bizzare and yet amazing – manchester orchestra live at ????

cop%20in%20585%20resized.jpglast night, my friend, anne marie, my housemate, denise, and i headed out to the 585 to see manchester orchestra (warning, myspace link – actually all band links in this post will be to myspace, so let’s just get that out of the way) play. i’ll admit to being more than excited about this, both because i have been a fan of manchester orchestra for several months now and also was looking forward to seeing the 585 since i hadn’t taken in a show there yet.

we got to the 585 and met up with metroblogger annie and her husband (you can thank annie for the pix of the 585 here; crack journalist that i am i of course forgot my camera.) the 585 was a pretty cool place. capacity of about 300, big open space, a loft for hanging out, good sized bar and a pretty nice stage for the space. they even had a swing, which the girls thought was super cool.

the first band to play were some emo teenagers who went by the name of o’brother. the definitely have potential; my advice to them would be to stop screaming and whining and just sing and have some fun. they were not too bad and have a decent shot at a future in music, which is pretty good for the bottom billed band on a bill like that.

and then while we were waiting for the next band to start the real fun started. all of sudden coming through the door were a few undercover apd officers with badges and a whole bunch of uniformed officers. the main undercover officer went upstairs to an office with someone and the uniformeds stood at the door.

i’ll give annie’s husband todd credit, because he spotted the cops at the bar and told annie that they really didn’t belong, and so was not surprised when they entered the hall in force. and sure enough one of the guys he spotted was walking around with a badge outside his shirt

now my guess was it had to be liquor enforcement (the 585 doesn’t have license yet, so was giving booze away, which i am assured is perfectly legal) so i figured they were either checking on that or were going to check id’s of drinkers. but they really didn’t seem to care one red penny about who was drinking.

after about 10 minutes one of the band members for the next band came on stage and told us all we had to leave and as we we’re leaving the apd officer at the door counted everyone. according to one of the officers on the scene the place was shut down because it didn’t have a license (note – i sent an email to the address on the 585 web site asking if they had any comment on this, i’ll post it if i get a reply.)

the whole thing was pretty wild. i actually have never been at a show shut down by the cops before so i guess now i have that checked off on the list of things. certainly not as cool as the lapd shutting down u2, but still….

as we were standing in the parking lot an announcement was made that the show would be moving to the masquerade. apparently, the manager of the masquerade was in the audience and is a big fan of manchester orchestra, so he offered the upstairs room for the show to continue. as you can imagine a big caravan departed from the 585 and headed east on north avenue to the masquerade. annie and todd decided to abandon ship and head to lenny’s for the preakness and luigi (okay, i lied, that one isn’t myspace) so hopefully we will get her review of that show.

i have no idea who the band was that was finishing up when we got over to the masquerade was, but i have to say it was one of the worst bands i have ever heard. imagne heavy overtones of creed with nickleback flavors and you have the group that was on-stage. at one point they played a song called ‘simply american,’ which i was able to gather was about the iraq war, that was perhaps the most awful four minutes of music i have ever been subjected to. at this point i really wondered if the night could be salvaged.

and then the new frontiers (formerly stellamaris) came on. after explaining the situation at the 585 they launched into a three song set that was actually really good. good enough for me to drop five bucks on their cd at the merch table.

manchester%20at%20masq%20resized.jpgfinally, sometime after midnight, andy hull and manchester orchestra came on stage. if you have been reading this space or my blog over at the arc of time, you will know that i absolutely love this band. i first heard them on a mixtape that rich made over at cable and tweed, immediately downloaded their ep you brainstorm, i brainstorm, but brilliance needs an editor from itunes (by the way, this ep is awesome, though i don’t know where else to get it except itunes) and have been listening to the debut lp i’m like a virgin losing a child ever since buying it at criminal records. i think hull is an incredible songwriter, both lyrically and musically and have been looking forward to this show for a while, since i have never seen them live.

and folks, they did not disappoint. from the best of my recollection (if you were there and i am off please correct) they pounded through this six song set (which i imagine was abbreviated due to the move):

1. don’t let them see you cry
2. wolves at night
3. alice and interiors
4. i can barely breathe
5. where have you been
6. golden ticket

the musicianship was perfect. these are not easy songs either. multiple tempo changes, different musical themes running at the same time, and they pulled it off flawlessly.

andy%20hull.jpgand hull, wow. i was reminded of adam duritz of the counting crows watching him. the music and the mannerisms were different, but hull commanded the stage through sheer emotional power of the music, just like adam does live. the song meant something more than the lyrics can deliver on their own watching andy sing them live. and the finale of golden ticket, a song that i love, was about as perfect as a musical moment can be (for me, it may only be matched by sufjan steven’s singing majesty snowbird at the fox.)

so in summation –

the 585 – shut down. future uncertain.
the masquerade – big thumbs up for saving the show
creed-nickleback influenced bands singing songs about the iraq war – horrible
the new frontiers – worth checking out
manchester orchestra – phenomenal.

great job, guys. you set the standard for which the rest of my live music experiences in 2007 will be judged.

p.s. – sorry for the bad camera phone pix. as mentioned i am a pretty bad journalist who can’t be bothered to remember his camera

10 Comments so far

  1. Jam (unregistered) on January 7th, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

    That sounds about as rock n’ roll as you can get. Sweet.

  2. Annie (unregistered) on January 7th, 2007 @ 9:45 pm

    I have to say, it was totally rock-n-roll. Completely enjoyable, and the disappointment in all the youngsters, then the elation when they arranged a new venue was fun. It was also fun because the husband and I are 35 years old, so while some of the underage drinkers in the crowd were probably sweatin’ it, we were downing another free beer while watching the events unfold. I did manage to refrain from following the cops upstairs to the “business office” with my camera. It was hard, though.

  3. Paulie [eatl/ga] (unregistered) on January 8th, 2007 @ 4:22 am

    I am glad I wasn’t feeling up to going out that night now. I love Manchester Orchestra and wanted to check out 585, but waiting around past midnight for a six-song set is not my cup of tea. Cheers to Masquerade for stepping up and to the bands for being willing to follow, but I’m glad I missed it.

  4. Mach5 (unregistered) on January 8th, 2007 @ 7:51 am

    Actually, I’m pretty sure ‘simply american’ was an ANTI-Iraq War song. Before they played it the dude playing guitar talked about how his brother was killed there over a year ago and that’s why he wrote the song.

    So, yeah, they were horrible.. but probably not as horrible as you would think from the mini-review above!

  5. james (unregistered) on January 8th, 2007 @ 9:18 am

    i couldn’t really tell. it’s perfectly plausible that it could have been pro-iraq war. plenty of people have lost relatives over there and still support the war. i couldn’t understand anything of the lyrics other than ‘simply american,’ so i don’t know.

    of course the level of bad they were is totally in the eye of the beholder….

  6. Rich (unregistered) on January 8th, 2007 @ 10:55 am

    Wow, that’s a hell of a story. It also means that Manchester Orchestra and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin both played at Masquerade on Sat., although not together. A damn shame, as that would have been a nice bill.

  7. alexandra (unregistered) on January 9th, 2007 @ 10:43 am

    The 585 is a shite venue put together by half-wits! I personally know several bands that have turned down the chance to play there due to the fact that they were worried something like this would happen.
    Cheers to the Masq and Manchester for keeping it alive and moving it to a “real” venue.

    hopefully we’ve all learned our lesson…lets support the venues in Atlanta that’ve put in their time and have been “well-seasoned”


  8. james (unregistered) on January 9th, 2007 @ 10:52 am

    i don’t know anything about the people that run it so i can’t comment on that, but i really did like the space…

  9. Dani (unregistered) on January 13th, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

    That band that went on before the new frontiers almost brought me to tears. I have a deep hate for creed/nickelback/modernrock/stateofman type bands… they piss me off greatly. But I was even more upset that there were people going to see them… and having a good time!!

    But yeah, Manchester Orchestra is an amazing band and they’re gonna be huge.

    the 585…I’d be lying if I said I LOVED the place but I went there like twice a month and consider that going maybe too often… so yeah, it sucks that they’re closing down cos I bet it was really easy for bands to get booked there… and I was really looking forward to seeing Y-O-U and secend shift there next month.

    Bye Bye….forever
    I hope they get back on their feet.

  10. Michael Krahn (unregistered) on January 27th, 2007 @ 8:20 am


    I just put the second of 5 parts about Counting Crows up on my blog.

    Found you through Google blog search because you mentioned Adam.

    Check it out:

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