I've never been one to preach decorum at a rock concert. Especially at a club. Those standing shouldn't have to move for those seated. Crazy dancing, super fans who pantomime lyrics, off-key drunken sing-alongers — it's all part of it.
So is talking. People pay to see music, but also for the privilege of drinking with friends, which invariably involves gabbing loudly. But generally even the drunkest of crowds understands to keep the yelling to a minimum near the stage.
Not last week at Sticky Fingerz. Even within a few feet of the stage, people were hollering to each other during the music. Which made Alabama singer/songwriter AA Bondy, whose songs are often little more than gentle guitar strums and a whisper of voice, all but impossible to hear.
Too bad, because what I could hear was pretty good. Sort of like Cat Power for dudes. Bondy's got a spooky voice that stays drenched in reverb and a backing band (a percussionist/lap steel player and a bassist/keyboardist) that stays in the pocket. And he's got a predilection, which I wouldn't have guessed from listening to his latest album, "When the Devil's Loose," for effects-pedal trickery. Loops and distortion mainly. The keyboard, lap steel and looped, distorted guitar all came together to make sweet noise near the end of the set.
I remember it being silent then, but I think that was just one of the rare times I managed to tune out the gabbin'.
— Lindsey Millar