American Music Club is tonight at The Waiting Room. It’s a show that people should be excited about, but if it’s like last time they came through town, back in Nov. 15, 2004, the turnout will again be light despite the fact that AMC is a legacy indie band that records on indie super-label Merge (who released The Golden Age this past February). For the record, let’s step back in time and see what I said about that 2004 show:
The promoters of last night’s American Music Club show have every reason to be disappointed with the turnout. Heck, I’m disappointed. There were maybe 70 or 80 people there total, very much below anyone’s expectations. Maybe it was because it was a Monday night and Ryan Adams is tomorrow, though I doubt that Ryan Adams draws the same type of crowd as AMC. Add last night to the poor turnout for Matthew Sweet and Vic Chestnutt and you begin to see an unfortunate trend in terms of shows that target an older “heritage” crowd. Side note: AMC was officially One Percent Production’s 300th show.AMC fans who stayed home last night because they couldn’t get a sitter or had to work this morning missed out on what could be the last AMC show they’ll ever get to see. I overheard Eitzel talking to a fan while he was signing a couple albums. He said that touring was getting too expensive, too hard to do, and that this might be it. And though he sounded great last night, he looked a bit agitated on stage. He was in perfect voice, opening with a couple classics off Everclear before segueing into material from his amazing new album, Love Songs for Patriots. The mix, however, was poor — too bassy, and there seemed to be a problem with the monitors. Eitzel fiddled with earplugs and looked exasperated. During one song, the bass rumbled like a bomb going off, some sort of weird effect that was distorted and strange. As the set wore on, Eitzel quit talking to the crowd and looked like he wanted to just get off stage, especially toward the end when his vocals seemed to fade and get lost in the ruckus. Still, it was a good set that at times transcended the technical glitches, especially when the band got to stretch out, and Vudi, looking like a indie version of Leonard Nimoy, leaned into a feedback-laden guitar solo.
I remember that show as if it were yesterday. If Eitzel could struggle through all the technical problems that night at Sokol and still manage to entertain the crowd, just imagine how he’ll sound on TWR’s premium stage. It will be different, though, as everyone who played that night is gone except for Eitzel and Vudi the mad vulcan.
Opening the show is the always entertaining Third Men, and Brad Hoshaw, backed by an entire band. Usually the only one on stage with Hoshaw is his guitar, and it’s more than enough. Tonight he’ll be joined by Adam Hawkins (It’s True), Craig Balderston (The 9s, Acoustic Groove), Jason Ferguson (Sarah Benck & the Robbers), John Klemmensen (Landing on the Moon, Satchel Grande), Karl Houfek (Sleep Said the Monster, Coyote Bones), Liz Webb (Midwest Dilemma), Matt Whipkey (Anonymous American, The Whipkey Three) and Scott Gaeta (Music Factory Productions). Hoshaw says they’re playing first, so get there early. $10, 9 p.m.
Also tonight at Slowdown Jr. it’s Syracuse, New York band Ra-Ra-Riot with The Little Ones and The Fourth of July. $10, 9 p.m.
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