Monday, April 23, 2012

Composting Only Takes 10 Hours

This is off-topic. Music, like all art, is intensely personal. Subjective. And similarly, I generally detest live music (with the exception of a few bands). The reason is partially the crowds, but more so the sound quality. It is usually far removed from the highly produced sound thumping through your beats audio headphones via mp3 file.

With this in mind, I was at Edgefest yesterday. The tickets were given to me by a friend for free and little did I know that the Black Keys were playing in town. I love the Black Keys. Ever since I first heard Thickfreakness and mistakenly thought they were middle aged dudes from New Orleans. Such was their mature, soulful, bluesy sound.

I've now seen them four times in the DFW area. The first of which being at the Granada Theater on Greenville. To this day it remains the best show I've ever seen. There may not have been a hundred people there. Between songs I could wander to the bar, grab a beer without waiting in line, then proceed right back to the front of the stage. As they've become more popular with every album release and self-reinvention, I've lamented that the venue size has increased. Good for them, of course. They deserve it. But bad for intimacy and sound quality (supposedly).
Their rise in popularity gives me hope for humanity.

So, yesterday at Edgefest I similarly lamented the poor sound quality throughout the day. Each band's music diluted into a dirge of noise. I was unfamiliar with the majority of bands there, but perhaps I could've liked some or any of them if I could hear them without being assaulted by incoherent cacophony. A sludge of sound if you will as if you were throwing all the trash into a compost heap. It turns out, once Black Keys hit the stage, it wasn't an issue of acoustics at all. They sound just as good live as they do recorded. Even from a quarter-mile away, they sounded great, as we snuck out before the encore to beat traffic. We easily could've sat at an outdoor cafe in Frisco Town Square and taken in the show without having to pay $9 per beer inside Pizza Hut Park.

I'm not sure why other bands would want to tour with the Black Keys. Except for $$, of course. Since apparently their job is to be the compost, producing the fertile soil, for the Keys to bloom so bright. Hooray for high quality musicianship.