Sunday, August 28, 2005
Do You Like American Music?
If this title sounds familiar, you might be a Violent Femmes fan! If you don't know this band...I'm going to come find you and beat your ass!! Just a short 1 1/2 hours from where I live is Baltimore*, MD (*pronounced Balmore if you're from Balmore.) It was there that the Femmes performed live at an outside venue called The Power Plant Live. One of the best parts about this? IT WAS FREE! This place was like a complex. It had several restaurants and bars which all spilled out onto this plaza. They gave a wrist band to those over 21 upon entry. At my age, I certainly didn't expect to be carded, but they tried. I thanked them very kindly and told them to put the damned wrist band on me. Geez!
Prior to the show we ventured down to Fell's Point. This place is a very old harbor town, cobblestoned streets, lots of shops and bars. Fell's Point is very synonymous with bars. You may also remember several years ago on NBC there was a television show called Homicide. That show was filmed mostly in this area of Baltimore. Another bit of trivia from this area is that the rats are the size of cats. Yikes! We had a bite and a pint at Slainte (slan-cha) and Irish pub. And, it was on their TV's we sat back and watched The Bad News Bears, I mean the Baltimore Orioles get their asses beat. What the heck? That was just a pathetic game. 7 runs in the first inning?? One of the players for the O's is from a town called Sunbury, about an hour away from where I live. Of course, he was sitting in the bullpen twiddling his thumbs. (Dean, can you do something about that guy?)
After we left Fell's Point, we went to Federal Hill. This is a more residential area of Baltimore, with bars, shops and an enormous farmer's market. But of course, if you've ever been to Baltimore, you know for the most part it's a scary freaking place. One wrong turn and you are in the heart of the ghetto, another turn and your back to safety.
Then it was off to The Power Plant. When we got there, there wasn't many people there and it started to rain almost immediately. I was getting the feeling I was at a frat party. Everyone was of college age, we were probably some of the oldest people there. Kill me now! We saw a bunch of guys walking around backstage that were probably in their 60's with batik print shirts on. I'm thinking, wow, did the Femmes really age in the last couple of years? The Femmes came on soon after the opening band was done. And we soon found out that the guys in the brightly colored shirts were part of the band and played various very odd instruments. I was watching the one guy-he was totally Wavy Gravy. We were front and center and I would have gotten some great pictures. But you never know if they allow camera's or not.
The Femmes were just insane, played Blister in the Sun almost immediately. The bass player is a giant of a man and played an acoustic bass, an electric bass, a bass that didn't have any body to it, just strings on a piece of wood and last I saw he was playing a conch shell. The lead singer played electric guitar and a fiddle. And the drummer, well he played the drums, but as always it was just a snare and bass drum. They were totally bizarre and very much fun. I'm so glad I got to see them!