So there we were, within a mass of leather jackets, heavy black eyeliner, and psychedelic tent dresses, in line to be searched before the WFNX Best Music Poll Concert, on April 17. The bill contained Jesus Jones, Happy Mondays, SoHo, and Iggy Pop.
We had fled from our boarding school to spend a single evening somewhere where the most popular dance song wasn’t by Vanilla Ice or New Kids on the Block. In our hands were two blue and white tickets ominously labelled “Obstructed View.” You can imagine our surprise when, instead of seats in the back, behind a pillar, we were led to the front row absolute corner, and seated. What obstructed our views, you ask? The colossal stack of super power speakers, I tell you! We could almost see half the stage when we leaned, but boy we could hear EVERYTHING!
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SoHo went on first, after much too much ado from Troy or Ti, or one of the “T” deejays from FNX. I can honestly say that I was impressed by the band. Though I recognized only “Hippy Chick,” their melodies stuck in my head, and their vocals were admirable. By the way, they too wore psychedelic tent dresses, the attire of the evening.
One downfall of the concert was that, in the ever-too-long gaps between performers, the nameless “T” deejay conducted a really de-pressing awards ceremony. Al-though some of the acceptance speeches were entertaining, I am glad to say that my obstructed view seat saved me from the horror of watching the whole ordeal.
Even the “T” deejay knew who would steal the show that night. Before he introduced Jesus Jones, he called them “THE band that will ROCK this house tonight.” Jesus Jones blew me away. Their sound was good, their songs unforgettable, their stage manner really encouraging to the audience. At one point, the singer asked that the house lights be turned on so everyone could see each other, saying “We’re not the only performers here.” The highlight of their set for me was “Welcome Back Victoria.” I’m glad they had the guts to turn all the guitars way down, and let their singer make everyone listen.
Another great thing were the two strobe lights perched on both sides of the stage during Jesus Jones’ performance. I prefer this system to any of the fancy light shows other bands put on. I loved watching the band’s various bodies and long hair convulse between the pulsing lights.
After another long break, Iggy Pop performed. He did a short set, but the gist of his performance was taking his clothes off. When he got down to his gray jockeys, I was almost embarrassed for the poor man. What a skinny, wrinkled body! I was not impressed by his performance, but his guitarist shows promise for a real heavy metal axemaster.
The final act of the night were the Happy Mondays. They had a fancy psychedelic light system, but in all its splendor I still liked Jesus Jones for their strobe lights. Happy Mondays made good music, just like their album, but one would have been just as well off to sit home and listen to the album, because the singer sat on the drum podium, back to the audience, and the rest of the band did basically the same. Also, they dressed their overweight backup singer like an S & M goddess, complete with whip, which I thought was repulsive and sexist. Such is the world of music, I suppose.
So that’s it. Overview: Jesus Jones – incredible; SoHo – pretty darn good; Happy Mondays – good music, kinda boring; Iggy Pop – please keep your clothes on. Thanks for reading, happy concert-going to you, too. n