wound up at the Massive Attack show* at Roseland w/my friend Kati.

Kind of a heavy show. I think it was close to criminally oversold – we are talking Who Concert ’79/trying-not-to-think-about-Great White-in-RI kind of crowded; shoulder-to-shoulder like cordwood, and one elbow-throwing yob could break someone’s something. Brr.

I haven’t seen that many people in Roseland since the Pogues in ’89/’90 – and I was most probably seeing double at that show anyway, so divide by 2. Brits were everywhere tonight, unsurprisingly; there are a lot of ’em in NY, but who would have thought Massive Attack would sell out solidly three nights running at Roseland? I sure didn’t.

The sound was heavy, the light show (a 10-foot high, probably 40-foot wide, news-crawler behind the band) would have worked at a U2 stadium gig, and the guitars were rather too thunderous. But it was pretty impressive. The original line-up people were outstanding – Horace, etc. – but Elizabeth, the woman singer they brought in for the Tracey Thorn-type vocals, just didn’t cut it, alas. The other one was absolutely great, tho’. Wow.

And the Tricky stuff still sounds mighty fine. And “Hymn of the Big Wheel” was beautiful; same with “Mezzanine” and “Man Next Door.” Maybe there was not really enough from Blue Lines, in my opinion, and maybe too much from 100th Window? Wonder what real reviewers might have to say. . . .

(*This week – with me and shows – was like the old days of CMJ or something; I am gonna wind up as the female Oldie Olsen. I suppose there are worse fates. But not many. Oldie is a semi-apocryphal NYC figure. When you go to a show, there is always this dude with long white hair. No one knows who he really is, but he is always at the “best” show. Supposedly, if you are at a show and see Oldie, you know you are at the right one.

That is, according to my more thoroughly baked friends. I have always suspected that guy actually lives underneath Madison Square Garden and that is why he is “at every show.” Thank god he wasn’t at this one.)

1:39 AM – 9 Comments – 0 Kudos – Add CommentEditRemove


I really enjoy living a vicarious concertgoers life through you, Ellen. Jon and I saw the Wedding Present last February and I realized that while I love music, I hate being crammed into a room with my fellow humans. And I must use that designation loosely for some of them. Haven’t been to a live show since unless you count outdoor concerts in the park. I’m still okay with those. So keep on writing and I’ll keep pretending I was there!

Posted by QueensGirl on Friday, October 06, 2006 at 9:58 AM
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I Got My Reasons

“real reviewer” ? hmm, you know about these guys than I ever will, and you actually GO to shows which is cool… I’m with Queens girl on the live venue thing, and add the “I don’t want to be the bad news story from the hip-hop show” to the mix and you got me: sitting at home remembering those kids that looked me up and down at the Red Hot Chili Peppers show back in like, 94. But I used to go to all the Butthole Surfer’s shows, and that was no joke. I don’t wanna end up on the pages of Vice with a Chris Rock “Old Guy at the Club” referenced caption. It’s hard enough going to peace protests, which seem to be only for retirees and 17 year old girls. I’m IMing one right now about yesterday’s… wait forget that last part. Yum… COFFEE.

Posted by I Got My Reasons on Friday, October 06, 2006 at 10:32 AM
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ha! yeah, coffee is good. how was that protest anyway?

I was actually really worried about the “don’t want to be the bad news story” last night – I am used to crowds, but there was a very sketchy vibe in the air in some parts of the huddled masses. I’m taking a breather for a while, no matter how many free/cheap tix pop up in my karmic vicinity.

What really surprises me about venues now is how the crowd is NOT all youngsters. From the Roger Waters show to McCarren Park Pool – there were 50 y.o.’s in front of me; 19 y.o.’s next to me. That is pretty much the story in NYC – maybe a little less so in W’burg, but not much.

I was talking to my 27 y.o. friend Ethan about that very thing yesterday – he claims it is because the pop music of his generation was so very lame and prepackaged (backstreet boys, anyone?), except for underground hip-hop stuff, that they were forced to listen to 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s material. He said Bob Dylan is HUGE amongst his W’burg pals. And so the stuff they produce sounds like that, which appeals to us oldsters. I’ve seen that argument before, in the infamous “grups” New York magazine article (remember that one, Claire? LOL!), and i’m not sure I buy it, but . . . .

Hey, hopefully there will always more than enough tweaked and insane 48-y.o. German ravers on the scene to fill the pages of Vice. I plan to stay just under the radar, behind the guys with the severely Icelandic black pants and silver shades who still seem to be metaphorically shouting: “And now iss vhen ve dahnce!” . . . .

Posted by Ellen on Friday, October 06, 2006 at 11:40 AM
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I Got My Reasons

the protest was pretty good… there’s an AP story out you can google, that will probably NOT be running in the good ol’ NY Times (FREAKS!!)BTW i LOVED the GRUPS article, i laughed so hard when i read it. It’s funny cuz it’s TRUE. As a former skater, i Loved the image of a my-age guy in traction after going to the skateboard park, with his son coming to see him wearing a bow tie and listening to Burl Ives on his IPOD. Payback’s a bitch. I still think I’ll get my ass kicked if I go to the Dizzee Rascal show. Maybe I’ll just knit him a nice tea cozy. What sort of misdirected young person listens to Dylan when there’s Biggie? I’m not buyin’ it. Just admit you were a young SQUARE before you became a young hipster already. I listened to old music too, but D.E.V.O., Clash and RUN-D.M.C. was what I CARED about.

Posted by I Got My Reasons on Friday, October 06, 2006 at 12:12 PM
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ha! YES, that scene in the New York article, of the 30+ guy who dislocated his shoulder on his brand-new skateboard, while his wife was preggers w/their first kid, was the one that killed me. I howled with laughter over that. Too funny and too true – kinda like the time I wound up in the snowboard terrain park in Mt. Snow on skis — ouch!

and yeah, I think you got the “overly defensive” square-hipster thing pegged dead on.

(p.s. thanks for the “real reviewer” note earlier. I just know I’ll never be as cool a reviewer as Spin‘s Chuck Klosterman. . . but i’m pretty sure I don’t wanna be, either!)

Posted by Ellen on Friday, October 06, 2006 at 12:45 PM
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I Got My Reasons

I think we may be approaching the post-cool review era… there are just too many bands. What about this intro: I know I’m a big fat loser, but I never heard of these guys till thier third album. Is it OK to like them?

“we’ll put THE SYSTEM on trial” (obscure “Cable Guy” Reference)

Posted by I Got My Reasons on Friday, October 06, 2006 at 12:54 PM
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Ha! No shit – here is the System’s, um, the New York Times‘s review.

(thanks Monica!)

Posted by Ellen on Sunday, October 08, 2006 at 8:07 AM
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LT from NYC

Damn! I’m so jealous! I loooove Massive Attack!

Posted by LT from NYC on Friday, October 06, 2006 at 7:37 PM
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Wow! that is so funny – you are like the 3rd girl among a bunch of people I know who are really into them!
I bet they will be back in town; there are too many potential ticket sales and too much $$$ here for them to ignore. Next time they’re around maybe I’ll post a bulletin and we can go en masse. Safety in numbers and all.

I have to say unfortunately the show was weirdly big on long duels of serious riffage – the final encoure sounded like something out of an air guitar contest! – and short on the kind of smoky dark bedroom-y stuff they can be so good at (and that I prefer). But like I said, their live “Mezzanine” was definitely all that – and more.

Posted by Ellen on Friday, October 06, 2006 at 10:23 PM
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