Monday, November 16, 2009

Concert Review - Imogen Heap; November 12, 2009 at In The Venue

Thursday night was a dream come true for me as I witnessed someone who changed how I view music take the stage and perform her music. Imogen Heap's music isn't traditional by any means, so it was interesting from a technical aspect to watch as she came out on stage holding a wineglass full of water and used that to create the interesting sound that opens her newest album, Ellipse. Using loops and bits from various technological marvels on stage (as well as help from a drummer/multi-instrumentalist and opening acts Back Ted N-Ted and Tim Exile), much of the songs' sounds were brilliantly recreated on stage.
Imogen Heap is also very personable, appearing on stage to introduce her opening acts, as well as providing bits of information about the songs prior to performing them. Overall, the concert was a smashing success, and I take her at her word when she says she will be back in April. I'd get tickets again in a heartbeat.

Aside from the performance, there were a few gripes.

1) I was embarrassed for the crowd, who I felt was disrespectful throughout the show. Imogen tried at various times to tell stories about the songs, even asking the crowd to please be quiet while she told them the story, only to be met with continued chatter. One person claimed that they "couldn't hear" her, which I don't believe. I've sat upstairs at In The Venue before, and everything was loud and clear.
In any case, it was embarrassing and frustrating as people kept shouting things and one person near us kept requesting "Candlelight", which Imogen said she would not be playing that evening upon the first request. Seriously, after that, just let it go.
Also, there were some people there who came up from Arizona. I think that's cool; we took a trip down there eight months ago to see Jimmy Eat World live on the Clarity x10 tour. But at no point did I elbow my way to get a whole row closer to the stage. Traveling eight hundred miles doesn't give you the right to push ahead of people who got there before you.

2) In The Venue is terrible, a fact Imogen even joked about as she had people facing her back throughout the show. I hope the next time she comes she skips that joint and picks a better locale. It's kind of a dingy place, but the crew there is hardly friendly. Nobody seemed to have good things to say about them. My personal suggestion would be for The Depot, which is similar in size but much nicer an better maintained. Of the two shows I've been to there, the staff has been friendly; the only drawback is the 21+ restriction as it is a private club.

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