Houston Calling

“Embarrassed for Houston”

August 2nd, 2004 · No Comments

On Saturday night, while at a show featuring national touring acts, I was again astounded at the fact that a crowd member took it upon himself to “talk back” when the lead singer started talking about a concert preview written in the local press that had nothing nice to say about the headliner.

My most recent encounter with this type of unnecessary audience interaction (at the same venue, coincidentally) occurred in May when members of the audience at the Local H show responded to frontman Scott Lucas’ tirade against George W. Bush (an easy target, mind you, but still…) with jeers and various taunts.

Some of the audience–ironically the very “high-fivin’ mf“s that Lucas sings against–responded almost violently, making fools of themselves and of this city, in my opinion. One fan that yelled at Lucas to stop talking and play (his drunken tirade had lasted several minutes by that time) was accosted by several of the meatheads and left quickly thereafter–before the show even ended. Out of fear for his safety, I can only assume.

Later in the show, another audience member decided for one reason or another (I admittedly didn’t see what started the exchange) to disrupt the show and try to start a brawl with Lucas. I’ll be the first to admit that Lucas was bringing it on himself by this time, and, as a long-time fan of the band I was very unimpressed. In fact, I wish I had not even bothered to attend the show. Regardless, the whole display was an embarassment to the band, the fans who paid to see the show, and to Houston. We have a bad enough rap as it is without morons taking it upon themselves to even further distance Houston from the more musically-respected Austin or Dallas.

I don’t know if it’s the heat and humidity, the apathy, or the fact that the frat party is too often moved to the clubs on concert night, but this kind of crap must end. It’s pathetic and could hinder national acts from playing in Houston.

You morons know who you are–keep your idiotic musings on how cool you think it is to be Texans to yourselves. Let me lay this nugget of wisdom on you–no one outside of Texas gets it, and no one outside of Texas cares. Seriously. We’re lucky we get any credit at all anymore. And don’t think for one second to come at me with some idiotic “anti-Texas” BS because it won’t work. I am definitely not anti-Texas. Nor anti-America.

I am just anti-idiot.

Just reading how the music editor for the Houston Press had to write an article defending himself for an article he had previously written makes my case for me. Give me a break.

Anyway, back to last night’s show. Alex Dezen, lead singer of Brooklyn’s The Damnwells, asked if anyone had read the preview of Jesse Malin that appeared in this week’s Press. The crowd applauded and most in attendance seemed to agree with Dezen that what was written was uncalled for. The stack of papers by the door got noticably thinner as his speech went on. He went on to say a few things, the gist of which was that he couldn’t believe that it was published and that he was “embarrassed for Houston.”

Which is when some guy in the audience–who I had noticed sticking his tongue down his woman’s throat for most of the night before the show started–retorted with something like, “Welcome to Texas,” “Freedom of speech, bro” and, “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, bro.”

To which Dezen responded, “Yeah, that’s right. Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one. But they’re still assholes.”

So true.

If you’re one of the ones who feels the need to make yourself and Houston looks like the hicks we’re so often portrayed as being here in Texas, do everyone a favor and just stay at home. No one–not the fans, not the bands, and especially not me–wants you at the show.

Visit The Damnwells website.

Visit Jesse Malin’s website.

Now Playing in My iPod: The Hurricane Lamps — More, More, More.

Tags: Music