This review is going to be a lot shorter than we had hoped, but sometimes bad situations can't be avoided.
First off let me say that across the board, the ChunkyGlasses team considers Kurt Vile's Smoke Ring For My Halo to be one of the very best this year. It's poetic, moving, entertaining and downright sublime when it wants to be. And given the quality of the release and the reputation that preceded Vile, it was unclear why he would be playing a room as small as the Rock and Roll Hotel, but who are we to question the potential for an intimate performance from one of our favorite artists?
Which is why it hurt that we had to leave the show after only 4 songs.
Look, I've been to hundreds of sold out shows in my concert going adventures, and when it's done properly, it does nothing but enhance the experience of everyone who was able to score their golden ticket. By properly I mean sold to a reasonable capacity instead of being over sold. An over sold show does nothing but frustrate the fans and in many cases can actually endanger them. Capacity limits are supposed to be set for how many patrons can safely fit into a space and not how many bodies you can possibly squeeze in for extra ticket sales on any given night.The fact of the matter is that on Wednesday night, the Rock and Roll Hotel was either oversold by at least 150 people or had a serious lapse in security. What that meant for the patrons was that nobody could move, nobody could see, and most alarmingly nobody could get in or out if an accident had occured.
And so we left.
What I can tell you from what we saw though is that Kurt Vile is as good as you would think he is. Sporting a long metalhead mane of hear and a boyish smile, Vile briefly acknowledged the crowd and then dove into his set, which even in the 4 songs we saw was all the things that his albums were and more. It wasn't just good, it was great, but when faced with the crowd situation.
That's EXACTLY what a metric sh@#-ton of people look like
So to Kurt Vile, we apologize and sincerely hope that you come back soon, preferably to a venue that can adequately house all of your fans.
To the Rock and Roll hotel we say, don't take our little rant personally. At your heart you're still a potentially great club. In fact I've seen many great sold out shows there over the years that went off without a hitch. Just maybe think about tightening up the door a little bit, OK?