concert memoirs pt. 9 - violent femmes & fleshtones

Violent Femmes w/Summer of Love
6/17/85 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: $5.00

The bright spot of the night was being able to see that interesting woman who played the cello for Summer of Love. Not exactly a crush, I just thought she was interesting.

The Violent Femmes killed any interest I had for the rest of the evening. To be fair the audience was most responsible for ruining the evening, but the Violent Femmes did their part, too.

They had a couple albums out at that time. Albums that suggested angst, anger, sexual frustration, and some weird Jesus thing. But, their stage presence was a different story. Much different.

So, the Violent Femmes are from our neighboring state, Wisconsin. And First Avenue was packed to gills with Wisconsinites. The main floor was packed. The upstairs was packed. The stairs were packed. The restrooms were probably packed. God damn! It was packed with rubes.

The Violent Femmes finally take the stage to the most tumultuous, resounding applause. The kind of cheering I heard after The Who had completed their outstanding show (St. Paul Civic Center 10/2/82). These guys hadn’t done anything yet and they were treated like rock gods.

John and I had been to a few shows by that time and we had come to expect a little something more for our five bucks. It took more than merely showing up to impress us. John shouted, “Make them earn it!” Unfortunately, the rubes couldn’t hear him.

The Femmes began to play and John and I firgured we should give them a chance. We had paid five bucks, after all. Each song was greeted and sent away with uproarious cheering. John and I did a bit of eye-rolling that night.

After a couple songs, they played some song that had something to do with a flamingo. The bird. The chorus made note of the fact that flamingos stand on one foot. What did these clever rock stars do when they sang the chorus? They stood on one foot! In fact, at one point two of the band members each reached their airborne foot toward the other and touched their feet together.

Holy crap! I swear the rubes all wet their pants. It was so stupid. What a bunch of rubes.

So, then they played into their song ‘Please Do Not Go’ and when they got to the “bye, bye, bye-bye, bye-bye” part the rubes all waved and sang along. We had had enough. We waved bye-bye and left.

Fleshtones w/The Go-Betweens
6/24/85 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: $5.00

I remember this being a really fun show. The Fleshtones were having a ball playing to us and we were right there with them. Their lead singer scaled atop the speaker stack and sang and danced at us from on high. Very dangerous and very cool.

In the crowd with us was Larry (I don’t remember his last name) the lead singer of local bar band Urban Guerrillas. The Urban Guerrillas were a very fun band themselves. I’ll write about them later. There is scant information about them on the internet, so I had better add some.

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