Bell X1 @ The Highline Ballroom

Note: Some language in this post may seem a bit… off colored, distasteful, and mean. However, it was the way it happened, so deal with it. Don’t want to read and just skip to pictures? Go here. If not, proceed. Blarrrrr~

J and I went to the Highline Ballroom on the West Side to see Bell X1 Saturday night. We got there a good time before the doors opened, a good distance (~20ft) from the doors. Good thing we did, there was a bunch more other people who lined up after us, and next thing you know this fatty from the club was cordoning off behind the people behind us because the line was starting to block the Western Beef next door. Wow. Western Beef. I never saw one in Manhattan. Hello! See something new every day.

So anyway we then started to mosey on inside, oh so nervous was I, clutching those tickets in my pocket. They were like, take your hands out to get stamped. Stamped? Eh, what is this, Highline branding. I wasn’t very sure, but okay stamp away. It looked like some sort of barcode, a very cool potential tattoo location. On the right wrist too, I wonder how a bus would look there. A little smiley bus. Or a killer bus. With fangs and whatnot. Yes, on with it now.

Going inside, it was pretty dark with music that wasn’t the Bellies, and figured it was their opening act the Harlem Shakes after a bit of listening. People were mostly going to the tables and ordering food/drinks. We walked around looking and then meandered towards the restrooms.

Looky there! Who was it… that would cause me to break out in a cold sweat, none other than Paul Noonan the lead singer of the Bellies himself. Oh so nervous so nervous I was. He is abnormally tall, like I suppose that’s how tall Conan O’Brien would be, or maybe I was just abnormally short for an girl. Yes, so anyway J goes, why don’t you talk to him, and I did. Of course if anyone knows me the slightest bit, I am very very nervous around people, and even moreso around people I (would it be the right word to say admire… or more rather starstruck, like wow it’s him! Possibly the latter, I felt a bit like Sarah Palin, quite a knob). So yes, of course being me I so forgot everything that is good about the spoken word and managed to sputter some sort of meaningless words that created somewhat of a sentence converging into something akin to a conversation. I managed to kind of talk to him, something about it’s my first time to a concert, are you guys going to play some old music, and you are very very tall.

He probably think I was a frakking nutjob. I wouldn’t blame him, if I were talking to myself, I would’ve said that exact same thing. I did ask him to take a picture with me, and then afterwards he must’ve thought I stopped holding him hostage and fled the scene. Oh sad.

So anyway we gather our spots in front of the stage, oooh so many wires, amps, guitars, mics, and the whole shebang. The Harlem Shakes came on and made us all deaf. Seriously. I heard nothing except for the loud drumming (which I enjoyed), and a lot of bass (which I did not enjoy so much). Did not hear any singing from the lead singer, he was so washed out by the music that it was more like eh… he could’ve cursed us all on the mic and we wouldn’t hear it. After about what, a half hour, 45 mins of it, we were treated to silence as the Bellyboys came onto the stage and set up their gear.

In their defense, a few songs of the HS were beaty, but I could not hear one word he sang. Oh, and they drank way too much beer. Geez. Then I looked behind us and I saw a throng of people drinking. Oh right! I forget that sort of debauchery happened… oh was that the start of things alright.

Bell X1 came out, and we swear probably the whole population that takes the (L) train/lives in Williamsburg/any gentrified neighborhoods probably came out to this gig because 1)it was the hip thing to do on a Saturday night, get sloshed to some good ol’ rock and 2)because they had nothing better to do (i.e.: run out of weed or the episode of Gray’s Anatomy was already watched).

They played some good tunes that’s for sure, I wish I remembered the setlist in order, but unfortunately somehow that whole night just feels like a blur. They played a couple of my favorites such as Eve, the Apple of my Eye, The Great Defector, Next to You, Bad Skin Day, Flame, Rocky Took A Lover.

I enjoyed the gig a lot, and I made somewhat of an acquaintence, these two ladies who were next to us, one even offering me her spot at times to take even closer pictures of the band. I was more or less the huge shutterbug during the slower songs, or songs I really wasn’t too familiar with.

Oh yeah, the juicy stuff. I figure it was pretty much a big ol’ snorefest for you all, being brave souls and reading all this. Asides from the drinking, which wasn’t so bad really, because it was all tasteful drinks, vodka on the rocks and whatever until you smell the stench of beer and whore… and then it turns out that it’s right next to you. Yeah, that’s when you’re like… where’s my force field. The skank next to me was disgusting. I remember why I don’t attend concerts too much, because of the people singing. Don’t jump down my throat now, I like when there is a connection between the band and the audience, however(!) there should not be an unbalanced platform where the audience or parts of the audience will drown out the band with their offkey singing and wailing. That part grinds my gears, and drunkie next to me was off trilling her head after every so often shows and mentally trying to suck some band dick. Ah well. You get every sort of people, it’s just the way it is.

After the gig was really over with, and everyone started to disperse, we were contemplating whether or not we could wait and see if the band was going to come out from the rooms behind the stage, as the building didn’t seem to have a back entrance of sorts. We saw the HS standing across the room chatting with a bunch of groupies, so figures in that logical sense, the boys would come out that way as well. I wish I dressed more provacatively, maybe I would’ve gotten a better reception from people I asked questions to. It always seems the more whorish dressed women get the good undivided attention whereas I always seem to attract the wrong type of attention. /Rant [on that] over

We went outside after the ballroom fatty told us that we “seriously” had to get out, which was funny I hope he told that to the other 50 people standing around chatting. Walking up the street going back to the train, J noticed two of the band members sneaking a smoke by the projects (another reason I didn’t feel like staying too late around that part of town, shadowy overheads and that sort of environment you always see on Law & Order where some passerby the next day doing their own thing all of a sudden goes “dead body!”). Borrowing his pair of balls, I went over, introduced myself and we all ended up having somewhat of a conversation. Ah, my tongue came back this time and I was able to strike up a decent discourse. Nothing very inspiring, but at least I didn’t make much of a fool of myself. They were so nice, and I somewhat wished I got a picture with them, but I don’t think I wanted to overburden them or take too much of their time. It was getting rather nippy (to them), I guess I was used to the coldish weather so we just let them go on their way.

Afterwards, we checked out the West Side “Highline” which was pretty nice. It’s finally nice to see what the historic Highline was. It was used to carry freight from New York City to Albany. We also walked down to Chelsea Piers where we saw the golf course… it looked almost out of a scene for a Sci-Fi movie, as if it was a shipyard for building Battlestars. It was very a very awe inspiring sight.

So all in all, it was pretty fun. Even the ride back with all the General Orders (track work/station renovations) and train delays happening, it was pretty enjoyable. I hope that when they do tour in NYC again, we can enjoy it once more.

Ah… so you’re all still here, huh? Well I did take some pictures, such as this one (which also links to the rest of the pictures on Flickr). Take a breather, and enjoy. I know I sure did.

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