WSP @ Irving Plaza – Havin’ A Bad Time

Towards the end of the first set the band kicked off a smokin’ Henry Parsons sandwich with a tasty Green Onions filling. Jimmy Herring tore shit up all night, especially during the Parsons segment. The Athens-based band did a nice job of mixing up the setlist throughout. Of the newer songs, Angels on High was particularly impressive thanks to Herring’s funky leads and John Bell’s quirky rhythmic accents.

Once the first set ended things got scary. We looked behind us to see that a huge section of the balcony overhang seemed to be caving in. Members of the venue and band’s crew all put their hands on the crumbling roof hoping to act as a support beam. With eaching passing moment the floor became more and more crowded. I pulled in a muscle in my foot I didn’t even know existed. At that point I started thinking perhaps I should leave before disaster struck.

During the 50-minute plus setbreak the Irving Plaza staff rigged up some 2x4s to help support the ceiling. They also brought in an electric scaffold and jack, which seemed to help but took up a bunch of precious space. When the second set finally started a slew of fans pushed forward making the floor even more uncomfortable than it was in the first set. Towards the middle of the Space Wrangler opener the guy standing in front of me fainted. We had a hard time giving him room as there wasn’t anywhere to go. I have no doubt that if a member of the fire department was at the venue they wouldn’t have let the show go on. It was that bad.

The Jerry Joseph-written North got those who could move moving again. Widespread sounded as good as I’ve ever heard them post-Houser. Yet, I was struggling to keep two inches worth of space. I think I had a better time walking into Coventry. It got to a point where I couldn’t fight the crowd anymore. We all go to concerts to have a good time, and I wasn’t having any fun. My foot was throbbing and I finally gave up towards the middle of the second set.

Once I made my way to the edge of the crowd I finally found some space, albeit with no sightlines whatsoever. But I was a beaten man and had no energy left. I went home and missed what looks like a tremendous encore. As I walked up Irving Place it felt so good to stretch my legs. I’ve never been as miserable inside a concert as I was last night and I spent $90 for that privilege.

– I –
Heroes > Disco > Angels on High , Smokin Factory > Fixin to Die > Henry Parsons > Green Onions > Henry Parsons > Dark Day Program , Pigeons , Ain’t Life Grand *

– II –
Space Wrangler , North > Smokestack Lightning > Jam > Protein Drink/Sewing Machine, Let’s Get the Show on the Road > Airplane > Jam > Papa’s Home , Holden Oversoul > Conrad

– E –
Expiration Day, Pilgrims, Goin Out West

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25 Responses

  1. Jeez, this was the last thing I expected to read on my favorite blog today. I expected a tremendous review after last nights spectacular show. While I understand where Scotty is coming from because I was also there, I am a bit baffled at the severity of your negativity and complaining. Do not get me wrong, it was as crowded as I have ever seen it at Irving. I started on the floor and quickly found out that was not going to work for me. I simply went up stairs to the balcony, JOJO side, where not only did i have enough room, the sound was great and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I am sorry you had a bad experience Scotty, that sucks!

  2. I should’ve moved earlier on, for sure. That part was totally my fault. I was looking forward to this show so much, so I guess that helps to explain the negativity. FD –

    You know it’s not my style to come on here and whine, but my experience was that bad. As I said, the music was terrific. Wish I could’ve enjoyed it.

  3. Just FYI Scott, the ceiling was not collapsing under weight. The part that was coming down was the drop ceiling and it was because some jackass jumped up and hung on it, causing it to buckle. The place was surely overcrowded, but not nearly as bad as I have seen, but the decision to contiune was a safe one. Sorry you had a shitty night.

  4. those Panic fans sure like their booze. I understand having a good time, but when it affects those around you, it’s not cool. I can’t count the number of ridiculously wasted idiots screaming at the top of their lungs and swinging elbows all around them. It’s like Panic is just their excuse to get as fucked up as possible. If you’re THAT drunk, you’re not going to remember the show or grasp the music anyway. You’re just an idiot.

    Good times…

  5. yeah – I was in the balcony area and tried twice to get down on the floor to squeeze in and see my crew during set 1. Basically impossible..

    I ended up splitting halfway thru set 2…it was nuts in there.

  6. ps…

    “buns to franks” is my new go to phrase for packed houses.

    ::heading over to to see if its official jargon::

  7. Man, i am sorry you had this experience. Truly, not fun when you cannot move. There was way too much penis on the floor and it took me literally 2 min standing there to decide to go up stairs. I wish you enjoyed yourself but maybe when you listen back to it on your couch with nobody around, you will feel the enjoyment of the night you missed 🙁

  8. Damn, and I thought the Roseland was bad. People always say they wish their favorite bands would play smaller venues, but it never functions well when bands play places that are smaller than they are.

    Hope your foot feels better.

  9. I have to agree with you about the crowd on the floor. It was ridiculous! I was in the same general spot and the first set was tight but bearable, barely. It started to get way packed during set break and in fact fainted myself. I may be the one you’re referring to in your post but it was during the end of the break and not Wrangler that I went down. I recovered and had a good time but the stayed at the back of the floor. There’s no way I was going back into that mess! All in all a good time, sardines aside.

  10. it was a little like any crowded IP show… terribly crowded in the back but not so so bad up front. I made the sacrifice to get there earlyish and then didn’t leave all night. Luckily I didn’t have to use the bathroom and had a flask… because it wouldn’t have been worth it otherwise.

  11. I thought they sounded fantastic, too. But add me to the list of people who bolted early. The first part of the 2nd set dragged a bit for me, which makes the fact that I left at the wrong time (e.g, Airplane etc.) that much worse. But when some chick told Some Dude that he was in her space, I just felt the vibe was off and it was time to head home.

  12. wow. if you’ve been to shows around nyc obviously, you should know the balcony is the best spot in the house for the fillmore. panic shows are always rockin & on fire. did you ever go to house of blues, sure it looked like the balcony was “caving in” but it didnt. i’m sure they know the capacity there (fillmore) & it has yet to “cave in”. so relax homie. jimmy was on fire as was panic so focus on the good things & next time go have a few beers before the show so you can decompress. rock on.

  13. Yeah it wasnt just the number of people it was the vibe. I was just to the right of hte sounboard and when the ceiling thing happened security pushed me and everyone else forward to bring in the crane. And while i was standing there waiting to see if i could slip back to my spot on the railing when they were done installing the crane some asshole hipchecked me pretty hard and told me i had to move cause this was his groups space cause they had been standing there all night. When i explained the concept of GA to him and pointed out the fact that perhaps the ceiling collapsing might necessitate some changes he started cursing me out. He kept turning around and starting that crap again periodically into the second set.

    I mean the show was awesome but the people there really made you earn it.

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