the young, dumb future
A helpful hint to Superb Productions, spinoff of the Associated Students of the University of California: when you bring rock acts to Berkeley, please do not put them in community theaters which are actually high school auditoriums. I expected the Modest Mouse show to be full of undergraduates, but it had not occurred to me that the auditorium would also be full of fifteen-year-olds, nor did I expect the opening band to be fifteen years old. I think they must have been Berkeley High students; at least I can't come up with any other explanation for why an act would actually get applause after a song which consists of everyone playing three notes out of time and a singer occasionally "crooning" lines like: "Human skull / human skull / human skull / I feel your pull." The second band (adults) knew how to play their instruments but were also terribleyou actually wouldn't need to change any of their properties to put them into a Christopher Guest film. "I'm going to hear that song," the singer informed us, "because nothing ever goes wrong / in the star-studded space before dawn," then did a wanky guitar solo and grouchily stomped offstage, I suppose because none of the fifteen-year-olds were throwing their bras at him.
The fifteen-year-olds wanted to see Modest Mouse. They wanted this so damn much that they all crowded up front by the stage until the event coordinator guy came to the microphone and explained that the Fire Marshal had put his foot down and everyone needed to take a seat. Somehow the little darlings didn't interpret this to mean that they had to go sit down. The event coordinator guy had to repeat his message, and then another Authority Figure (I think he might have been the high school principal; he certainly resembled one) came out and explained that the band was not going to come on until everyone had sat down, and some of the intellectual giants yelled "FUCK YOU!" and some other charming people yelled "SIT DOWN!" and by this time I was so completely alienated from the event and the audience that I wasn't sure how any performance was going to redeem itI mean, Modest Mouse ended up putting on a good show and in the end I was glad I went, but the Berkeley Community Theater is on the nix list from here on. God, I hate teenagers.