On Tuesday night, I made my way down to Park Slope to see Neil Halstead (Slowdive, Mojave 3) perform a solo show at Union Hall. It was a rainy and cold night, which is the kind of weather that makes trekking to Park Slope a bad idea, so I was already in an anxious mood. The show was good, and Halstead’s solo material is gentle folk-pop. He also indulged the audience with a few requests, including the hypnotic Slowdive classic “Alison.” However, I think the show would have been even betterm had it started at anything close to the scheduled time. And, I’m so annoyed with this common phenomenon in indie rock clubs. Why can’t shows start when they’re supposed to start? The show was advertised with “doors at 8 p.m.”
That can mean one of two things: 1. the opening act(s) will begin around 8 p.m., or 2. the opening act(s) will begin at approximately 9 p.m. Instead, opening act J. Wise didn’t hit the stage until 9:30 p.m. “Okay,” I thought,”he’s probably going to play for 20 minutes and then Neil Halstead will start at around 10 p.m.” Nope. Neil Halstead went on stage around 10:30 p.m. For a show that advertised doors at 8 p.m., and with only one opening act, to have your headliner hit the stage at 10:30 p.m. on a Tuesday is kinda annoying. I’m sure there were valid reasons and justifications, and there have been worse offenses at other shows, but I feel like sharing this grievance. If I had known that Halstead wasn’t taking the stage until 10:30 p.m., I probably wouldn’t have bothered arttending. I wound up leaving at 11:30 p.m., unable to see the entire show. You ever try to get from Park Slope to Williamsburg on a Tuesday after midnight without a car? Yeah, I needed to split.
It’s not like there was some crazy stage production that needed attention; both sets were essentially one dude and an acoustic guitar. Is it really that hard to get that going? I know, I sound like an old man, but I really think I sound like a concert enthusiast who just feels the cash-paying audience deserves some more consideration.