Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ben Harper and Charles Musselwhite at ROMT

Closing the opening set with Zep's When the Levee Breaks got the house jumping.  With Ben doing double duty singing like Robert Plant and making his steel guitar sound like Jimmy Page, it was a great ending to a very good show.

Early on I was waiting for Jake and Elwood to appear as the band moved through a classic Blues vamp. The crowd barely even noticed the less than crisp endings on a couple of songs.

My personal preference would have been down on the floor, but Sal prefers to actually see the performers (the difference between being 6'4" and 5'3") so we had bar stool seats in the balcony. ROMT is a small enough venue that these are actually great for viewing and the sound was great. That is, until Ben and Charles tried to do a couple of quieter numbers during the encore set. I still don't know why people spend $75/ticket for a concert and then insist on talking through it. If you want to talk - go to a bar, a restaurant, a park, the lobby - any of the many many places where your conversation doesn't ruin the experience for others. Also, yelling, "SHUT THE F$%K UP," at the offenders really doesn't help. This has happened before at ROMT (while Guster sang an a capella version of Jesus on the Radio) but also at the State (aka The Fillmore) during Nick Lowe's opening set for Wilco. This means I've paid more for a worse concert experience, as I've never had this happen when I've been standing on the floor. $50 for a diminished experience stinks.

One nice bonus of the bar stool seating is that we shared our table with a couple who made the trek from Bloomington, IN for the show, and are heading for the Chicago show. Back to back nights of Ben Harper and Charles Musselwhite. What a fun way to spend a weekend. I recommend it to anyone, just don't pay the extra money to sit near the idiots.

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