September 28, 2010
@ The Swedish American Hall
Better than: Wearing a tuxedo to a Das Racist show or something.
The Swedish American Hall is a lovely place to see music — and I use the term loosely — but I left last night mostly confused. The concert, in which two very accomplished solo artists stood in polite succession at the helms of their respective electronics setups, felt uncomfortable in every way except musically: we were all seated, drinkless, stifled by the heat but too shy to fan ourselves. We were a collectively lifeless audience, subdued the way our grandparents were subdued wherever they went to see music in their day; it was as though we were unwitting participants in a concert in the conventional, civilized sense of the word.
I say unwitting even for those of us who relish the opportunity to sit and consider cascading mountains of sound — even those of us who knew what to expect from the venue (hell, I've been to a concert at the Swedish American Hall that had programs). We didn't sign up for this, everyone around me seemed to say silently. We wanted to mill about and drink and have conversations and sneak out during the part that sounded like an air show rehearsal. This is all so… adult contemporary.
It also could have been the heat.