Shows: Bullet Points

Some excellent things about tonight’s Morcheeba show

• My new friend at work asked me yesterday if I wanted to go and I didn’t even have to pay full price for the ticket so we went shopping and for dinner and the show was early and we got to sit in chairs and only stand up and dance if we wanted to and it was basically the best.
• I don’t even really know or care anything about Morcheeba except that tribal style bellydancers loved them in circa 2002 so I had a couple songs on my iTunes but was otherwise not very invested in the show other than to have a nice evening and therefore the possibility of disappointment was enjoyably low.
• All the dad jokes about weed the band made.
• Skye Edwards is an iridescent fairy woman with an infectious laugh which is clearly comprised chiefly of sunlight and bubbles and dreams that come true. She also wore the single hottest dress I have ever seen a human being wear, and the entire audience was completely, joyously in love with her.
• The cover of Let’s Dance.
• The fact that wherever we may go in life’s journey, one constant remains: hippie girls will roll up to the front of the venue and do their hippie dance. Times change, empires rise and fall, and there they are: twirling around with their head to one side and twining their arms in the air.
• The fact that I got home at 11:30.

Some great shows I have seen in Wellington

• The New Pornographers, in 2010 I think? At San Francisco Bath House. A friend went on a blind date there and a bunch of her other friends just…went along too. One of the first times I really hung out with my bandie Jez and my friend Daniil and also met my friend Chris that night.
• The first Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra show I went to, in late 2006 at the Botanical Gardens when I’d been here about six months, when I first understood that I wanted to stay.
• Both Neko Case shows, at San Francisco Bath House in 2010 and around the corner at the Front Room just a couple of weeks ago.
• Fat Freddy’s Drop and Katchafire, on the same night, also the first year I was here, so 2006—I think the first was at what is now the Front Room but used to be something else and the second was at San Fran Bath House. Again, someone just randomly invited me to go along and I was all, sure, not having any idea even of what kind of music it was. That was the beginning of a year where I went out a lot, and I specifically remember not understanding that this very young guy was trying to dance with me at the Fat Freddy’s show, and I kept moving away from him so he could, like, get enough room to dance.
• The Woolshed Sessions, at least a couple times in 2009, right when I got back to Wellington the first time.
• Brockaflower and the Balkanistas, earlier this year at the Newtown Festival
• Batucada Sound Machine, in 2010 with my friends Amber and Angela, at…Bodega? Maybe? Or, of course, San Fran Bath House. I wore an outfit I would feel way too shy about wearing now and got a compliment from a girl in the bathroom on it.
• Every Sophie and the Realistic Expectations show I have ever been to, including a bunch in 2010 or so when they were just getting together and I was just getting to know the friend group who knew them and they would play Medusa and I would know everyone in the audience, and when they played at my Five Years Wellyversary party in 2011, the day my nephew was born, and also when they used to randomly show up at parties at a certain house I used to hang out at a lot and play the pots and pans for drums. I going to ask them to play at my 40th next year.
• Every single time I have seen my beloved bandmate Jez Kemp play out. Every single time.

Weird places I played shows back when I was in a band

• In the side alley of what used to be Medusa, during a time when I went to Medusa at least fortnightly. The extractor fan from the restaurant next door played the entire time, and yet some very nice and dedicated friends—in whose lounge we had played multiple times, for free—actually paid ten dollars to hear us play songs they knew by heart.
• In front of some bright yellow construction equipment at the Kilbirnie Festival.

Shows I saw in college

• The Cranberries, maybe senior year? So 1996 or 1997? I feel like they came to campus but this may be a total lie.
• They Might Be Giants, again ’96 or ’97, I have no idea whatsoever. Pantages Theatre maybe?
• Morrissey, solo. No idea when that would have been, but junior or senior year, definitely. He came to campus? Can this be true?

Shows I would have loved to have seen in college, based on what CDs were on heavy rotation at the time

• Weezer
• Tori Amos
• Tracy Bonham

Shows I saw accidentally

• Calexico, in college, because they played at this festival we had every year. I didn’t know who they were and remember nothing about it.
• Catherine Wheel, also in college, at a Halloween party my freshman year where I went as Little Red Riding Hood in a cape my roommate sewed me herself. I just barely know that they’re a band at all.
• The Specials, opening for the Aquabats, maybe 1998? I didn’t know who they were either and was like, Don’t those nice old gentlemen up there look nice in their sharkskin suits!
• Frank Black, at the aforementioned They Might Be Giants Show, at which he opened, solo. Me and my friends were more excited about seeing Weird Al Yankovic in the audience.

Shows I missed seeing and regret to this day

• REM, for the Green Tour in 1988 or so. Everyone else in the 8th grade seemed to have gone—including my 8th grade English teacher–and bands never come to Miami and I had not even understood that they were coming because I’d never been to a concert before.
• Mazzy Star and The Cowboy Junkies, 1994 in LA. In what would turn out to be a theme in my life, I saw the posters for it and my college was even, like, providing a van to get out there from Claremont, but no.
• Sneaky Sound System in Cairns, 2007. This one girl who was an English DJ that I met when I was doing my dive course was like, hey, come see this band for twenty bucks! And I was like, Who? Why? And then I listened to their album for a full year afterwards and cursed myself every time I thought of that day.
• Meyer Hawthorn in Wellington about three years ago. Saw the posters, did nothing.
• Mirah, in Wellington, two years ago. To be fair I only knew she was coming after the fact when I walked by what used to be Happy and saw the flyer.
• St Vincent, three years ago maybe, in Wellington. My cousin would have got me on the door and everything and it was my birthday but I was out of town and couldn’t go.
• That one Fly My Pretties show in Wellington in 2010 that people talked about for like a year afterward. I had a friend’s party that night.
• Jarvis Cocker, in Wellington, a couple of years ago. Saw the poster, did nothing.

The only show I’ve seen in my hometown

• Nada Surf, in 1996, and it wasn’t even in Miami, it was in Fort Lauderdale.

Shows I’ve seen alone

• Laura Veirs, opening for Colin Meloy in Seattle. 2005? I do not remember where, like, at all.
• Flight of the Conchords, at Bumbershoot in Seattle in 2006, where I also got a signed copy of an Ellen Forney comic. This and the Laura Veirs show I went to on my own because I knew I was going to New Zealand and I was trying to get used to doing things alone because I was convinced I wouldn’t make friends here.
• Ladi6, in early 2007 maybe, at Sandwiches here in Wellington, because I met some girl on the bus who said I should go and meet her there, so I did.
• The abovementioned Neko Case in 2010, at San Francisco Bath House.

Shows I would like to go back in time to see, in addition to the abovementioned ones I missed and still regret and the ones I probably would have liked to see in college based on what was in heavy rotation in my CD player at the time

• Prince and the Revolution
• Belly, in the Hey Gepetto era, but I would specifically request Silverfish and Judas My Heart
• Violator-era Depeche Mode
• Cyndi Lauper
• Sure, why not: Like A Prayer-era Madonna
• Seventies Stevie Wonder

The next show I hope very much to see

• Kimbra and my BELOVED Janelle Monaé, in Auckland! If I can get tickets! Whee!


  1. Janelle Monae is playing Celebrate Brooklyn this year! This may be a “camp out in line all day” kind of situation, like David Byrne back in 2009 only even more so. <3

  2. You are one of my alltime favourite audience members, because you dance and sing and smile at me. Also because Love you. <3

  3. Love this! Because I, too, saw The Cranberries — ’twas my first-ever concert.

    One thing you forgot to mention — that time you saw & took a photo with your Future Husband Glenn Hansard when you saw The Frames. (Am I remembering that correctly? Cuz I just searched your blog to find the photo, and all that came up was a dream you had about him, and me commenting about how you should put the photo up.)