Wednesday, January 2, 2008

ween, 11/30/07, terminal 5, nyc, ny

this show is a great example of what happens when a band rocks the shit out of a horrible fucking venue.

terminal 5 is a new venue that just opened up in nyc. i always have high hopes for new venues in the city- especially since so many rock clubs have shut down in the past 10 years. you would think that they would take knowledge from previous venues and apply it towards their design and function. when the highline ballroom opened up i was psyched- and then i went to see some shows there and was blown away at how great the place is: you can see the stage from pretty much anywhere, the sound is great, the staff is friendly, and the bathrooms are totally clean. so i was hoping that terminal 5 would be in the same vein. so, starting off optimistic- and let's just go from there.

terminal 5 is in hell's kitchen and right around the corner from a chill bar i like called fusion- this alone got me psyched- any time i can pre-game a show with a proper cocktail (the pre-ween cocktail was a mojito) at a bar that mixes properly is pretty awesome. so, heinz and i met up for some pre-gaming, and somehow this old guy at the bar started talking to me about the dude that went into hillary clinton's NH campaign headquarters (it happened that day) and threatened to blow the place up (though, i believe he was only wearing hot-dogs strapped to his chest or something), this conversation led into a global discussion of where politics in america/the world are going and whether or not this was a sign of things to come. see? right there, mojito, political/global discussions, all good. but then we had to take off for the show, cuz it was 7:30ish and the show started at 8pm, so we did want to get there with some time to spare for waiting in line.

terminal 5 is located right next to the west side highway. do you want to know how i know it's right next to the west side highway? because 45 minutes after the doors were supposedly open, the line to get into the show stretched from in front of the venue, all the way down the block TO the west side highway, and then back to the venue. and heinz and i had the pleasure of waiting on that line for about an HOUR in the fucking cold waiting to get inside. and the security guard confiscated an advil (only 1) i had in my bag. OOOH, the DANGER! so we finally get inside in the middle of 'voodoo lady', the merch guy said we missed about 30 minutes of the show (FUCK YOU TERMINAL 5--- ALREADY) and now we had to figure out where to settle in- there are 3 floors in this place, the ceilings are massive, it has the potential to be great.

however, the floor is a clusterfuck of people (ran into steve the greek!), the bar was packed, and the sound was pretty horrible down there. up we went to the 2nd floor. it is nice to have options. we went up the stairs, popped out on the 2nd floor, and it was packed too- but there's a bar to the side we went to and got served almost immediately. while we were standing there we quickly realized that the floors were level all the way to the edge- meaning- there is no step-down/stadium kind of thing happening--- meaning- you can't fucking see the stage unless you're in the first row of people standing against the balcony. are you KIDDING me? not only that, but we're standing there at the bar and i remarked, "why don't they even have tv monitors with the show on them so we can at least see what's happening on stage while we're at the bar?" the guy next to me goes, "YEAH!!!" and turns around- and it's my buddy zach! ha! no shit! so we're all standing there kind of dumbfounded as to who designed this place and we're only on the 2nd floor.

so, heinz and i go up to floor 3 to see if there's any place to see the stage from there. and it was crowded, and people lined the entire edge of the balcony- so the answer was: NO. there was NO place to see the stage from the 3rd floor either. who the hell designed this shithole? if you're not in the first row of people against the edge of the balcony, you're staring at the back of people's heads all night. and it gets worse once you're up on the 3rd floor because it's such an extreme angle to the stage. it's an OUTRAGE!!! if you've ever been to the 930 club in washington dc, you'll know why i'm so pissed off. because that place is fucking awesome- 360' views from the balcony, which is set up with wide steps downward for sitting and standing on, so you can ALWAYS see over the person's head in front of you. why couldn't the terminal 5 people have done a little research to see what works best?

terminal 5 floorplan

terminal 5 improved

the 930 club in dc

2 last venue notes before i get to the music. the bathrooms were totally weird- they were behind the stage on each level, they were unisex stalls, each stall had it's own sink in it, and there was an "attendant" shouting "NEXT" at the line of people waiting. there was also a basket for tips. let me make this clear: if there is piss on the seat when i get into a stall, you're not getting a tip, buddy. also, there was a latino "little person" security guy busting people for smoking weed all over the place and it was fucking surreal and funny as hell. he totally had a keen nose for it because every few minutes you'd see him running in any which direction to find the source of the scent. i couldn't help but laugh because for real--- you're lighting up and fucking tattoo comes running up to you and screams at you to put it out? how is that not funny? omg it was UNREAL. that'll fuck you up.

eventually the people we were standing behind left and we got to the front edge of the 3rd floor balcony, so we had about 45 minutes of a great view and that was awesome. but struggling to get there was complete and total bullshit.

okay, terminal 5 sucks balls. it looks like a venue in some sort of neo-futuristic video game. horizontal and vertical thunderdomey weirdness.

now, the music! ween were fucking AWESOME! rehab stint now over, the boys were fully energized, tight, and seemed to have & deliver their music at full clarity. i haven't seen them since a roseland show in 2003 and i'm not sure if it was my imagination, but they seemed to have more of said clarity this time around.

they played for about 3 hours, no set break, and of course heinz and i walked in during 'voodoo lady', so we still got a pretty full show! the setlist ranged from 'mr. richard smoker' to 'even if you don't', the catchy 'ocean man' (my 9 year old cousin loves this one, it was on the spongebob squarepants soundtrack- so picture the look on his face when i played him the original rock version, he was amazed!) and what's a ween show without a pirate drinking song? so 'blarney stone' capped off the night right after an amazing sing along of 'booze me up and get me high' (take that "little person" NARC!). love ween, psyched they are back on tour, can't wait to see them again.

the band was tight, the show was awesome, ween fucking rocked. i'm gonna do a first and grade the music and the venue completely separate this time.
terminal 5: 1.5 maaaaybe 2 huz-zahs. after being there a short time the only thing i was excited about was the fact that i didn't buy cake tickets for the 'unlimited sunshine' tour that stopped through there. i hope most bands i want to see continue to play at the hammerstein instead of being smokescreened by this linear nightmare of a club. i don't look forward to having to go there again, so hopefully i won't have to.

setlist courtesy of the ween forum:
Exactly where I'm at
She wanted to leave
Golden eel
Baby bitch
Piss up rope
Voodoo lady
Your party
Light me up
Waving my dick in wind
Touch my Tooter
Even if you don't
Beacon light
Mr Richard smoker
Johnny on the spot
Stallion pt. 4
Puerto Rican Power
You fucked up
Tender situation
Pandy Fackler
Put the hammer down
Ocean man

Strap On That Jammy Pac
Booze me up & get me high
Blarney stone

No comments: