Music seen, March 1, Jack McGee’s Pub, Bowdoin College, Brunswick
I was really looking forward to writing this column. I was really excited to see one of my favorite bands at a venue I’d never been to, at a venerable college with a smart, tasteful crowd rallying around a fun, undeniable pop band (one of the few causes I’ve got the impetus to support these days). But it’s not to be, because the kids aren’t all right. They’re obnoxious, ignorant alcoholics, and they ruined my night.
Jack McGee’s Pub is a college bar. They serve wine that one person buys once a month, so by the time you get your glass it has spoiled back into grape juice. They also serve lots of Miller Lite and, because it’s Bowdoin College, Allagash White. The bar sits mostly empty until 11 pm, when a dog whistle that only people who are already wasted can hear sounds. At that point, about a hundred people — armed with someone else’s credit cards and fresh student-loan checks, and slices of pizza from the student union — flood the place. Almost all of their friends are there, but let’s bust out that cell phone and see who’s missing.
“Dude, you still playing Beirut? Dude?! There’s a band here tonight. No I don’t know who, get over here.”
So, Bishop Allen started playing around 11:45, because Bobby McFadden apparently hasn’t shown up to Sound Engineering 101 for a few weeks and couldn’t figure out which knob made the keyboard louder. They played a couple songs, and everyone loved it because there were plenty of girls in spaghetti-strap tank tops and plenty of guys with tucked-in shirts, kind of like that time they went to Bonnaroo and lost their wallets. They gyrated like it was a Phish concert. Maybe it was; I couldn’t hear a damned thing.
Me? After a song or two, I muscled my way over to the bar to grab my companions a couple more beers. After three more songs, I’d managed to squirm the thirty feet back to our spot. We downed our beers and left within five minutes, right after Bishop Allen played my favorite Bishop Allen song, “Click Click Click.” At least that’s what it sounded like. What a rager, dude. Let March 1, 2007, mark the night that I gave some serious second thoughts to graduate school.
: New England Music News
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