I was anxious about the flight I had to catch and packing I hadn’t done yet.

Ashwini Bhide was the headliner, but before her was a pair of Carnatic vocalists, and other UK-based musicians. Carnatic music is a style of music native to Southern India. I’m not sure how it differs from other forms of Indian music to be honest. But it sounded great nonetheless. The sisters were joined by Kiruthika Nadarajah on violin, Aravindhan Baheerathan on flute, Senthuran Premakumar on mridangam and Dharmesh Parmar on tabla. Each of them were incredibly skillful in their own right, and they sounded great as a group.

It’s hard to comment much further on the music since the entire hour had very few pauses. It sounded like one long song with 50 different movements. At the risk of sounding like an ignorant asshole, I won’t say they all sounded the same. But they were pretty close, for me. Plus, there was a constant drone in the background that never stopped – making it easier to feel like it was one long piece.

They played for almost precisely an hour, during which the last 15 minutes or so, I was going nuts. Pleading for them to wrap it up – in my head, of course. Not nearly as anxious as the day I saw the ZigZag Quartet when I flew to London – but pretty close. Like the end of every vacation, I thought “I don’t fly until 4pm. I’ve got all day.” But as we all know, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Au Revoir, France.

Ta ta, London.

What up, NYC. What did I miss?

4/2/09: Dirty Projectors @ Scala, London (70/100)

April 3rd, 2009

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Happy Birthday to me. What a great way to spend my 33rd, in two countries. The first half of the day in Paris, walking around the Montmartre district with Sunshine, taking in the views of Paris up at the Basilica du Sacre-Coeur. Then back to London in time to throw back pints in the Clerkenwell neighborhood, and pop over for a sold out Dirty Projectors show at Scala.

Sunshine and I had half a day left in Paris in the morning. Our train wasn’t until 3pm, so we got up early and rushed out to Montmartre to climb steep staircases like this:

Which meant I could reward myself with a delicious crepe, like this:

Oh, and we got views like this:

Basically we squeezed as much out of Paris as we could, then got on the train and were back in London by the evening. It’s so weird/awesome how quickly you can go between two completely different countries. Just a few hours before, I was trying to figure out in my head how to communicate without speaking the language, then I was back in a place where the only real language difference is my accent.

We got back, threw down our bag, changed clothes, and headed out to The Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell. Sunshine’s friend Tobi was celebrating her birthday as well, so we tagged my birthday drinks onto hers. Sunshine’s friends Russell and Tijs joined us for drinks and treated us to pizza for my birthday (thanks Tijs), before heading to Scala for the show.

We arrived just as Dirty Projects went on stage. Another super packed, sold out show The venue seems like an old theater that was a bit of a maze to navigate. But a cool spot nonetheless. We found our way to the balcony, stepped on about a million people’s feet (at least, I did), and finally battled our way down to the left side of the stage. I could see ok from where we were, but wasn’t satisfied. So I do the really pleasant rock show thing and pushed my way up to the front. Which was easier than you’d think at a sold out show. Then I realize why.

I was standing directly in front of the enormous house speakers. These things were so huge I could actually feel the air released from every beat of the bassdrum. Thankfully I had my heavy duty earphones in (at least, I hope they’re heavy duty).I snapped off some shots, then headed back to an audibly safe distance.

Dirty Projectors are the brainchild of Dave Longstreth, “a former student of music composition at Yale University who left his studies to pursue a full-time career in music.” — according to Wikipedia. (I didn’t feel like rephrasing that). Longstreth is the conductor, and performing the music with him are three women, and two other men. If you’ve never heard them, I can see them being hard to get. They’re a bit avant-garde. And, despite that they’re a 6-piece, their sound is pretty sparse. They don’t follow traditional song structures, and there aren’t “normal” melodies – but they definitely have their own sound.

Here’s a taste:


I knew what to expect, so I was excited. I wouldn’t say they are my favorite band, but I like them. I appreciate how different they are, and find it refreshing. The crowd was loving every second – calling out requests. It’s not a show you dance to or mosh to or anything like that, but you can definitely see and feel the connection with the audience.

They played till right up to 11pm, came out for a one song encore, and that was that (I’m still surprised at how punctual each of the shows have been in London). Sunshine and I somehow found our way through the maze of stairs at Scala, headed toward the tube, and called it a night. All in all, not a bad way to grow one day older.

3/30/09: Orkestra del Sol @ Cargo, London (67/100)

March 31st, 2009

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Imagine you’re wandering through Eastern Europe. You stumble into an alleyway, pop into a bar below an underpass and come across a bizarre, 10-piece brass street carnival band. Then you’ll start to understand what Orkestra del Sol @ Cargo was like. Except in an alleyway on Rivington Street in East London, not Eastern Europe.

Yes, I came all the way to London, just to see a band play off a street named Rivington. But trust me, Cargo is way cooler than the LES spots in NYC. Sorry Pianos and Cake Shop, but it’s true.

Sunshine and I got off the tube at Liverpool Street, a stop I knew well from  the couple weeks I spent working in the London office of the company I work for. We caught a quick bus up Shoreditch High Street and jumped off just before Rivington. She used to work at an office around the corner from the venue, and knew the neighborhood well. It’s a pretty great area of town – very EV meets LES, but with an edge to it, still. Unlike said NYC neighborhoods.

Walking into the venue, I’m already excited for tonight’s show. Checking out the Cargo’s digs made me glad I decided to see this show. Cargo is a restaurant, bar and music venue. It’s very dark and cavernous, and there’s an enormous outside patio area with tables, chairs, benches, a foosball table and Shepard Fairey posters lining the inside fence.

Truthfully, I’d just picked this show at random. I heard Cargo was a good spot, checked out the site, saw this band was playing,  and from what I’d seen on Orkestra del Sol’s website, they look to be great performers. Plus, this is a style of music I haven’t seen anything even close to yet.

I’m not sure how best to describe theri style. Hmm…I guess they’re a polka-carnival-circus-swing-ragtime-jazz-big band-brass-gypsy type band who at times can sound like “a klezmer band on crack,” as Sunshine put it. To which I nodded in agreement, waited a beat, then asked “What’s a klezmer band?” She rolled her eyes and then showed me later on her iPhone.

Whatever the hell they are, Orkestra del Sol might be the most fun I’ve have at a show in a while. Seriously, if you just want to jump around, clap your hands, dance the polka, even the waltz, smile, laugh and act a fool, go see this band. Go alone. Go with friends. Doesn’t matter. Just go.

Here’s what you’ll get:

A 10-piece band playing the accordion, fiddle, alto sax, tenor sax, clarinet, percussion and sousaphone.

One of the bandleaders in a turban, the other in a fedora (along with most of the rest of the band).

Lots of polka.

A “windup fiddler” routine – meaning, the fiddler stands in the crowd as one of the percussionists “winds him up.” Then, he plays a whole song in the crowd, walking in a straight line until people in the audience change his path. (Yes, I moved him from one way to the other, had to get involved)

A fiddler vs. sousaphone showdown .

Solos from nearly every member.

This…


And basically an inability to resist dancing around and jumping up and down like a fool.

At least, that’s what happened to me. I suggest you do the same.

3/29/09: Pete Doherty @ Troxy, London (66/100)

March 30th, 2009

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This show made me realize how good I’ve had it the last 65 days. The majority of the shows I’ve seen have been at venues within a 10-15 minute walk from my apartment. This show, not so close. We’re talking: Queen’s Park stop on the Bakerloo, change at Oxford Circus to the Central, change at Bank to the DLR, get out at Limehouse, walk about 5 blocks to the club. About an hour trip. Not nearly as bad as it sounds, but keep in mind, it was a Sunday night.

We got to the newly renovated Troxy, located in a rough-around-the-edges East End neighborhood, around 9:15pm. From the beginning, Sunshine didn’t seem to jazzed about going to this show. She’s not a huge fan of Pete Doherty. Neither are any of her friends as it turns out. I think the mere idea of him disgusts a lot of Britons.

But not me. I used to love The Libertines and never got a chance to see them. I know this won’t be the same thing, and I don’t know how much I even love his solo record, but it’s still Pete Doherty in London. Plus, there are just so few rock stars left anymore. Think about it: Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Sid Vicious, Kurt Cobain (reluctantly), Layne Staley, Keith Richards (somehow still alive). The list could go on, but only looking back. Everyone is so safe and indie and precious these days. No one’s hanging off a bridge by a finger nail anymore. Includes Doherty, at least not for the time being. We’ll see how long that lasts. Especially when the stigma is kept alive by selling these FUCK FOREVER t-shirts at the show for example.

Things kicked off tonight withjust Pete and an acoustic guitar. The crowd hung onto and sung along with every word. After a few songs, a band filled out the stage. I didn’t pay too close attention during the Babyshambles era, I am more of a Libertines guy. So I didn’t know too many songs, to be honest. But it didn’t matter. They sounded great, and the crowd was loving it.

Security was really tight, as you can imagine it would be at a show of a “former” heroine abuser/crackhead. The funniest moment was probably watching two young girls run under a roped off area towards a stairwell, only to have security dart after them a minute later. “Maybe they were trying to find somewhere to shoot up,” I said . Then the girls got hustled back into the venue by security, and Sunshine said, “With that kind of outfit, they were trying to get backstage.” It was a 14+ show. There are too many things wrong with that.

Pete was joined on stage not only by his touring band members (including former Babyshambles members), but also a small string section and keyboard players – all dressed in matching black suits with white shirts and skinny black ties. “They all look like Mark Ronson,” Sunshine thought.

Later on in the show, a guy named Stevie, dressed in full Native American attire complete with feathered headdress, came on stage and Pete sang him “Happy Birthday.” Eeven later Lee Mavers of The La’s came out and played one song, “Son of a Gun,” with Pete and the band. That was great, but I kinda wished that one song would’ve been “Timeless Melody.” Oh well.

The show was surprisingly good (even turning Sunshine into a believer), and the crowd was tamer than one might expect, save for those who throw full cups of beer or water into the air randomly. I noticed this at the Lily Allen show as well, must be a UK thing. When the show was nearing an end, Sunshine and I got a jump on the crowd and scooted toward to the door. Once Pete finished, we made a mad dash for the DLR, preparing for another hour long ride back to Queen’s Park.

3/28/09: Animal Kingdom & Dutch Uncles @ Notting Hill Arts Club, London (65/100)

March 29th, 2009

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Nothing wrong with a little free, Saturday afternoon indie rock at the Notting Hill Arts Club. By the name you might think this would be fancy club, but it’s not. It’s a dark and dingy, underground indie rock club with rundown bar, tables and booths, £5 Tropical Martinis and £ 2.3 house/mystery beers. Mystery meaning you’ll get something you’ve never heard of, and aren’t sure what that is until you get it. The stage is tiny, and has 60s era PA speakers hang in front, blocking the view of half the band. NHAC is DIY in the UK. My kind of place.

Every Saturday is a free Rough Trade show at NHAC, featuring rising local/UK bands. This week it was called the Clash Saturday Social, and co-hosted by Clash Magazine. We could only stay for the first two of three bands: Animal Kingdom, Dutch Uncles and It Hugs Back. Neither all that impressive, to be honest.

Animal Kingdom was a bit of a generic, UK-sounded band, ala Coldplay or U2 – but without the songwriting (and I hate Coldplay). They were all reverb and delay, keys and brooding vocals. And they continued what is becoming an indie rock cliché (I think): multiple members playing multiple instruments, in this case guitar, keys and glockenspiel.

I’m not trying to be critical just to be critical, Animal Kingdom wasn’t the worst band I’ve ever seen. But truthfully, the most impressive thing they did was getting all five of them on that tiny little stage. Plus, they had an animal named band. Not only that, they tried to own the entire kingdom of animal band names.

After they finished, the room cleared out as they broke down their gear. Sunshine finished her Tropical Martini, which she pretended to like, but tasted pretty much like pineapple juice. I grabbed another mysetery beer which didn’t taste like much of anything.

As I stood there, I noticed that in this young crowd, out of roughly 50 people, there were exactly four dudes with beards (including me). That’s 8% of the crowd – a percentage that would be unheard of back home. I guess NYC music fans are the only ones still hanging onto this trend. Again, yours truly included.

Then Dutch Uncles was on stage and ready to go. The first, most noticeable thing is their “style.” A bit pretentious, and obvious attempt at irony. The eccentric lead singer in his shirt that looks like a Bill Cosby sweater, but it’s a shirt, and it’s silk. The guitar player in his super tight oxford shirt and slacks. Very anti-rock ‘n roll.

They were also anti-genre, too apparently. Rather than try and sound like other bands from Manchester like The Fall or The Smiths or Joy Division – they just decided to sound like all of them, all at the same time. That’s the biggest knock on these guys: lack of focus. They could’ve easily been a dance rock band if they wanted to (ala Franz Ferdinand) – but would need better songs. Or a punk rock band, ala MC5, if they’d just decided to. Instead they want to do everything, all at once. Not realizing where their good bits are and throwing out the bad. Just don’t be fooled by the single “Steady Cam” on their myspace page.

And if you find yourself at the Notting Hill Arts Club, don’t be fooled by the tropical martini, either. Go for the mystery beer, instead.

3/27/09: Lily Allen @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London (64/100)

March 28th, 2009

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I see London. Soon I’ll see France. Right I now see my underpants, and socks and button down shirts – and every other piece of clothing that I own in my bag that was grossly over packed for an 8-day trip. So much so that my luggage actually busted open en route. Which I noticed when I got to baggage claim and saw it wide open on the carousel, with my clothes thrown back into it in a heap.

Welcome to London, mate

I made it to Sunshine’s flat around noon, took a quick nap, was up at 4:30pm and was ready to head to tonight’s show around 6:30pm. But first, Sunshine uttered words I never thought I’d hear, “Let’s go to the mall for dinner first.” I guess the Westfield Shopping Centre is brand new, right near the venue, has a bunch of new restaurants and is the biggest mall in the UK. But I grew up a 10-minute drive from the biggest mall in America, so there.

We jump on the bus to Shepherd’s Bush and as we step on, it hits us like a punch in the face: the overbearing smell of urine. What the what?! Where is that coming fr…oh, right there. That homeless guy. Damn it was unbelievable – and apparently, something the Brits aren’t that used to. To me it just smells like the E train. But each person that walked onto the bus, immediately covered their nose, opened up windows, and outwardly complained. A group of teenage girls took it a step further, screaming and yelling about how bad it is until the driver stopped and forced the man off the bus.

We finally escaped the pee bus, grabbed a quick dinner at the mall, and then headed over to Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

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There were balcony level tickets and floor tickets. We were on the floor, where I like it. Thanks so much to Jeanne and Amy at EMI for hooking me up with these. I would imagine a Lily Allen ticket in London is a sought after ticket, especially considering how packed it was.

We checked our coats and grabbed a Tuborg, a difficult beer to order two of without sounding like you’re stuttering (try saying, “Two Tuborgs” in a loud club). Ten minutes later, Lily took the stage and the crowd went nuts. London loves Lily. A young 18+ London, mind you.

Somehow, we got stuck behind a fortress of tall people. I could see, but Sunshine couldn’t. This being my first ever show in London, I didn’t know what to expect. What would the crowd be like? Did people take pictures like in NY? Would people be dancing? Pissed drunk? Nice or rude about being jam packed together? The answer turned out to be all of the above. It was pretty much like a NY show, only with way more people take pictures with their cameras and phones.

I tried to push myself closer to the stage a few songs in, to try and snap off some shots, but was met with the same sort of resistance I get in NY. Halfway through I noticed a pocket open up, and move into it – putting us the middle of a sea of young people, dancing. But finally we could both see, and even though it was crowded, it was never all that annoying. Just fun.

Lily seemed to be enjoying herself, too. Thanking the crowd, it was nice to be back in London, pointing to and giving a shout out to her Mom up on the balcony level. She was feeling it. So was I, quite frankly. It was a blast. I don’t really listen to Lily that much, but it doesn’t matter. It was a fun show, in a great venue, on the first night of my vacation.

When it was over, the place cleared out slowly. We waited while hundreds mobbed the coat check, and in return for our patience, were rewarded with the best story of the night. Sunshine was in the bathroom when the Empire staff opened up a stall, and found a young woman on the toilet – completely passed out cold, unconscious. What do they do with her? What else? They laid her on the floor of the bathroom. Yes, on the floor of a bathroom at a rock club. Then, to add insult to injury, her friend began yelling, “Get the fuck up! Come on! Wake the fuck up!” She didn’t hear her

What a way to end a night.