Written by Chad Taylor
This week's Scene and Heard is supposed to be about the Love Songs for Lonely Monsters show this past Wednesday, and fear not, we'll get to them in a second. But first, a bit of a rant.
When Cityview scrubbed live show reviews from their weekly schedule, it was on the heels of a review where I lambasted the Vaudeville Mews for poor booking, indifferent show promotion and a laissez faire approach to show start times. I also called out the city in general for being demonstrably unwilling to support most shows that take place in the middle of the week.
But here's the thing. When writing these reviews, I've never considered it my job to keep the critique solely to the performance of the people on stage. Quite the contrary, I've always felt like a show review should talk about the entire experience inherent in actually seeing a particular show. As such, anyone who's been to a love show of any kind can tell you that "a show" is more than just the physical performance. So many other things can factor into a person's enjoyment, including venue quality, the attentiveness of other patrons, sound and lighting issues, even weather. I have long believed--and continue to do so--that all of these things should be taken into consideration when talking about the quality of a live show.
Clearly not all of these things are the responsibility of the band on stage. Most of the outside factors are completely beyond the band's control. But that doesn't mean that they should not be mentioned, or that the people who DO have control over them (most usually the venue itself) shouldn't be called out for lapses. If a band goes on stage and puts on a solid performance, but nobody can hear it because the sound isn't leveled properly, was it a good show? If the lights go out halfway through a band's set, fans may leave upset or even ask for their money back, so why shouldn't that be mentioned in a review of a show as a whole?
All that being said, let's talk about Love Songs For Lonely Monsters at Beaver Tap.
LS4LM is a good band. Amy Badger is one of the most entertaining, charismatic leads in the city, and the band takes a decidedly high-brow approach to song creation that sets them apart from a lot of other acts. The guitar work is idiosyncratic and complex, the lyrics are dense and wryly clever, and it all comes together in a fun way that feels barely constrained.
And their set on Wednesday was ruined by the location. Read More