18 June 2009

City Stages? Don't think so


Top five reasons I won't be attending City Stages this year (in order of ascending distaste):
  1. Doobie Brothers
  2. 38 Special
  3. Styx
  4. REO Speedwagon
  5. Lynyrd Skynyrd
To paraphrase the famous line, what we have here is a failure to entertain. These so-called "headliners" could barely comprise a one-day redneck fest at Verizon Wireless Music Center, much less Birmingham's "world class music festival".

Ah, but such is what we are offered. No wonder the event is in such poor shape.

Twenty years ago (has it really been that long?) City Stages was unique. Hell, it was fun. It was great to see so many people enjoying themselves in downtown, and there was always good (and more often than not, new) music to hear. Back in the day, City Stages was an annual event for me. I would take off all day on Friday and Monday and make a big weekend out of it. Some of the best shows I've seen in my life have been at City Stages: Dave Alvin a couple of times, Shelby Lynne, David Byrne... the list goes on and on.

I haven't been in a couple of years. Two years ago, my wedding got in the way (although Jean did e-mail an invitation to Rickie Lee Jones who performed that year), and last year we just didn't have enough interest in going.

This year, however, I don't think I would go even if someone handed me VIP passes for free. You couldn't get me to go see Lynyrd Skynyrd (if you can call it that -- are there even any of the original members of the band still alive?) for... well, I don't think there is anything that could get me to go see that show. Same goes for the rest of the bands listed at the beginning of this article. The acts I would like to see I can see for much less money in a more intimate venue like WorkPlay or Bottletree, and I don't have to jockey for position so I can use a sweaty porta-potty.

So, good luck, City Stages. This year, at least, you'l have to get along without me. Maybe next year -- if you can get back to what you were in the past, and assuming you're still around -- things will be different.

1 comment:

Winston said...

Hey, I was there for that David Byrne show...Dave Alvin too...Saw Byrne again a few weeks ago...even better in 2009.

I wasn't even sad CS died. I had been dead for a while.