I went to see Paul Westerberg last night at the Commodore, courtesy of a Plus-One from Ben.
I’m not a huge PW fan. I probably only know three or four songs (and indeed, he played them all last night). BUT! He is something of an icon, and really, who doesn’t fondly remember The Replacements? And so for free, it was definitely worth checking out. The pictorial, if I may steal a word from the porn industry, is also available.
But how was the show? Well, really, not that good, but like a lot of ageing, no-longer-relevant musicians coasting along on their former glory, the quality of their contemporary work has little to no bearing on the quality of their live show. He forgot words, stopped in mid-song for no apparent reason, got chords wrong and yet, even with all that, the show was really fun. Partially it was fun seeing all these now-ageing former-hipsters strutting out at the Commodore, just waiting, praying even, that he’d play their one, all-time, unforgettable, most-favourite Replacements song. And I suspect, that for most, he did not disappoint. And nor was I (disappointed), as I enjoyed myself.
In another plus, I learned a wonderful thing about photography at the commodore: See normally, I stand right around the First pillar away from the stage – close, but not too close. But that’s still too far to get a good photo (lighting issues). But! If you look on the ceiling between the pillars and the stage, you’ll see this scaffolding, to hold the lights. When I move at one “section” forward (about 5 feet), it makes a world of difference for getting a good shot (viz. the last 3-4 photos I took to see what a difference it makes). So now, when I next go see a show there, I know where to stand to get better photos. I just have to become that jack-ass who pushes through the crowd to that one, apparently perfect spot, right in front of you, thus blocking your view.