The Hazards of the Royal Oak Music Theatre

This past Tuesday, Chris and I traveled to Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit, for what we thought to be the last Decemberists' show we'd see on their current tour (it turns out that they announced another Chicago show--October 8 at the Riviera--while we were waiting in line). Chris had to teach that day, so we didn't make it out to the theatre until around 2pm (which was incredibly late by my standards). And, arriving so late, we did miss chatting with some Decemberists as they walked around the food and shopping district near the venue. Apparently, Colin, Nate, Jenny, and Chris had decided to some busking that morning and made $9.25 before they were told to move along by a member of the Royal Oak Police Department. Now, Chris and I were joined at this show by a few members of the Decemberists' message board: Lisa (who joined us in Indianapolis last weekedn)drove up and a British couple, Guy and Claire, who planned a cross-country train trip around this show and who were spending the night at our place.

So, while I was a bit disappointed for having missed saying hello to band members, I was incredibly disappointed and angered by the strange ticket policy of the Royal Oak Music Theatre. From the time we arrived, we were told that there would be separate lines for people with physical tickets and people who printed off tickets after buying them from the venue's website. There was much confusion as to why there were two lines and what would happen when the doors were opened and in the end, the whole line of printed out tickets (about 100 people or so) were let in before any of us in the physical ticket line. A couple of security people handed us some line about the printed out tickets being special and for V.I.P.s, but Guy and Claire were in this line (which was a good thing since they saved us spots) and this excuse was blatantly untrue. We did get to the front, although we were kind of squeezed in and Chris had to stand behind me, but this was a ridiculous policy and I will not be visiting this theatre again (though it's a really nice venue, physically). Another problem I had with the place involved the climate inside. By the end of the first set, I was starting to feel ill. I had tried to eat and drink regularly throughout the day, but perhaps I was a little dehydrated because it was really hot in the theater and I had been rocking out to Hazards. What started as just a pain in my stomach turned into full-on retching and holding in vomit for almost the entire second Decemberists' set. Luckily, I was able to hold it in, but that meant I spent half of the show concentrating on not expelling bodily fluid, which meant I was a very passive concert-goer and felt bad about the lack of enthusiasm I displayed. After the show, I got some fresh air and eventually felt much better.

Now, before the show, when we were looking to get dinner, Chris and I passed by a small burger joint which advertised their sliders. We were intrigued and went inside to discover that the place was incredibly small and that the Decemberists' roadies were all inside waiting for their food. We said hello and stood there for about 5 minutes being ignored by the sole proprietor before we decided that we didn't have time to wait and went to Jimmy John's instead. When the roadies were setting up the stage for the Decemberists show, one of them came towards the front and told us that we had made the right decision. Apparently, one slider went down well, but not so much on the next two or three. So, now we have chatted with not only the band members on this tour, but also the roadies that travel with them.

Afterwards, as we waited around for the band and I recovered, Guy and Claire bought the poster for that night's show and also bought one for us! It was a very nice gesture, because it's a great poster, and we subsequently got all but Nate to sign it for us. I must say, despite the bullshit ticketing and the near-vomiting, Tuesday night was spectacular! We talked to everyone but Nate and had really extended conversations at that. Chris even said that we shouldn't be paying for tickets anymore since we come to so many shows that we're like family now!! So, hooray for everything working out splendidly in the end.

In other news, I have decided that I'm not going to participate in the official triathlon that is going on in Kalamazoo. I have yet to register, and so the fee is now much more expensive than it was. Instead, I will run my own official triathlon with Chris timing me. Also, I have some thoughts on District 9 (which Chris and I saw last night and very much enjoyed) and Armond White's reviews of it, but this is getting a bit long, so I'll get to that later this week, hopefully.

1 comment:

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