From: "Anthony Kibort" <email@example.com>
Date sent: Sun, 24 Aug 1997 17:14:15 +0000
Subject: amazing night at the knitting factory
I was really tempted to post last night at 3AM when I got home about last night's show, but I was really tired plus I didn't really feel like making the people who couldn't get into the show or the ones who didn't make it in from out of state feel worse, but I can't hold it in much longer.
I can't even describe how great last night's show was, not only because the the Fibbers played about as perfect a show as any band could play, but because they were playing to a house that was literally packed to the rafters and who were so enthusiastic that the Fibbers could do nothing but get better playing off the crowd.
We thought that there would be no problem getting a good spot because people have a tendancy to dribble in at the Knitting Factory. It's a fairly small club, but it still holds a lot of people and it rarely sells out. We got there at 10 to find a sign on the door reading "THE FIBBERS SHOW IS SOLD OUT!" and a group of people in the hallway hoping to buy anyone's extras.
When we walked into the club, it was already packed-- BUT it had a balcony, so we took a chance at finding a good spot up there and, in fact, the balcony was better than the floor because we could see everything-- but what was truly weird was that Carla was up there really getting into Quintron and Miss Pussycat and we sort of unintentionally ended up next to her. If I weren't really shy, I still wouldn't have bothered her while she was so into a show. And they *were* really good-- although we missed the puppet show! It was really strange because at one point I was standing next to Carla, and I was getting into the show and she was really into the show and noone seemed to realize who she was or else they were all being polite. It was kind of surreal. But the one thing I have to say is that she dances really well. And it was also kind of funny because I knew that we'd get her spot because she *had* to move. At one great moment in Quintron's show, he got up on his keyboard and sang the lyric "Hey there, French girl!" while pointing at Carla in the balcony. Carla spread out her arm and pointed back at him. It was hilarious!
Okay-- the Fibbers: they started with Butch. Carla started sitting and rose to the microphone and sort of tripped. You could see she was laughing about it. Anyway, that was the last mistake of the night. The song was so beautiful live that I wanted to cry. It was perfect....better than the recording all the way down to each detail... Carla at the end whispering the last few lines into the microphone.
I'm trying to remember through four hours sleep, but I think we didn't even get a chance to clap before Butch became the Small Song which was all energy-- from the balcony you could see every band member attacking their instrument and the whole sounded incredible-- beautiful loud noise. Then You Doo Right which was even more amazing.
Later in the show, after Lillybelle some very loud guy in the back started yelling "WHATEVER! YOU HAVE PROBLEMS! WHATEVER!" and Carla cracked up. The next song was Cuckoo and Carla looked right at that area with her first "you may think I HATE YOU!" The second one was so great it was worth the price of admission for those ten seconds. She sort of playfully said "you might think" and then shouted I HATE YOU so loud I actually jumped. With a big smile on her face.
More amazing moments-- the jam between Carla and Nels traveling from Trashman to 7 or in 10. Carla dancing with a dippy smile during Dusted. Carla summoning Miss Pussycat to the stage for The French Song, being bummed when she didn't show up and the audience reaction when she came up to do the Oooo oooos. Leyna's performance during the French song. Carla and Nels playing Outside of Town. Hands on the Wheel. (Someone next to me was whispering "recoginize that-- it's a Willie Nelson song".) Toybox and Lillybelle were both remarkable. OH-- and the fact that they played Richard and the French Song live when they didn't when I first saw them. Richard blew me away.
Carla basically said the thing about Toybox being the last song, and then three more songs. BUT the audience went so crazy that they actually were forced to come on stage again, with Carla saying that she couldn't believe they were doing a real encore. She actually told the audience to go get Bill at the t-shirt booth and tell him they were back on stage. People shouted out Dragon Lady and Jolene (was someone with Dan?) and Kiss Of Fire and Blast Off Baby. Carla said "keep guessing" and then basically explained that Leyna hadn't learned everything yet. So they did Folks Like Me and Pet Angel. Bill was brilliant on Pet Angel. And it was fun seeing Carla and Kevin singing together.
One note-- it was actually great to see Kevin from above since drummers are usually hidden. I know Carla, Nels and Bill are geniuses, but Kevin was on their level, just banging on those drums and making it work with the rest of the band.
Anyway, everyone should be worried about CMJ. There is no way that the buzz from this show will stay contained. They'll never not sell out another NY show again. It just kind of confirms my faith that even though NY has the country's worst radio we have the coolest music fans. They were able to find the Fibbers on their own and it was just so amazing to see them play at their best and be appreciated for it. I think it partly has to do with the rave in Time Out. That magazine has already ruined the best restaurants because people seem to use it as a bible for where to go at any particular time. Well, for whatever reason they came and they loved them. I honestly think it was the best show I've ever seen.
One funny thing-- the Fibbers assistant at the soundboard was recording the show with a boom box hanging out over the balcony. Very bizarre. Halfway through she had to lean over the balcony to turn the tape over. I wonder what kind of sound quality you get that way.
Date sent: Mon, 25 Aug 1997 20:35:04 -0400
From: sydney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: amazing night at the knitting factory
well i've spent the past few days racking my brain trying to figure out what i can add to anthony's account of the knitting factory show...and i've come up w/not much. tho having seen the fibbers about a half dozen times now, that was easily the best performance yet. It even beats out the tour ending show at the el rey a year and a half ago. mostly cuz it's soo fucking great to be in nyc and have the sort of fan support for the fibbers that i saw in la...and the band was so phenomenal. they were just so together it was frightening. there were a couple stand out moments for me--outside of town done by nels and carla only...watching nels play anything....he's into the music on this level that is just so intense to watch. his presence definitely makes the fibbers a better band...they were always good now they are like in another universe when it comes to comparisons w/other bands. and lets see oh yeah for the encore they played pet angel and kevin sang w/carla and at one point he got down on his knees and was singing up at carla and she was so wrapped up in her guitar playing that she didn't notice kevin's grand gesture and so she turned from him kneeling before to go play w/the knobs on her amp...never once seeing kevin there on the ground. that was pretty funny. and also when miss pussycat came to sing back up on blast off carla had to prompt pussycat to do the chorus cuz she just stood there w/her sunglasses on and then when carla said "now pussycat" she jumped into the chorus and knew all the words just had no idea when she was supposed to sing them. and yeah the way carla dissected that heckler guy was great but i think anthony missed a line...he said "are you a man or a woman...whatever you've got problems" and then carla sorta laffed and then when the "i think i HATE YOU" came around it was lobbed like a hand grenade at that guy.
oh yeah and quintron was fabulous. i unfortunately spent most of his performance tossing my cookies in the knitting factory b-room cuz the indian food we ate before the show didn't agree w/me but what i did see was this amazing combo of demented piano player (he had his organ right out in the audience) and fucked up preacher man...and yeah my roomie snagged us a spot up on the balcony and she came w/ us not knowing anything about the band or the music and found us the spot next to carla...she had no idea who she was standing next to. and yeah i too didn't have the heart to bug carla by introducing myself...anyway, my roomie is now a fibbers convert she was totally blown away by the show as well and is now proudly wearing her geraldine fibbers baby t w/ cat and gf logo(she's a cat fancier too so it was fate that she'd love the fibbers).
and one thing about the knitting factory selling out. in my experience the knitting factory sells out a lot...it's not a big space i wouldn't even say it holds 1000 people. the last couple times i've gone to see helium there the show has sold out so i knew that the fibbers were gonna sell out the place. and no band that plays the knitting factory ever gets airplay. the knitting factory is like the home of john zorn and assorted other avant-jazz bands...it's not a venue to accommodate large crowds at all. so i wouldn't place too much emphasis on the fibbers selling the place out. i would say that the cbs is probably about the same size as the knitting factory tho and w/o advance tickets it's going to be a nightmare and one word of advice DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON CMJ PASSES!!! Those passes don't guarantee entrance. a lot of times clubs will let the only the first like 20 or so people w/passes in and then they will either charge the rest or make them stand in line like everyone else. in my experience, CMJ showcases suck like there's no tomorrow. they are filled with industry swine who are too busy talking on their cell phones to listen to the music. i'm gonna give the cb's show a shot cuz if anyone is gonna cut thru the bullshit it's the fibbers but the worst sleater kinney show I ever saw was the showcase at the cooler last year when hundreds of record exec leeches crammed the place and there was no room for the real fans....so i dunno i'm keeping my fingers crossed but i'm not expecting much from the cb's show.