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SLCR #161 – Arctic Monkeys w/Smith Westerns – September 30, 2011

Almost two months between concert and review. This is far and away a record. I know I've talked about giving up on these, but I was always planning on writing this – it's just that things happened. Me happened. I figured I was due for one of those "hey guys, I'm writing this in an airport, can you imagine, wow the future" reviews that feel like a first-time thing every time out. But then I wanted to do other things in the airports like… not write a review. And airplanes are just too snug for netbooks. And then I was in Hawaii and thought it would be neat to write one while relaxing on the deck, but instead I devoted my patio time to drinking drinks and doing crosswords which isn't nearly as lame as it sounds.

So. Arctic Monkeys. I vaguely remember that happening. I think the drive to Saskatoon was fine? I bet I had a bag of baked chips, or maybe some jerky. Oh! We got pitas before the show and they weren't great. HOT JOURNALISM. And I wonder why I quit blogging.

The Odeon was the Odeon. Crowded and hot, and drinks cost too much, and they carded me despite being tubby and grey-haired and 35. I won't lie, I was pretty delighted even though I know it was strictly a result of their "card everybody" policy. I'm old and in need of ego boosts, so I'll take it.

I never see anyone I know at these shows anymore. I guess I haven't lived in Saskatoon for almost a decade (also, see above re:  old). Instead, Mika and I were left with a random selection of bros and hipsters. And for all the abuse that hipsters take, I have to say that they're far preferable to the bros. The hipsters dress like idiots, but at least they're generally interested in watching the show. They may deny it after the fact, but that's none of my concern. The bros are only there to get laid, so they just spend the whole time being loud and in my way and smelling up the joint with Axe body spray. Ladies can be hipsters, but what does one call a lady bro? "Sis" doesn't work.

When I think of lady hipsters, I think of Rosie the Riveter with giant stupid glasses saying "we could do it… I guess… or not, I mean, I was into that last year…" and it turns out that there's over a million Google hits for "Rosie the Riveter hipster" so maybe I should just keep my stupid ideas to myself because they're not nearly as clever as I think they are but we're already at the part where I talk about the bands and I never have much to say and how will I ever pad this out if I just keep on deleting sections for inconsequential reasons such as they're stupid and make me look dumb?

Speaking of, if you want a band that I have nothing to say about, it's the Smith Westerns! I know that I often say "they were a band" to describe a band that I have no opinion on, but man, if ever there was a "they were a band" band, it was the Smith Westerns. I remember being blown away at how little I felt about these guys. At no point did I ever like or dislike their music. I remember texting a friend and using some term like "aggressively forgettable" to describe them. I can't really describe their sound now, but I couldn't have done so five minutes after they were done playing either. I am sure there are people who love this band, and if you are one of them, good on ya. The only thing that stood out for me was how little stood out.

And then the Arctic Monkeys were really good, and then we drove back to Regina and went to sleep because we were super tired because we are old.

(uhh, crap, say something more)

I… took a video of I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor with my phone and it didn't really turn out but you can get the idea.

(nobody cares about that)

Okay. Well. They confirmed my suspicion that British bands really enjoy saying "Saskatoon" out loud.

(that's only funny to you)

We didn't order chicken fingers and we weren't joined by Xylon or Shiwala Jamal or Gaston The Clown, and if there was a midget in the mosh pit, nobody told me about it.

(those were references to reviews from 10 years ago, none of the people who'd understand are still reading these – have you ever noticed your inability to keep friends)

I don't know what you want, voice-in-my-parentheses/head. They played a bunch of songs I know, and I don't feel like listing them so I hope you are willing to take me at my word. But even better, the songs I didn't know were just as enjoyable. It was loud and mostly fast and fun and everyone seemed to have a fine ol' time. In fact, I'd say it was the best show of the year so far, and SPOILER neither Big Sugar nor The Tea Party come close to challenging them for that spot, and I say that despite the fact that the Tea Party show hasn't even happened yet.

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